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2026 Aichi-Nagoya Asian Games preparations to fuel India's Esports boom in 2024

Published at :January 6, 2024 at 5:06 PM
Modified at :January 13, 2024 at 11:58 PM
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Esports debuted as medal Sport in 2022 Asian Games

With the meteoric rise of the Indian Esports industry last year, the sector is poised for rapid growth in 2024, acquiring a substantial player base and generating significant revenue.

Esports has been confirmed as a medal sport for the Aichi-Nagoya Asian Games 2026, prompting the country’s video gaming community to begin preparations to seize the opportunity to represent their nation on the global stage.

Mr. Lokesh Suji, Director of the Esports Federation of India and vice president of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF) highlighted the importance of the presence of Esports at the prestigious tournament by stating, “Building on the debut of Esports as a medal sport at the Asian Games 2022, its continued inclusion in this prestigious tournament stands as a testament to the growing recognition of Esports as a mainstream sport on the international stage.

“ESFI is committed to contributing to a thriving Esports ecosystem in the lead-up to the Aichi-Nagoya Asian Games. Over the next two years, our focus is to assemble the best possible Indian contingent starting right from meticulously organizing national qualifiers to ensure a fair qualification process for our athletes.

“We will leverage our partnerships with Hama and FITGMR to provide top-notch gaming gear and coaching to the contingent to make sure that they are well-prepared to not just compete but bring laurels for the country.”

“Furthermore, the trend of increasing participation and support from various states that are embracing Esports as a legitimate sporting discipline is set to continue in the upcoming year. This positive momentum, marked by the establishment of dedicated academies, integration of Esports into educational curriculums, organization of tournaments, and forging partnerships for the overall development of video gaming, will be instrumental in expanding the footprint of Esports within the sporting landscape,” added Mr. Lokesh Suji.

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The trend of increasing participation and support from various states, including the establishment of dedicated academies and integration of Esports into educational curriculums, is set to continue. This positive momentum will contribute to the expansion of Esports within the sporting landscape.

Reflecting on the role of strategic collaborations and make-in-India games in fostering the sector’s growth, Mr. Animesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO of 8Bit Creatives and Co-Founder of S8UL commented, “As we enter 2024, strategic collaborations within the gaming industry are poised to play a pivotal role in fostering the growth of the overall sector.

“We anticipate a significant surge in India-specific games, similar to Indus Battle Royale, which seamlessly integrates the rich and diverse culture of our nation into the gaming world. These titles will offer gamers additional tournaments to compete in and thrive within a homegrown title.

“Furthermore, we will also witness the implementation of Esports programs, degrees, and scholarships by educational institutions to raise awareness about gaming in the country. This initiative aligns with the government’s promotion of gaming in the country and will empower aspiring gamers at the grassroots level.”

Technological trends, including AI integration, and Metaverse gaming, alongside access to international resources and strategic brand collaborations, will empower a new generation of gaming creators.

Naman Mathur (Mortal), Co-founder of S8UL, emphasized increased brand involvement in gaming and highlighted collaborations between top brands and gaming entities by saying, “We see that brands who have been invested in gaming for a long time have now deepened their commitment, in the shape of more long-term & close to business collaborations.

An example is MG’s Comet, a car launched for gamers earlier in the year, where I was personally involved in the launch. IQOO partnering with Team Soul is another example of a top mobile device brand deepening their immersion in the gaming world.

Additionally, artificial intelligence enhancements and Metaverse Gaming trends will open doors to a future where virtual worlds seamlessly blend with gaming narratives. Merging these technological trends with the surge of Esports tournaments with higher prize pools promises a year full of exciting opportunities for gamers and creators alike.”

According to the recently published “Leveling up: State of India Gaming FY’23” report by Lumikai in collaboration with Google, India’s gaming market hit $3.1 Bn in FY23 and is projected to reach $7.5 Bn by FY28, growing at a CAGR of 20%.

The Indian esports sector is set to experience significant growth in the upcoming year.

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