Nazara Games to invest USD 20 million to develop an eSports ecosystem in India (February 2017)
Nazara Games to launch a professional eSports league in India
Mumbai, February 14th, 2017: India’s premier mobile game publishing company Nazara Games announces the launch of an eSports league in India today. Being a key investor in the gaming ecosystem in India and internationally, Nazara Games plans to invest approx. Rs 136 crore (20 million USD) to develop the Indian eSports ecosystem over the next 5 years. The eSports venture will be a new company which is going to be a 100% owned subsidiary company of Nazara Technologies Pvt Ltd.
Nazara Games recently reported a revenue of Rs 220 crore and 40% CAGR over last 4 years and has demonstrated its accomplishments in the fast growing mobile gaming market and is now committed to build the most vibrant and all-encompassing ecosystem for eSports in India, which can produce Indian teams capable of winning in global eSports competitions across different games.
According to Nitish Mittersain, Founder & MD, Nazara Games,“eSports has become a cultural phenomenon in the last few years. Countries in Europe, Korea, China and US have seen massive growth in the number of players and spectators. Asia-Pacific accounts for 44% of the audience and is the fastest growing region globally. Given, improving internet connectivity in India today, launching an eSports league seemed the perfect way to reach out to the large group of eSports enthusiasts in India.”
According to Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Games, “We are excited to provide Indian eSports enthusiasts with a solid and player/community orientated eSports ecosystem, in which players can thrive, improve their skills and become top competitors at an international level. The eSports league will not only be great for Indian players but also for fans. This platform will provide very extensive and exciting coverage of the Indian eSports landscape and will allow fans to track the careers and professional achievements of their eSport idols on a daily basis.”
He further adds, “Based and styled on successful eSports formats that have been applied internationally, Nazara is investing in building a wider eSports ecosystem and will be the first project of its genre and scale in India. Focusing on content, it will work around three major pillars; an online content platform dedicated to the eSports community; a professional league; and a network of pro teams entirely supported by the company. The league will provide Indian eSports fans with live WebTV content, guides, forums, online tournaments and of course, extensive and professional coverage of the eSports scene.”
The league will have 2 seasons per year and will feature 6 teams that will be selected through open and free online qualifier tournaments. The league will include games such as DotA2, CS:GO and other games which will be announced shortly. All players and teams from India are welcome to join this qualification process by following the online registration once the website has been launched. The progress of all players in the qualification tournament and their progress beyond can be tracked by the entire Indian eSports community through our live WebTV programs.
eSports made it to the dictionary in 2015 as competitive tournaments of video games, especially among professional gamers͟.” This phenomenon actually turns online gaming into a spectator sport, mimicking the experience of watching a professional sporting event. Instead of watching a physical event, spectators watch video gamers compete against each other.
MOBA (Massive Online Battle Arena) games such as League of Legends or Dota2 have done most successful in popularizing eSports though tournaments and leagues.
eSports entertains a young and desirable demographic. Its viewership reached 246 million in 2016. 54% of eSports viewers are aged 21-35. Educated, high earner and tech savvy, this audience is also predominantly male (70%). Esports fans watch eSports when they can’t play themselves but also to enjoy high level games as spectators and to improving their own gameplay.
In recent years, eSports has become a big market: worth USD 748 million, the global eSports market will reach USD 1.2 billion in 2018. (Source Newzoo)
The popularity and growth of eSports has had the effect that eSports is now functioning much more like other professional sports leagues. Players are full-time professional players that are paid salaries by teams and trained by professional coaches. Professional teams are paid by sponsors and event organizers and operate in much the same way as major international football or NBA clubs. Major eSports tournaments will attract very large audiences both at eSports event venues and online and players/teams can win multi-million dollar prize pools at the top international tournaments. Similar as in other sports, top eSports players have become internationally known celebrities and this is what the Nazara project aims to create in India too.