Esports Players in India 2024 Esports

Esports Growth in India 2024 – Things You Need To Stay Updated

The popularity of esports tournaments continues to soar, with an expected increase in prize money disbursement this year. Game publishers like Krafton and Riot Games are investing heavily in the industry, attracting millions of participants and viewers with games like Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), Valorant, Counter Strike, Dota, and Pokemon Unite.

As the esports tournament ecosystem evolves, the focus will be on creating gaming-cum-entertainment experiences, driving profitability, and attracting brand sponsorships. 

The Indian Esports industry is on the brink of a transformative leap in 2024, with technological advancements, strategic collaborations, and a supportive ecosystem paving the way for an electrifying gaming landscape.

As the Indian Esports industry revels in its meteoric rise, 2024 is shaping up to be a landmark year. With Esports making its debut as a medal sport at the Aichi-Nagoya Asian Games 2026, the Indian gaming community is already gearing up to showcase its prowess on the global stage.

The Evolution of Esports Tournaments in India

Esports tournaments have witnessed tremendous growth in terms of both on-ground spectators and live broadcast viewership. As per a report in the Economic Times, Krafton’s BGMI tournaments drew over 54,000 on-ground spectators and had a staggering 110 million viewers for the live broadcast in 2023. Krafton India contributed Rs 3.8 crore to the total prize pool that year.

To further expand their reach, game publishers like Krafton, Riot Games, Jetsyntheses, and Reliance Digital are investing significant resources into organizing offline gaming events. These events bring the online gaming world into physical stadiums and attract massive crowds similar to traditional sports events.

The appeal of popular video games such as Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), Valorant, Counter Strike, Dota, and Pokemon Unite has been a driving force behind the growth of esports tournaments in India. Millions of people actively participate in these games or tune in to watch their favorite players compete for glory.

Prize Pool Growth and Tournament Formats

In 2023 alone, esports tournament organizers disbursed a cumulative prize pool of Rs 30-35 crore, the largest in India’s e-gaming history.

The upcoming year promises even more substantial prize money disbursement, with Skyesports announcing a target pool of $2.5 million (Rs 20 crore) to be paid out to winning teams in 2024.

Upthrust Esports, a startup that ran ten championship IPs in 2023 with a cumulative prize pool of Rs 1.5 crore, plans to expand its portfolio by adding three more championships in the coming fiscal year.

This expansion reflects the growing demand and interest in esports tournaments across the country.

Recognition and Education Propel Esports in India

With Esports being recognized as a legitimate sport by state bodies like Sports Authority of India (SAI), Department of Youth Affairs (DYA), and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar (RKPP), there has been increased support for Esports infrastructure development across Tier 1 to Tier 4 cities.

Educational institutions have also partnered with industry experts and gaming companies to offer specialized courses and certifications related to game design, game development, and Esports management.

For instance, Whistling Woods has launched an Esports Management degree program that provides students with comprehensive knowledge about tournament organization, team management, marketing strategies, and event planning.

This degree equips aspiring gamers not just with gaming skills but also with business acumen required for successful careers in the Esports industry.

Apart from academic programs, educational institutions are actively promoting Esports at the school level. Schools have started forming Esports clubs and organizing local tournaments, providing a platform for students to showcase their talent and passion for gaming.

This grassroots approach ensures that young gamers receive early exposure and encouragement, nurturing their skills from an early age.

Gaming-Cum-Entertainment Feast

Esports tournaments are increasingly becoming more than just gaming events; they are transforming into entertainment extravaganzas.

Organizers like Skyesports plan to surprise and entertain audiences by incorporating performances from celebrities and singers at LAN events. These events aim to create an immersive experience for both players and spectators.

Moreover, Skyesports aims to work with over 50 brands in 2024, further highlighting the evolving nature of esports tournaments.

By forging partnerships with non-endemic brands, they can enhance the overall experience and attract diverse sponsorship opportunities.

Monetization Opportunities

Esports tournaments provide numerous avenues for monetization. Organizers have started exploring ticketing options, food and beverage spaces, larger advertising deals, and VIP programs.

Loco, a game streaming platform, successfully hosted its first VIP subscription LAN tournament streaming in 2023 behind a paywall for online viewing. They achieved an impressive conversion rate of 3-4%, surpassing the global benchmark of 1%.

This paradigm shift in esports consumption presents exciting financial opportunities for players, teams, and organizers alike.

Individuals are willing to pay for premium content and exclusive experiences within the esports ecosystem.

The Future of Esports in India

According to a study by venture capital firm Lumikai, the professional esports industry in India was valued at nearly $40 million (Rs 333 crore) in FY23.

The industry is expected to grow exponentially and reach a market size of $100 million by FY28. This growth trajectory indicates the immense potential of esports as a thriving sector within the Indian economy.

Final Thoughts

The growth of esports in India is set to reach new heights in 2024.

With increasing prize pools and a focus on creating unique gaming-cum-entertainment experiences, the industry presents lucrative opportunities for players, teams, organizers as well as investors.

The projected market size of $100 million by FY28 highlights the immense potential of esports as a thriving sector within the Indian economy.

About The Reporter

James Stone
James Stone
Esports & Dota 2 Reporter
All Articles | Full Profile
James Stone, a trailblazer in Esports and Dota 2, boasts over 15 years of industry expertise. As a passionate contributor to “The Gaming Panther” blog, James shares his wealth of knowledge with a focus on empowering Gen Z gamers. With a finger on the pulse of the gaming community, he offers insightful analysis, strategic guidance, and a deep understanding of competitive gaming dynamics.
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