EThe Indian government took a significant step in the recognition of Esports, with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports including it in the category of “multisports events.” The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) also added a section related to “matters relating to online gaming.”
The gaming and Esports industry of India reacted to the news, with many lauding the move by the government.
“Great news for us to begin the New Year. We have been constantly working on establishing the difference between Esports and iGaming, and finally, our efforts have been fulfilled,” said the director of Esports Federation of India and vice president of the Asian Esports Federation, Lokesh Suji. “We welcome this announcement by our government under the leadership of Hon’ble PM Modi ji, which will open new avenues to pour in more investment opportunities in this booming industry. From now onwards, we will have to build the proper infrastructure, training facilities and coaching for our young Efsports athletes. Only a short time until we see Esports being placed in the same league as cricket, football, basketball, etc. and having similar fan power, scale, and craze.
“With the latest announcement and India recently competing for medals at the inaugural Esports Asian Games, people are shaking off the misconceptions linked with Esports as a passion or career option. The year 2023 beholds greater opportunities for Esports and we are anticipating more favorable developments, only making it bigger. It surely has been a great year for Indian Esports.”
“Today can be said to be the greatest day in Indian Eports history,” added Rohit Jagasia, who is the founder and CEO of Revenant Esports. “The collective efforts of the entire gaming fraternity along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and sports have finally reaped its rewards. We can now proudly consider Esports a legitimate sport in India. This revolutionary decision will not only transform the country’s gaming landscape in terms of improved infrastructure, funding, exposure and providing education about the sector but will also put India on the global Esports map as a force to be reckoned with. The year 2023 is undoubtedly going to be the start of the country’s golden era in Esports and with the Asian Games as well as the Olympic Esports Week also set to take place soon, there is a lot of success expected to be in store for the entire community.”
Animesh Agarwal, who is an ex-Esports athlete and the founder and CEO of 8bit Creatives said: “The entire Esports fraternity in India will be rejoicing with this welcome news which has certainly been a result of the gaming community’s collective efforts spanning over the last few years. Esports have already been considered as a medal sport in the Olympics and Asian games and this news will further boost the sport in the country as it was long overdue. The industry inclusive of developers, players, and creators as a whole is growing at a fast pace and to come full-circle this recognition will be very thriving for the industry. It presents a clean slate for gamers and proves to neigh-sayers that Esports is, in fact, a serious sport that deserves to be recognised for its skilled and hard-working players who will be competing against some of the world’s best players and put India on the map of professional gaming countries.
“At 8Bit Creatives & S8UL, this is a defining moment for us. The future of Indian Esports holds great things from our side. We are committed to nurturing and supporting more and more Esports players in our country, starting from ground zero with a refined vision of putting India on the map globally.”
“While this is a great first step by the Indian government, it’s important to take cognizance of the nuances that could emerge from this statement. The insertion of ‘Esports as part of multi-sports events’ needs to be closely examined so as not to exclude popular esport titles that are not directly linked to a traditional sport. Games like Valorant, Dota 2 and those created by Indian game developers should also have the opportunity to be classified as Esports, and their players as athletes,” said Akshat Rathee, co-founder and managing director of Nodwin Gaming.
“We welcome the Government of India’s decision to recognise Esports as a component of multi-sport events and bring online gaming under the remit of MeitY,” said Anirudh Pandita, founder of Indian game streaming company Loco. “With this legislation, the government has underlined the importance of building a vibrant gaming ecosystem and we believe that if the industry works in resonance with the government, then India will become a global gaming superpower soon. In the past two years, Loco has been the largest investor in India’s game streaming and Esports ecosystem and in 2023, we look forward to continuing our investment in domestic gaming technology and content initiatives.”
“The Government of India’s recognition of Esports as a part of multi-sports events is an extremely welcome move and comes at an opportune time for the industry which has already seen rapid growth in 2022 on the back of multiple domestic and international tournaments where Indian teams have proven their mettle,” said Piyush Kumar, founder and CEO of game streaming and Esports platform Rooter. “We expect to see many more Indian teams continue the momentum and bring global laurels. As Esports goes mainstream, effective policy push will also see it grow at the grassroots stages, with many schools and colleges adopting Esports at competitive and representative levels. It will also give a fillip to the whole ecosystem of game publishers, streaming platforms, Esports organizers and teams, creating more opportunities for employment growth in the space. We are hoping that with more government support to the space, 2023 will be a truly breakout year for the Indian Esports ecosystem.”