Who plays eSports in India? How is the sector growing? What are your voices? What does it need to take off definitively?
A video game capable of becoming an eSport must offer a certain degree of variety. There’s been a lot of talk about eSport in India lately. On the other hand, the public continues to grow. According to research by PayPal and Superdata, carried out a few years ago by Gamerji.
In India eSports involve about 1,200,000 people and have a turnover that in 2019 was quantified at 12 million dollars. Within a year this figure is expected to increase by 2 million, while the public will increase by about 250 thousand.
We’re talking about offline audiences, i.e. those who participate in events held at Gamerji, GamesWeek or other occasions, but above all those who follow them from home. The current boom of eSport is undoubtedly related not only to the ease with which you can record and share a movie game but especially the ability to do it live on YouTube, Twitch or Facebook.
Facts and statistics of eSports
51% of fans are between 18 and 34 years old, while those between 35 and 64 years old represent 32%. Women are only 12%. Generally speaking, I don’t think that the female figure in India has yet found a real space in the eSport panorama.
This is because often women themselves do not aim to professionalize themselves as players but to create a fan base given by factors external to gaming.
A professional, gaming-focused attitude is the basis for getting respect from other players as well. I think the difference in skill level with males is dictated more by a psychological factor than the woman than anything else.
After all, gaming is a mental discipline and does not see the classic physical differences between men and women as a differentiating factor.
In any case, competitive video games, whether you’re talking about athletes or spectators, are undoubtedly a “millennial” affair, a name that now means everything and nothing, but which identifies unquestionably an audience not very attracted to traditional media.
Very present on social media, quite offensive advertising language of twenty years ago and everything that sounds old, unless it’s nostalgic stuff, like the WorldGaming, UMG Gaming, and Playtonia.
The audience is difficult to quantify because it’s often invisible…
But who are these people? Who’s part of these million-and-a-half guys who watch a video game the way their fathers watched football? They’re a demanding audience to quantify because they’re often invisible. Many Indian events have small, half-empty audiences because most people follow and comment on the Internet.
Rarely people move and do so only in case of massive events, partly because in India there is a lack of tournaments and important people, partially because those who watch eSport are used to enjoy them like this. To give an example the last Gamerji event, an Indian League of Gamers tournament, had an average audience of 4000 people.
For this reason, the sector is a sort of sizeable submerged niche: on the one hand, it can’t find what it wants away from the Internet, on the other hand when it hardly uses it. That’s why it will be almost impossible to see eSports on a generalist television: nobody has the courage to invest in them, considering how difficult it is to quantify their return.
Moreover, the industry is moving so fast and requires so much attention that any traditional network would inevitably remain at the pole.
Yet out there there are a lot of Indian guys who rather than go to the stadium, watch a movie or watch a TV series get excited about a Call of Duty match or a League of Legends tournament taking place thousands of miles from home and waiting for the explosion of an industry that in our borders too long hatching like a sleeping volcano.