The Indian government has officially recognized eSports in the country. Now, esports will be included as a part of the “multisport event” category in India under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and sports. There is also a section called “matters relating to online gaming” added under MeitY.
Under the Cabinet Secretariat, eSports was added under the sub-heading Department of Sports under, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. This was a notification sent on December 23rd, 2022, and it was marked on memo No: S.O.6062(E). The Indian gaming industry hasn’t been seeing a lot of progress in terms of taking things to the next level in terms of this becoming a sport, but finally, with this move, it can attract both investments as well as sports enthusiasts who want to look at eSports as a career option.
“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. 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 esports 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,” said Lokesh Suji, director, Esports Federation of India and vice-President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF), in a statement.
Commenting on the development, Rohit Jagasia, founder and CEO of Revenant Esports said that, “Today can be said to be the greatest day in Indian Esports history. The collective efforts of the entire gaming fraternity along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and sports have finally reaped its rewards. 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.”
“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,” said Animesh Agarwal, founder and CEO, 8bit Creatives and an ex-esports athlete, in the statement.
Salone Sehgal, Founding General Partner, Lumikai: ” Esports being recognised as an official sport is a milestone event in making the gaming industry mainstream. With 507M gamers, India is emerging as a key gaming market in the world. Esports streaming watch hours already rival that of traditional sport. The further recognition of athletic achievement will result in an expansion of the gaming community, emergence of viable career options, bonafide support to Esports players, higher brand/ media engagement alongside the broader acceptance of gaming as an industry. Lumikai is heartened to see our research and recommendations assist in shaping policy and regulation. We expect the industry to make even greater strides in 2023. ”
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