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Esports and India – can the two win big?

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Esports and India - can the two win big?Reading Time: 4 minutes

For 47 days in India’s summer heat last year, eight IPL teams played a 60-game tournament, culminating in a one-run win for Mumbai Indians. More than 25 players, along with several coaches and members of Mumbai’s staff were rewarded with USD 2.4 million. Two months later, in Seattle, Team Liquid, comprising five members, bagged USD 10.86 million of the USD 24.7 million prize money for winning an 11-day Dota 2 tournament called The International.

The rise of the esports industry – currently valued at USD 700 million – has been compared to the exponential growth of cryptocurrencies, but without the unpredictability of the bull and bear trends that govern financial markets. Predictably, the subsequent influx of capital from external investors – Alibaba, Intel, The Walt Disney Company*, The Kraft Group, Hewlett Packard and even Jennifer Lopez – has helped sustain its growth. The latest boost is the IOC recognizing it as a ‘competitive sport’, the first of many steps towards seeing esports in the Olympics.

More than half of the esports markets is in China, USA and South Korea; the scale of awareness, and inevitable growth in India, though, hasn’t yet materialised, with the absence of widespread high-speed internet connectivity the most influential of several reasons. Yet Lokesh Suji, director of the Esports Federation of India – India’s esports governing body – is optimistic on the sport’s prospects.

India’s world ranking (in the IeSF esports championship) jumped from 29 to 20 last year,” he told ESPN. “It’s estimated that India has around 120 million online gamers. This population will cross 300 million by 2021. From a PC and console perspective, the spread is largely concentrated to metro and B-category cities, but for mobile, the other cities have a decent share. From a gender perspective, we have 32% females, who are active on consoles. The serious esports community in India is pegged around 10 million.”

The typical gamer is between 18-25 years old and picks up esports in college. Game strategies are developed during classes, with breaks spent executing them. A few years ago, gamers had a hobby, but not a career opportunity. That is what’s changing. In 2017, for example, in all tournaments combined, more than INR 2 crores (USD 308,000 approx) was paid out as prize money for competitions in India.

Considering the incipient stage esports is in India, growth percentages, rather than actual prize pools, are a fairer measure of growth in a developing market. The prize money for Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), two of the most popular global games, increased by 40 and 46% respectively in the past 12 months. According to data from AFKgaming, Dota 2’s prize pay-out rose from INR 40 lakhs (USD 67,000) in 2016 to INR 67 lakhs (USD 103,000) in 2017. CS:GO’s increased from INR 36 lakhs (USD 56,000) to INR 68 lakhs (USD 105,000) in the same period.

But Suji advises caution. “We have always counselled the budding talent that studies and education comes first in a country like India,” he says. “Don’t compromise on your studies to follow your passion, India has not yet reached the level of cricket. It will take time. This time will be less in comparison to what cricket took to reach where it is today. India has the largest youth population in the world. Esports is culturally more relevant to current and upcoming generations.

There is much work to be done, Suji concedes. “Esports needs to be taken to the grassroots levels. Esports cafes will create awareness and act as a training ground for budding Indian talent and will help identifying the best athletes. With regards to counselling budding talent.. at times we even get calls from parents of the youngsters who want to take up esports as a career. ESFI is working with colleges and schools to get esports included as part of their sports and cultural fests.

No sport has gained popularity without spectators and growing fan bases. Esports has adopted a franchise-based model, with gamers from several countries comprising a team. According to a report by Newzoo, a company that tracks intelligence in the digital gaming industry, esports could have 586 million participants by 2020, with more than half coming from the Asia-Pacific region. Still in its nascent stage, India will make up just a fraction of that viewership base.

The size and scale of opportunity is growing, but it’s at a nascent stage,” Rajan Navani, Managing Director of JetSyntheses, a digital gaming company, tells ESPN. “Esports moving into the Olympics is going to give a big fillip to a country like India. The market will really grow when we have esports champions coming to India.

The best parallel is China, 10-15 years ago, if you look at digital gaming and esports, it was nothing. But now, it’s the largest market. India will have the same growth as China, but not in the same way. Broadband reached the homes of people, it changed the esports industry. When you have high bandwidth, you have great connectivity. And digital payments is a relatively new phenomenon.

In India, investments are flooding in, albeit primarily for millennial engagement as opposed to the traditional esports method of competitions played in front of specially-designed computers. “Gaming is the digital gateway to consumers in India. Esports cannot be developed in isolation, it needs an ecosystem of payments, players, competitiveness,” Navani says. “Many people don’t have the means. In India, there is a small group that pays and a larger group that engages.

That approach to esports in a developing market seems to be working. Walking into a recent digital gaming show on the outskirts of Bengaluru, it feels like a chance for gamers to tour the chocolate factory. Stalls covering the length of a football field allow trials of different genres of games. The characters of several RPG’s (Role Playing Games) have come to life through costumes. Shirts in bright colours with technical jargons, such as ‘Gamers don’t die, we respawn’ feel nostalgic.

But there only seem to be young faces around, another reminder of the distinct industry demographic. Parents lag behind their children, either unexcited or oblivious. Blaring, echoing music adds to the ambience. It’s loud, much like how esports has been in the last few years.

Like any other sport, the industry has had to maintain its integrity by effectively managing hurdles such as performance-enhancing drugs and match-fixing. Like any other sport, it is evolving and maturing quickly to a global audience. But with a unique niche, exponential growth and its ability to attract more, it is unlike any other sport.

 

Source: espn.in


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Ieva Andersone (Sorainen Latvia) will add her insights about the Latvian gambling industry at MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit 2019

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The online and land-based gambling industry is well connected in the Baltics and it has been just lately that region has been quoted in several industry media outlets. Especially given the fact that the City Council of Riga, Latvia’s capital, is going to close down all gaming venues in the city, including the downtown and neighborhoods.

A decree had been ordered by Nils Usakovs from the municipality’s Legal Affairs Department and Urban Development Department and the plan is to revoke all gaming venues’ licenses in Riga, except for those given to four- and five-star hotels.

According to the Law on Gambling in Latvia, if the operation of gambling on the particular premises creates a substantial impairment to the interests of the State and the residents of the respective administrative area, the city or the local government council is entitled to terminate the permit to establish a casino, a gambling hall, a bingo hall, a betting or a wagering shop and to operate the respective type of gambling on the particular premises, by means of a reasoned decision.

During the second edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, which will take place on the 9th of May at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel, experts of the industry and regulators will debate the recent actions and will also brief the attending delegates about the regulations in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Denmark and the DACH region.

Register here or View the Agenda!

Ieva Andersone, Commercial & Regulatory Practice Group partner at Sorainen Latvia, will join the “Focus on the Latvian and Estonian gambling industry” compliance panel discussion, which is consisted by 2 regulators (Signe Birne – Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection of the Republic of Latvia, Taivo Põrk – Ministry of Finance, Estonia) and industry representatives from the region.

About Ieva Andersone

Ieva Andersone is a partner at Sorainen, responsible for Commercial & Regulatory practice group in Latvia, including trade regulation, intellectual property & IT law, privacy and data protection, consumer law, competition law, and energy. During her practice, Ieva has made a special focus to clients from Pharmaceutical & Life sciences, and well as Technology & Media sectors, including the gaming industry.

Ieva is a frequent speaker on data protection, privacy, regulatory and compliance matters, and she also regularly provides pro bono assistance for companies in creative industries and for creative personalities.

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the Baltic and Scandinavian region via the MARE BALTICUM Gaming platform which has been launched in 2018 and is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the Baltic and Scandinavian region on a yearly base.

Register here or View the Agenda!


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Ieva Andersone (Sorainen Latvia) will add her insights about the Latvian gambling industry at MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit 2019

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Red Tiger signs SuprNation deal

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Games portfolio now available across operator’s brands

 

Award-winning supplier Red Tiger has signed a deal with SuprNation to integrate its games with the Nordic operator’s casino brands, including Duelz.

Red Tiger’s portfolio, including hit titles Thor’s Lightning and Pirates’ Plenty, will be made available to players of the gamification-focused website.

Gavin Hamilton, CEO of Red Tiger, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with SuprNation, which operate a number of stellar casino brands.

“Their commitment to innovative features and gamification in particular is something that is very close to our own ethos, and we are looking forward to working with them.”

Henric Andersson, COO and Co-founder of SuprNation, said “Red Tiger offers some of the best products available, and we are delighted to be able to add them to our burgeoning offering.

“We are super excited to be welcoming them across our brands and to roll out their exciting games over a long and fruitful partnership.”

 

 

About Red Tiger:

Red Tiger is a young and dynamic casino games supplier that creates top-performing HTML5 slots and table games. It also offers a bespoke progressive jackpot system, a Smart Spins bonus management application, and its own Tournaments gamification feature to enhance the user experience. Founded in late 2014 by a group of industry veterans from major B2B and B2C gaming brands, the company is growing fast and is now served by over 200 full time staff including mathematicians, graphic designers, software developers, audio engineers, gambling experts, QAs, account managers and secret magicians; all entirely dedicated to continuously improving the slots player experience. Learn more at: www.redtiger.com


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Red Tiger signs SuprNation deal

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Patagonia Entertainment and Iforium sign content partnership

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Patagonia Entertainment has signed a content agreement with Iforium, a leading eGaming software development company focused on providing the next generation of flexible gaming solutions.

The deal will see Patagonia Entertainment integrate its library of proprietary casino content which has been recently certified by international game-testing laboratory, BMM Testlabs. Among the games being added to Iforium’s platform are the hugely popular Super Pachinko and Super Flex Bingo. Patagonia is currently certified for Colombia, Mexico and the Philippines market and is currently working on certifying its games portfolio for the regulated Spanish, Portuguese& UK e-Gaming markets between others.

Patagonia’s content will join Iforium’s innovative Gameflex™ casino aggregation platform, which combines over 8,000+ desktop and mobile gaming titles from all the leading content providers

Patagonia Entertainment’s Global Business Development Manager Victor Arias said: “Iforium is an award-winning eGaming company with cracking casino content. We’re proud to call them a partner and we’re excited about working together as we continue to grow our businesses.”

Phil Parry, Iforium CEO, said: “I am delighted to confirm Iforium’s partnership with Patagonia Entertainment. The addition of Patagonia is another important content differentiator for our Gameflex platform and one which will support our expansion into new markets. I look forward to building our partnership with the excellent team at Patagonia and exploring new opportunities together.”

 

About Patagonia Entertainment:

Patagonia Entertainment is an innovative technology developing company with an Omni-Channel platform and a rich history in producing outstanding Video Bingo games for the e-gaming industry. Video Bingo is a hybrid between Bingo and Slot games. The company has managed to become one of the most popular game developers in the Latin American market and are rapidly growing into other markets. More information about Patagonia Entertainment can be found at www.patagonia-e.com.

About Iforium:

Founded in 2006 and based in the Isle of Man, Iforium is a multi-award winning B2B software development company focused on providing next generation gaming solutions.

Gameflex™ is Iforium’s innovative casino aggregation and seamless bonusing platform. It combines over 8,000 games from 100+ gaming vendors and is available to multi-channel operators via a single and seamless API integration. Iforium are the proud recipient of the EGR B2B IT Supplier of the Year Award and CEEGC Awards 2017 & 2018. Iforium are licenced and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and by ONJN in Romania. For more information please visit www.iforium.com


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Patagonia Entertainment and Iforium sign content partnership

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