With the recent booming of esports events across India, everyone can see how fast the industry is growing in the nation. Esports or competitive gaming has played an integral part in many cultural events especially large conventions. We even have some events exclusively for Esports like the Mountain Dew Arena 2019 or the Cobx Masters earlier this April in Mumbai. With several LAKH Rupees on the line, esports has offered a decent amount of money for professional players.
However, how much has the prize money for esports in India grown? Let’s take a look at the number and figures
According to Afkgaming.com, the total amount of prize money for esports in India in 2017 was roughly ₹2.05 Crore or $288.3K.
In 2018, esports saw another massive 86% growth to reach ₹3.8 Crore or $535k. Interestingly, most money came from the two most popular esports games in India: Dota 2 and CS:GO. The two Valve games accounted for 61% of the total prize money for esports in India.
A significant growth in 2019
2019 has seen a massive growth in the total prize money paid out in esports tournaments. Just by August 2019, the total number of money from esports tournament has more than doubled that of 2018. Interestingly, 30% of the money came from PUBG Mobile – the recent craze in India. There have been hundreds of online and offline PUBG Mobile tournaments across the country. And indeed, the money they offered was not half bad.
In fact, if we exclude the ESL One: Mumbai Dota 2 event from the list – which is not actually exclusively for Indians or hosted by Indian organizations – everything would be much different. The $300,000 tournament contributed a large part to the total prize money Dota 2 contributed to the chart. Without that much money on the list, PUBG Mobile would have contributed 40% to the total prize money for the Indian Esports scene.
Moreover, another big tournament contributing a large part to Dota 2 and CS:GO was the Cobx Masters in April. With $100,000 for the Dota 2 tournament and ₹0.7 Crore (roughly $101,000), the two Cobx Masters tournaments were the second biggest esports tournament in India.
Mobile gaming has dominated the scene
Though Dota 2 and CS:GO contributed a large part to the esports scene in India, the actual king of the nation is mobile games. PUBG Mobile has taken the Indian market by storm with its addictive Battle Royale gameplay. The mobile title has more fans than any esports or mobile game out there. the PUBG Mobile Summer Split Indian Qualifiers or the PMCO has recorded a staggering number of 11,000 teams.
With that many teams constantly grinding and improving, the Indian PUBG Mobile scene has achieved decent success. Recently, in an international PUBG Mobile event - The Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile Open in Milan, Entity Gaming finished #4 and claimed €10,000 (₹7.7 LAKH) for the Indian scene. It may take time but the Indian PUBG Mobile scene is growing fast and will reach the international level in no time.
Other esports mobile games like Brawlstars and Clash Royale were also the favorites and featured in the ESL competition – on par with CS:GO and Dota 2. This has clearly shown how much the Indian market favors mobile games especially ones that require short playtime with surprise factors.