The rising popularity of eSports during the Quarantine period

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  • Although esports is still at a nascent stage, it is already showing remarkable potential for growth especially as the most convenient leisure option during this lockdown, writes Mazhar Nadiadwala, Managing Director, Dome Entertainment.
  • He further shares why the demand for esports will grow in this lockdown.

With the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, the world has come to a standstill. Industries across the globe have witnessed crippling effects across sectors. India is no different. With the lockdown imposed by the Government, most of the companies have either resorted to work from home or other extreme measures for survival. However, right now even if the situation gets tough, staying indoors is the need of the hour to combat this deadly virus.

While we have seen downfalls, there has also been a surge in certain sectors like virtual events, OTT consumption, music streaming platforms and eSports. With outdoor sports out of question, eSports (or electronic sports) has seen a tremendous demand mainly amongst the millennial audiences. From requiring specialised equipment and gear, gaming today has become more accessible, with the popularity of mobile games like Player Unknown’s Battleground (PUBG), Fortnite, World of Tanks, and Clash of Clans, among others. Consumers can get to play their favourite games without having to step out of their homes, thus adhering to the hard and fast rule of social distancing and quarantine.

In India, although eSports is still at a nascent stage, it is already showing remarkable potential for growth especially as the most convenient leisure option during this lockdown. Though the biggest consumer in the online gaming industry is China with a market share of 32.86%, currently India stands at a global rank of 17. An approximate 600 million people in the country are expected to become active gamers by 2020, with the industry’s value reaching as high as USD 1.5 billion in 2019 from a value of USD 253.6 million in 2014. The current scenario has also catapulted demand for this segment leading to the birth and development of many eSports brands launching interactive tournaments and matches to keep their audience engaged.

I believe that the sector is at an all-time high in India and will continue to only grow its position even post this pandemic. This is mainly because it helps you connect or bond with your friends and family from the comfort of your home. With restrictions on outdoor movement, eSports is enabling users to break from the mundane, try a gamut of sports in the virtual space, is cost effective and allows you the flexibility to play at your own desired time from the comfort of your homes while helping you interact with your friends even during the pandemic.

Considering these trying times and in their effort to keep the consumers indoors, it is commendable how these eSports brands are innovating on-the-go and are doing their bit to keep millenials stimulated and entertained. Maintaining mental wellness during these times is as critical as physical wellness and eSports has a lion’s share in contributing to the same, by ensuring that consumers are engaged at all times.

– Mazhar Nadiadwala, Managing Director, Dome Entertainment

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