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The Rise Of Esports As A Career In India

The Evolution of eSports in India

In a paradigm shift within the Indian employment landscape, eSports has emerged as an unexpected yet burgeoning career option. Breaking away from traditional career paths, such as medicine or engineering, eSports has transformed from mere entertainment into a legitimate profession. This evolution is a testament to the commitment, passion, and changing dynamics of the gaming industry.

Shifting Perspectives on Gaming Careers

Not long ago, expressing a desire to become a professional gamer in India was met with skepticism and laughter. Gaming was often dismissed as frivolous entertainment, and the notion of turning it into a career seemed ludicrous. However, as the gaming industry underwent significant transformations, so did societal perceptions.

The surge in internet gaming and the advent of competitive eSports played a pivotal role in this shift. Providing a platform for players to showcase their skills and compete globally, eSports in India has transitioned into a credible career option, dispelling the notion that professional gaming is merely a pipe dream.

A Gaming Revolution in Numbers

According to a report, India witnessed approximately 421 million online gamers in 2022. Notably, this surge coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic. Forecasts predict a remarkable growth, with India expected to boast at least 700 million gamers by 2025, as reported by LiveMint.

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Rise of eSports Leagues and Tournaments

The proliferation of eSports leagues and tournaments has significantly contributed to legitimizing gaming as a profession in India. Events like the PUBG Mobile India Series, Free Fire India Championship, and ESL India Premiership have not only brought recognition to gamers but also offered substantial prize pools, attracting a growing fan base to competitive gaming.

Trailblazers in Indian eSports

Real-life success stories underscore the potential of eSports as a profession in India. Naman Mathur, widely known as ‘Mortal,’ started as a YouTube gamer and content creator, rising to prominence through live-streaming. Today, he stands as one of India’s most influential eSports influencers. Another notable figure is Ankit Panth, ‘V3nom,’ gaining recognition in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community and representing India on an international level.

Diverse Avenues for Gamer Income

Gamers today have diverse avenues to legitimize their passion and earn a living:

  1. Professional eSports Tournaments: Participation in competitions like Free Fire, Valorant, and Call of Duty offers gamers the chance to win substantial cash prizes.
  2. Content Creation on Streaming Platforms: Platforms like YouTube and Twitch enable gamers to build a fan base, generating income through ad revenue, viewer donations, sponsorships, merchandise sales, and paid memberships.
  3. Game Testing and Quality Assurance: Game testing and QA provide gamers with a consistent income stream while contributing to the development of the gaming industry.
  4. Game Development and Design: Gamers with a creative inclination can explore game creation and design, acquiring skills like programming and 3D modeling.
  5. Professional Coaching: Highly skilled gamers can offer coaching services to aspiring players, either one-on-one or in groups, through online platforms.
  6. Game Reviews and Journalism: Gamers with excellent communication skills can pursue careers in game journalism or reviewing, earning income through advertising, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.
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Challenges in Choosing Gaming as a Career

While the allure of a gaming career is undeniable, it comes with its own set of challenges:

  1. Financial Instability: Establishing oneself in the gaming industry may take time, leading to financial insecurity, especially in the early stages of the profession.
  2. Intense Competition: The gaming industry is fiercely competitive, requiring constant skill development to outperform numerous talented gamers.
  3. Physical and Mental Health Challenges: Extended gaming hours may result in health issues like carpal tunnel syndrome and eye strain, while the pressure of high-stakes tournaments can impact mental health.
  4. Regulatory and Legal Challenges: The nascent gaming industry faces regulatory and legal hurdles, including match-fixing and contractual disputes.

Gaming Communities for Aspiring Indian Gamers

For those aspiring to enter the gaming scene, several communities provide valuable insights and support:

  1. Esports India: A company dedicated to promoting eSports in India, organizing national-level tournaments and events.
  2. IndianGaming Subreddit: An active online community on Reddit where gamers discuss games, hardware, and eSports.
  3. NODWIN Gaming: A prominent eSports company in India organizing tournaments and offering insights into the gaming industry.
  4. Discord Gaming Servers: Discord hosts various gaming communities, allowing gamers to connect, find teammates, and engage in discussions.
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In conclusion, with dedication, support, and the right mindset, aspiring gamers can transform their passion for gaming into a fulfilling and financially rewarding profession.

Sources: Reddit, LiveMint, CNBC TV

By Ashbiha Fathima

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