Indian esports are on the rise

Around the World: Esports in India

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Indian Esports - Tirth Mehta, by India Today

Indian Esports – Tirth Mehta (Image credit: India Today)

India has one of the highest population densities in the world – and a surprisingly large fraction of the population plays esports. In fact, esports in India is a big deal – and it is expanding exponentially.

India was comparatively slow in entering the esports market. A large part of the population has or has had limited access to the internet and the devices needed to play esports games – but in recent years, that has been changing.

With easier access to devices like smartphones and computers, the number of esports fans and players has exploded. The Indian esports scene is bigger than ever and it has by no means reached its full potential.

An ideal set of circumstances

In order for a country to achieve the kind of growth that the Indian economy (as well as esports in India) has seen is through a set of specific circumstances – and those include things like the expansion in infrastructure there as well as the purchasing power of Indian customers. There is a strong focus on mobile games as well – while this is common in Asia, it’s even more true in India, where smartphones are still often the only Internet-connected device people have access to in their spare time.

Indian esports is not without fault – more so than many other places, India struggles with issues of cheating and hacking – however esports in India absolutely also make positive headlines – for example when Indian player Tirth Mehta from Gujarat managed to win India’s first-ever esports medal at an Asian Games event in 2018.

Indian Esports rewind 2019. (Video credit: Pin Pundri via YouTube)

A trend up

As mentioned, India is on the way up, and in a big way. Indian esports is headed straight up – the country is showing every sign of being one of the future superpowers in esports, à la China and South Korea. Already, grassroots organizations are being founded and are starting teams across various major popular games.

While not too many have found their way into major international leagues yet, a fair number of game providers have either started holding specific India-based tournaments or included India in existing regional event series. This has been actively supported by authorities – Indian esports has seen more support from official sides than most other countries can claim.

Love esports AND learning about other cultures? Check out our other pieces about how esports is treated around the world:

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Melanie Hawthorne