Esports are becoming bigger and bigger with more tournaments with millions of dollars at stake, media coverage on both internet and tradition news on TV. They are even lurking their way into the league event of other sports such as SEA Games or Asian Games. Indian even won its first Esports medal ever at the Asian Games 2018, a bronze medal in Hearthstone.
And yet, the country still doesn't have an official association for esports or official national leagues to pick out the best players to represent India on international stages. Parents and older people are still having a really bad impression on video games and they won't accept it as a real sport.
Are esports real sports?
While esports isn't as physically demanding as sports such as running, football,... They require players to have extreme reflection time and precision that they need to train so their arm can execute perfectly. Most esports players have to train more than 70 hours a week with a strict diet and schedule to keep themselves healthy just like in any other sports.
According to a study by the University of Cologne in September last year, professional esports players made more movements with their mouse and keyboard than a normal person, four-time as much to be precise. The stress level that they need to endure can be compared to an F1 car driver and their pulse can reach up to 160-180 BPM (beats per minute), as much as people in a marathon.
Many esports titles also require lots of coordinations from teammates like normal sports, DOTA 2 League of Legend, PUBG, CS:GO to name a few.
Esports is a huge industry
The esports industry worthed 1.1 billion dollars in 2019 according to a report of NewZoo. The number of people who watch esports grew to 450 million in 2019 with a 15% annual growth rate. Games like League of Legend, Fornite, DOTA 2 has millions of people playing for hours every day consistently. At this rate, esports will be surpassing the $1.5 billion mark in 2023.
Esports tournaments also featured millions of dollars on the line for the winner. The Internation 9, the biggest DOTA 2 tournament of 2019, got a giant prize pool of $34 million, breaking all the records in the history of esports.
Indian's attitude toward gaming
India is adapting very slowly to this new trend of esports. Most esports activities in the country were held and funded by different organizations or the gaming community itself. With the growth of technology, most people can now easily afford a computer or even just a smartphone to play games. India has the second-highest number of players in the world, only behind China, all thanks to smartphones. But there are lots of underlying problems that are hindering the growth of esports in India.
Players have to struggle with their own problems such as getting visas when competing aboard or getting a salary to purchase their basic needs. Without support from the government, India has a really low chance when competing against players from other countries, regions in the world. The esports scene will be plagued with match-fixing and betting as players will be trying to make a living out of their games.
Even the Olympics is announcing esports as a part of the 2024 Paris Olympics. If the government can pay just a little bit more attention on esports, India might even stand a chance to get a medal in the future.