Esports Around The World: India

Esports Around The World is a series of profiles outlining the esports ecosystem in various countries globally. The series ties into ESI’s international esports business events, which take place around the world.

Esports Around The World India
The Esports Around The World series will profile major & minor esports nations across the globe.

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India is one of the biggest esports markets in Asia, with a market size of INR 3bn (~£30m) in FY2021 and a projected market value of INR 100bn (~£1bn) by 2025, according to a report by EY India.

India’s esports ecosystem is largely mobile-first, and is currently centred around titles like Battlegrounds Mobile India and COD Mobile. Battlegrounds Mobile India is an India-only port of PUBG Mobile, which was previously India’s most popular esport.

PUBG Mobile was banned by the Indian government in October 2020, citing threats to sovereignty allegedly due to links to Chinese companies. Garena Free Fire, another domestically popular title, was also banned in February 2022 citing national security concerns.

Riot Games’ PC title Valorant has also made its presence felt in the region, with Riot Games partnering with NODWIN Gaming to host the Valorant Conquerors Championship, a gateway to the global Valorant Champions Tour circuit.

India has successfully competed in esports events on the global stage. In 2018’s Asian Games, Hearthstone player Tirth “gcttirth” Mehta competed in the Hearthstone medal event and earned a bronze medal. Fellow professional player Ankur “JauntyTank” Diwakar also participated in the event in Pro Evolution Soccer.

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Government Recognition

Esports has not been recognised as a sporting discipline by the Indian government. The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has specifically stated that there is no officially-recognised governing body to regulate esports organisations or promote esports in the country.

On 4th February 2021, India’s Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports, Kiren Rijiju, answered questions about esports in India. The minister said he recognised that esports is an emerging platform for the country’s youth population, and that there are a large number of esports enthusiasts in the country.

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Notable Tournaments & Leagues

Major tournament organisers like ESL and its flagship ESL One circuit, alongside Dreamhack, host events in India. Dreamhack is set to make a comeback this year with a LAN in Hyderabad in October. Meanwhile, endemic organisers like Skyesports, and NODWIN Gaming and Riot Games’ Valorant Conquerors Championship, also cater to the local market.

Battlegrounds Mobile India Series (BGIS) 2021 ESL One Mumbai 2019
Battlegrounds Mobile India Open Challenge ESL India Premiership
Dreamhack Delhi Invitational 2019 Skyesports Championship
Dreamhack Hyderabad (upcoming) Valorant Conquerors Championship
ESI Washington DC May 2022
ESI’s Washington DC conference will focus on the growth of esports around the world.

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Notable Esports Organisations

Note that this is a non-exhaustive list and exclusion does not signify an org is not notable.

7Sea Esports Global Esports
GodLike Esports Velocity Gaming

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National Associations / Federations

Note that inclusion in this list does not suggest any acknowledgement from ESI of its authority, works or official capacity.

There are multiple esports associations in India, though no such organisation is officially recognised by the government at present. Among the existing federations, the Electronic Sports Federation of India (ESFI) is an official member of the International Esports Federation (IESF).

Esports Development Association of India (EDAI) Federation of Electronic Sports Associations in India (FEAI)
Esports Federation of India (ESFI)

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Education Initiatives

Esports is not officially included in the academic curriculum at government-owned academic institutions. However, there are private academic institutes that offer courses in esports.

Among notable institutions in India, Whistling Woods International offers management degrees at the bachelors and masters level for sports and esports. In 2019, esports organisation Global Esports partnered with Harrisburg University (USA) to offer an academic program in esports.

RELATED: Esports Around The World: United States of America

This is a preliminary country profile and will be augmented with additional information over time. If you have any suggestions or feedback for this profile, please get in touch at [email protected]

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