ESL One Mumbai 2019: Gaming as a lucrative career in India?

With mega gaming events like ESL One Mumbai finally becoming a reality, should you consider gaming as a full-time career in India?


Professional gaming is one of the most exciting career fields in today's time. It has also been accepted as a full-time career in many parts of the world where avid gamers have successfully turned passion into their dream job. However, the choice of Gaming as a lucrative career in India is highly debatable. Parents often consider game-playing as a diversion from the real-world and a waste of time for schools and colleges goers.

ESL One Mumbai 2019: Gaming as a lucrative career in India?


What most of the parents don't understand is the fact that gaming as a career isn't just about playing games and competing in mega tournaments worldwide to win a grand prize. The field is highly competitive and requires creative minds who understand the science behind graphics, computers, editing, sound and a lot more that goes into making fantasy worlds alive on our computer screens.

Gamers are highly skillful individuals with good knowledge about cutting-edge technologies

Moreover, the gaming industry is highly dynamic and one can easily lose the edge if he/she is not highly skillful and adaptive to new technology. In a nutshell, gamers are essentially creative individuals who are highly competitive, skillful beings with a sound knowledge of cutting edge technologies.

ESL One Mumbai- Start of a new era for gamers in India

ESL One Mumbai- Start of a new era for gamers in India

Having said that, gamers in India can rejoice as the advent of mega gaming tournaments has finally begun in the country. ESL One Mumbai, the first ever biggest e-sports event was just recently concluded in the financial capital of the country. 8 teams across the globe fought to win the grand pool prize of $ 300,000 (Approx. Rs. 2.10 crores). This changes a lot of things for individuals willing to pursue gaming as a long-term career in the country. India being a mere spectator of grand e-sports gaming leagues can now have in-house gaming tournaments on a global scale. Such events will give Indian gamers community a chance to witness the thrill of live gaming events, which are no less than IPL and Football leagues for their fans.

Intel fueled the ESL One Mumbai event

The credit for most of the part goes to Global chipmaker Intel, the force behind the mega gaming tournament in India. Intel was the core sponsor of the gaming championship which took place from April 19th to 21st in Mumbai's Dome NSCI, SVP Stadium. Indian Team ‘Signify' got a lifetime opportunity to compete with the international DOTA 2 team players. Signing sessions, Cosplay contests, etc. were amongst the other interesting fan activities that also took place for an entire weekend in Mumbai.

Sadly, Team Signify lost to Team TNC Predator from Philippines; however, the fact that India has now established itself in the global rank is no less than an achievement. We at GizBot were present at the ESL One Mumbai gaming league and got a chance to witness the live matches and all the excitement of the gaming event. We also met Intel spokespersons and two candidates from Indian Team Signify to talk about the first gaming event and gaming as a career in India.

Indian Team Signify fought its last match with TNC Predator from Philippines

Jeet Swifty Kundra and Balaji Blizzard Ramnarayan responded to our questions. We tried to understand from them how different is the gaming scenario in India as compared to international markets where gaming is now accepted as a viable career field. Jeet replied to our question by saying that the teams competing at E-sports leagues already have International exposure; which is lacking in the Indian gamers. Besides, more events should take place in the country to give Indian gamers a chance to learn more skills required to qualify as professional gamers.

On being asked about the team's training schedule on a regular basis, Kundra said, "We follow a proper gaming schedule. We practice as a team and as individuals and the whole day goes into training for gaming events."

Kundra also acknowledged that it's a long way to go for Indian gamers but the team has secured a place in the global ranking of Gaming teams for DOTA 2.
The other candidate- Ramnarayan replied to our question of considering gaming as a career and Indian parents being supportive in the entire process. He responded by saying that gaming is a viable option but like every other profession, gaming also demands hard work and 100 % dedication. Kundra added, "You need to make your parents realize that you can make a living out of gaming as a career to be a professional gamer in India."

Intel Spokespersons at ESL One Mumbai Gaming League

We also interacted with Intel team- Frank Soqui, VP & GM, Gaming at Intel Corporation, Lee Machan, GM at Intel, Gaming Sales at Intel Corporation and Prakash Mallaya, VP and MD, Sales and Marketing Group, Intel India at the gaming league to understand their views about gaming as a lucrative career.

The team responded by saying that gaming is 100 % viable career option and they won't mind if their own children pursue it as a full-time career. However, the Intel team also acknowledged that gaming is a big industry and is much more than just a person sitting at a computer and playing games to earn some bucks. Individuals must see the larger picture and should explore other important areas linked with the exciting gaming industry.

Frank mentioned, "Events like ESL One Mumbai give a good sneak peek into the gaming landscape. Individuals who cannot pursue gaming as a career can still be associated with the gaming industry by focusing on fields such as game development, sound setup, production unit and logistics that go into making big gaming leagues a worldwide phenomenon."

Prakash Mallaya, VP and MD, Sales and Marketing Group, Intel India added, "Gaming leagues also create employment opportunities, especially in a country like India which is a budding ground for the flourishing gaming industry. Such large scale events foster the gaming developer ecosystem and work as a talent development platform for young gaming enthusiasts.

Gaming leagues in Tier I and Tier II cities

We at GizBot personally think that e-sports gaming leagues should have arrived much earlier in the country. However, it is still not late, especially when you consider the fact that online gaming requires concrete infrastructure (Faster internet connectivity and powerful gaming machines) which has been made possible only in last two or three years. Some recent reports suggested that the Indian gaming industry was valued 43.8 billion Indian rupees in the year 2018 and is expected to touch 118.8 billion Indian rupees in 2023. These are staggering figures which will further grow in the coming years.

Last but not least, we also tried to understand from Intel whether the global chipmaker would like to fuel small-scale events in tier II and tier III cities as gamer community is spread across the country, even in smaller towns of non-metro cities. Lee Machan responded to our query and replied by saying that Intel does not have any direct plans to back up any amateur gaming leagues in India; however, after ESL One Mumbai, the market could expect such events to take place naturally over time in other parts of the country.

Intel is working with various OEMs, telecom companies and e-tailers to create the gaming ecosystem across the globe. Notably, Intel and esports company ESL had recently extended a long-standing partnership by signing a three-year, $100 million deal to boost the profile of electronic sports worldwide. Intel is supposedly providing the on-ground technology- including high-powered computer processors and network infrastructure for e-sports events through 2021.

Intel's 9th Gen. CPUs Intel Core mobile processors

Intel recently unveiled the company's 9th gen. CPUs Intel Core mobile processors for the Indian market. The new 9th Gen Intel CoreTM mobile H-series processors will fuel the new generation computing machines, both notebooks and desktops. The 9th gen. mobile processors are engineered for avid gamers and content creators who demands lag free computing and graphical performance from their machines.

We will keep following all the latest trends in the gaming industry in India. Let us know in comments about your views for gaming as a full-time career choice in India.


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