The top Indian esports business developments in September 2020

September was a big month for Indian esports with everything being set into motion with the ban on PUBG Mobile. However, the beginning of the Indian Premier League has sprung new life into the economy, paving the way for new investments and opportunities. 

These are the big stories for the month of September, in collaboration with AFK Gaming.  

PUBG Mobile banned by the Indian Government

The biggest story coming out of September is the Indian Government’s decision to ban 118 apps including PUBG Mobile. The title has led the way for esports in the subcontinent, helping attract funding and investment from both local as well as international stakeholders.

The ban was preceded by increasingly strict sanctions on Chinese investment and products in the country all culminating from a violent clash between military forces earlier in the year. The ban has forced the majority teams and tournament organisers to evaluate their future as PUBG Mobile was the primary title that everyone had invested in.

Read the full article here.

PUBG Mobile
Image credit: PUBG Mobile

Noble Esports acquires South Asian VALORANT roster 

North American organization Noble Esports announced its decision to pick up a VALORANT roster based out of South Asia. The organisation was operating a PUBG Mobile roster in the region as well but the team has had no notable players or achievements.

The move is likely to be sparked by Riot Games’ focus on South Asia with plans to launch VALORANT servers for the region by the end of the year. The sudden disappearance of PUBG Mobile has also led to an increase in interest in the title as well as its esports ecosystem. 

Mobile Premier League Series raises $90M in Series C funding

Indian esports and mobile gaming platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) raised $90M (~70M GBP) in Series C funding through various new ventures and existing investors such as Sequoia India and Base Venture.

The platform recorded a 4x growth since March and reported having over 60M users and over 2B cash transactions on the platform to date.

Read the full article here.

Fantasy sports platform Dream11 set to acquire SoStronk

A report originally published in Moneycontrol revealed that Dream Sports, the parent company behind Indian fantasy sports platform Dream11, is set to acquire Indian esports tech company SoStronk.

SoStronk is the equivalent of FACEIT or ESEA and operates CS:GO servers in Asia. The company also works with tournament organisers to provide server hosting, league operations and other similar services and are also in the process of developing a similar platform for mobile gaming. Notable clients include PGL and ESL. 

AFK Gaming secures $200K investment from IP Ventures

India based esports media company, AFK Gaming announced the confirmation of an investment of $200K (~155K GBP) from IP Ventures.

The funds will be used to link reach to revenue through programmatic and direct advertising as well as expanding AFK Gaming’s scope to additional esports titles in Southeast Asia. 

Read the full article here.

AFK Gaming is India-based esports media and content company that aims to provide quality and consistent coverage about teams, players, tournaments and competitive video games with a primary focus on the Asian region.