It has been announced that an Indian businessman and philanthropist, Ronnie Screwvala, has pledged to commit $15m (£12m) in order to launch a major Indian esports league.
USports, one of Screwvala’s companies, will be involved and the aim is for the league to be broadcast both in India and to international audiences. Screwvala is the owner of Kabbadi Pro League side U Mumba.
The planned title for this, his first esports venture, is the UCypher League. If reports are to be believed then it’ll be all encompassing with PC, console and, notably, mobile set to play a part. There will be two seasons per year although the dates have yet to be revealed.
Also on the unrevealed list is which titles will be included though CS:GO, Dota 2, FIFA and Clash of Clans are the ‘likely frontrunners’ according to Ankit Panth who discussed the matter with Sportskeeda. Panth is the captain of an Indian CounterStrike team. He said: “The format was not discussed, but we did talk about how events are organised abroad. They want to package it for television and not just online.”
Screwvala also told Sportskeeda: “We have been planning an esports league for a long time now. We were waiting for the correct time as there was not enough participation before. However, smartphones have changed the game for Indian esports.
“Also, with the introduction of fibernet and cheaper pricing of consoles, number of gamers are increasing in number everyday. There will be no franchise selling in the first year, but yes we are targeting TV broadcasting.”
Esports Insider says: Screwvala has been named in both the Times and Esquire’s most influential lists in the past decade, and has been Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. A serious commitment of $15m is to to be sniffed at and it’ll be intriguing to watch how this league develops and plays out.