Content Creators or Esports Teams: The Identity Crisis in Indian Esports

In a recent episode of AFK Gaming’s “Men with Culture” podcast, Nimish Raut, the Global Head of Esports: Partnerships & Special Projects at Nodwin Gaming, provided valuable insights into the realm of streamers and content organizations in the context of Indian esports. Joining the discussion were AFK Gaming’s co-founder Nishant Patel and Philips’ Category Marketing Manager Manavjeet Singh Chandok.

The Role of Streamers and Content Organizations in India’s Esports Landscape

During the conversation, Nimish Raut, who is also known for his time at Fnatic, shed light on an interesting aspect of the Indian esports industry. “ A lot of team owners openly talk about content and streamers and how they are surviving with streaming money, some of them do have a strategy for esports, but none of them are willing to answer the hard question. Are you an esports team or a content team?” he said. Nimish went on to reveal that even the two biggest teams in India, despite having an esports division, only generate about 3-5% of their revenue from it. Instead, a significant portion of their earnings comes from streamers associated with their brands.

It’s a difficult skill to have, but a brainless skill to have,” Nimish stated, referring to the ability to create monetizable content as a streamer. He observed that, in the case of many Indian streamers, their content often lacks the necessary elements for effective monetization. “By monetization, I am not talking about unboxing videos or people paying you for a shoutout, I am talking about when there is a really well ad from money coming in for the views that you have and the fact that you are a credible streamer, whom I want to advertise on your platform”.

Furthermore, Nimish expressed his concerns about the state of endorsements in the Indian market. He described it as an extremely peculiar and unconventional market where the concept of endorsements has taken on an odd form.

Manavjeet chimed in, sharing his perspective on esports. He primarily saw it as another platform to run media advertisements. This viewpoint aligns with the growing trend of brands recognizing the vast potential of reaching a highly engaged audience through esports and gaming content. He said, “What might work for us now might not work for us four-five months later” and highlighted that the Indian Esports landscape was growing at a good pace.

These insights showcase the dynamic nature of the esports industry in India, where content creation and streamers play a crucial role in revenue generation. As the market continues to grow and evolve, it will be interesting to see how streamers, content organizations, and brands adapt to seize the opportunities presented by this highly engaged audience.