The Esports industry is expected to surpass the biggest sports franchise in India in terms of prize money with a total prize pool of Rs 100 crore by FY25, according to a report by EY. Yet the sport is shrouded in misconceptions and misnomers due to lack of clarity, awareness as well as government recognition. “There has to be recognition from the government because infrastructure for Esports is ready,” Pranav Panpalia, founder, OpraahFx. He was speaking at the third edition of the India Gaming Summit 2022 held by Financial Express Digital in Delhi on Friday.
To this, Anurag Khurana, founder and CEO, Newgen Gaming, added that it is necessary for the government to officially recognise Esports as a legitimate sport and give it the same standing as other sports such as football, cricket, kabaddi, among others.
While still in its early stages, metaverse and gaming go hand-in-hand as nearly 38% of gamers in India are playing in metaverse, as per a report. These gamers fall in the age group between 10-20 years at present. For Supreet Raju, co-founder, OneRare, this is because the metaverse in gaming is more immersive, interactive and brings assorted tools to any gamer. “When it comes to gaming and metaverse, it is more immersive, interactive and brings assorted tools to any gamer. People here will be accepting it faster,” she added.
Completing the trifecta, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which plays a big role in both gaming community and in metaverse, is estimated to emerge as an important and necessary revenue stream for the gaming community. NFT is a way for Esports players to monetise, Yash Bhanushali, founder, Orangutan, opined. “We are on the verge where NFT will be the main revenue stream for Esports players,” he highlighted.
Not just for players, metaverse has also started seeing interest from brands and advertisers with more users coming onboard. “We have seen new brands opting for this space by integrating 3D versions of themselves on the metaverse platforms,” Farheen Ahmad, founder and CEO, Interality, claimed.
In terms of investment, gaming has seen a steady increase in investments year-on-year, thereby boosting and proving wings to the sunrise sector. “Gaming in India is seeing a lot of interest from investors in the last two years. The ability to create liquidity is much higher in the sector,” Salone Sehgal, founding general partner, Lumikai Fund, stated.