Yash Pariani is the Founder and CEO of Indian Gaming League (IGL), India’s first professional online and offline gaming platform.
Agency Reporter – How is IGL contributing to the esports ecosystem in India?
Indian Gaming League is a platform that encourages the complete Indian Gaming Community to connect and grow. We host daily tournaments across a variety of eSport games to encourage and grow the gaming community as a whole rather than focusing on the commercial games. Our prize pools aim towards motivating the players to continue their professional careers while it is also an entry for the upcoming players in the competitive gaming industry
AR – Where does India stand as compared to the rest of the world as far as gaming and Esports are concerned?
The origin of eSports was PC gaming. A quality PC gaming setup can be quite heavy on the buyer’s pocket. In India, due to most of the players not able to afford a quality setup, the gaming industry started developing much later the European countries, or USA and other South Asian countries.
This is one major reason why the gaming industry lacks behind the western world. But with the development of mobile gaming, the growth of Indian Gaming has skyrocketed. In 2019, around 440 million gamers were a part of the online gaming industry with a revenue of about a Billion Dollars generated in the following year.
AR – Does the Indian esports market have something which other countries lack or Vice-versa ?
Due to slower growth in the initial years, the gaming industry in India isn’t at par with the West. Viewership is what India lacks compared to a few countries. Since the number of players has increased over 200% in the past 5 years, the growth in the viewership is soon to follow
Whereas, if you talk about the other countries in the Indian Subcontinent, the online gaming industry is still at its roots. We on IGL encourage all such users to compete against the players to have competed at a Global level
AR – If we compare eSports to traditional sports, how many parallelisms could you draw? Are there any important differences?
Traditional sports require your physical presence. 50 years ago while technology was still developing, it was easier for a person to play a traditional sport which led to a growth in the players as well as viewers for them. But with the spike in technological innovations, gaming has become more convenient recently, it could even surpass the traditional sports industry in the upcoming future in terms of players and viewership both.
Dedication and practice is something that is required in the traditional as well as eSports, a daily practice of 6-8 hours ensures that too Esport players are able to reach the top spots.
AR – Given the recent surge in popularity of Esports pre and post COVID and as observed there’s been 50% increase in online gaming from March and April, what is the level of growth and competition that you foresee in the near future?
In the past few months, a number of Tech Conglomerates have entered this segment. The competition is sure to rise but the entry of such players would accelerate the growth of the industry as a whole.
It’s not just the MNCs that have entered the market but also several smaller local gaming communities trying to make their place in. IGL currently does tie-ups with such communities to promote their growth.
AR – Are most gamers still concentrated in the metros or is that now changing? What about the presence of gamers in the Tier2 and Tier 3 cities?
With the growth of the mobile gaming industry, eSports have been much accessible in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. PC and Console gaming is highly focused on the Tier 1 cities.
AR – What are the main aspects that define a good gaming community?
Fair gaming and healthy competition are the essentials of a good gaming community
AR – And what is the GENDER ratio in the community? Do male and female athletes compete together or they have gender specific tournaments ?
Currently, we might be seeing a ratio of 2:8 in the online gaming industry. But 10 years ago, gaming was still a far fetched concept for most of the young females, we see a steep upward trend and encourage more female gamers. Our player of the month in March was a female who even took down some of the best COD mobile players in the Country.