The annual India Today Group Conclave, recently hosted a dedicated session on the esports segment titled – ‘King Kong: The Multi-Million Dollar World of Gaming, and why India is still playing catch-up’. Esports athlete Naman Mathur, popularly known as Mortal, was among the eminent panellists who emphasized, “We need to have more tournaments and more games to make esports a viable career option in India,” when asked about how much a pro gamer can generate revenue and if it is a financially viable option.
The intriguing session witnessed panellists like Aneesh Aravind (Head of Publishing, India Krafton); Prasad Mangipudi (Managing Director, Sportzlive), Naman Mathur a.k.a Mortal (Esports Athlete), Anish Kapoor (CEO, Infinix Mobiles India) and Vishwalok Nath (Business Head, Gaming & Esports, India Today Group), discuss the various aspects related to gaming industry while sharing insights on its future.
“Esports being a part of the Asian Games has added a lot of legitimacy to esports, not just for the games that are included but also for the entire industry. Participating and competing for your country is indeed a great feeling. Even for Asian Games, this is needed. How else can you attract a young crowd to watch your games? So yes, we do need Asian Games and I believe Asian Games needs us as well.” Aneesh Aravind, Head of Publishing, India Krafton said.
When asked about what was the process like before the launch of the game, “When Krafton decided to begin publishing in India, we looked at what the market was and where it was going to grow. We also looked at the player base that was here. So, we decided to launch BGMI and took a bit of time for it. Players really went clamouring. When we released it, it was phenomenal. Within a week, we were able to get 40 million downloads and 16 million DAU. More than the numbers, what we saw was the gamers’ passion. We saw that passion and that was exactly what we were looking for to build our product towards.” he added.
On the new innovations, mobile companies are coming up with better gaming experiences. Anish Kapoor, CEO, Infinix Mobiles India said “There is a whole lot of things happening in the RND space. We have introduced a Darlink technology which is very specific to us. Here we are giving people the opportunity to experience gaming from a budget segment. When we say budget segment ₹8,000 to ₹20,000 is where we want to put our focus and energies on. We are working to take gaming to tier 2, tier 3 cities, tier 4 kind of audience and get younger people involved which can help make it a career option for them.”
Mortal was among the first few poster boys of PUBG mobile when it was launched and he has seen tremendous success since then. “The transition has always been upwards, the experience has been great, I was doing B.Com and wanted to be a company secretary while doing LLB. I was also uploading videos on YouTube just for fun. People would go and play outdoor games at 5, I would play on my mobile for 3 or 4 hours a day. One of those video got viral and people started recognizing Mortal. PUBG made me viral. Currently, it is BGMI,” said Naman Mathur aka Mortal.
Mortal also stated the importance of having more games and tournaments. “We need to have more games, tournaments and investments in India, then esports will grow at a very large scale and can be a viable career option in future. He also advised new gamers to focus on one between esports and content creation. It requires a lot of mental pressure you have to seat and play for a very long time and then at night you have to stream so focusing on one will be better.”
Vishwalok Nath, Business Head, Gaming & Esports, India Today Group said, “As India Today Group, we started India Today gaming on October 2019. That was our first tournament. In fact, when we launched Free Fire in the country, we were very sceptical.”
“We initially thought that only 10,000 – 20,000 people will participate. But to our surprise we got 1,25,000 registrations and 12 million video views graduating from October 2019 to now, we created ESPL, which is the first-ever franchise tournament in gaming. It got 1 million registrations and 100 million video views. 10x jump in one and a half years. ESPL was one of its kind” he added.
“There are sections of the population who are not into traditional sports. We have a 2 crore population of 11 to 13 years old who are not into traditional sports. For now, the sports industry has been growing on an individual level. I think the esports industry is going to explode soon. With traditional sports athletes like PV Sindhu taking around 11 to 12 years to become a world champion and win a medal, esports, according to me will be producing global champions probably in the shortest period of time,” said Prasad Mangipudi, Managing Director, Sportzlive, Co-Owner Esports Team Hyderabad Hydras in ESPL.
At the session, the connoisseurs from the varied gaming sector highlighted the possibilities and ambiguities that the Indian esports still needs to work on to turn it into a global esports powerhouse. For more news and updates, keep reading Gutshot Magazine. If you’re on social media then follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Telegram.
Donna Amo is a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She is a graduate from Sophia College of Women, Mumbai with a degree in English Literature. When this October born foodie is not writing content or poetry, she spends her time laughing at memes or watching series. Based out of Mizoram, she is drawn to all things nature and has a soft spot for puppies.
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