Sunday, July 21, 2024

Sports

India sets eyes on competing in esports games at Olympics soon

IANS | July 08, 2024 02:50 PM

NEW DELHI: With growing viewership, investment, player base, and appearances at major international tournaments, esports in India is becoming a mainstream sport, with future ambitions to compete in the Olympics Esports Games, industry experts said on Monday.

With state support and advocacy from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, esports has cemented its place as a new-age sport after gaining official recognition as a 'multi-sport' event by the government, they added.

"More than a decade back, gaming was nothing but a hobby of a few passionate gamers. Looking at the scenario today, we can indeed say India has come a long way. The industry has gained immense popularity and legitimacy among the masses, " said Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and MD of NODWIN Gaming.

"In the near future, we envision esports getting the same mantle as traditional sports, especially with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announcing plans to create Olympic Esports Games, " he added.

According to a FICCI-EY report, total esports tournament participation is projected to reach 2.5 million participants across various titles, compared to 1.79 million in 2023.

Additionally, airtime for esports broadcasts is set to increase to 8, 000 hours from 6, 500 in 2023, with a rising average minute audience.

"The surge in mobile gaming, fueled by the high number of smartphone users in the country, has made gaming more accessible to a wider audience, driving the industry's growth, " said Roby John, CEO and Co-Founder of SuperGaming.

Despite India being largely a mobile-first gaming nation due to high data penetration and affordable smartphones, there has been a noticeable surge in interest in PC gaming.

Recent data from the video game developer Valve highlighted that Asia, including India, is one of the fastest-growing regions for Steam users, with a more than 150 per cent increase in new users from 2019 to 2024.

As per Vishal Parekh, Chief Operating Officer, CyberPowerPC India, PC-based esports titles prominently featured in major sporting tournaments "highlight the importance of gaming PCs for grassroots development and achieving success in these events."

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