Anirban Roy Choudhury
Media

"85 million unique viewers will watch Esports tournaments in India by 2025": EY Report

EY in its report estimates the Rs 300 crore Esports industry to scale up and reach Rs 1,100 crore by FY2025.


"Ready. Set. Game On!" Global firm EY recently rolled out a report on E-Sports in India where it estimates the market size to have "quickly scaled" to Rs 300 crore in FY 2021 and expects it to reach Rs 1,100 crore by FY2025.

"As the popularity and frequency of esports tournaments grow, esports is often confused with online gaming. The need for an electronic device and online multiplayer game fuels the misnomer. However, esports is not online gaming. Unlike online gaming, esports is defined by online games of skill that are played in tournaments – different teams and individuals playing against each other to win the championship, league, title like physical sports," states Ashish Pherwani, EY India Media & Entertainment Leader.

He adds, "Esports also includes games which are the digital/virtual manifestations of traditional sports." Goes on to explain that Esports is more versatile and adaptable than regular sports, and its tournaments vary in scale, operations and frequency

1.5 million players, 85 million viewers, 20+ broadcasters and several brands, organizers and publishers will collectively define the esports market in India by FY2025.

He is of the view that Esports has steadily gained popularity with youth, and consequently has become an attractive option for brands to connect with young and empowered audiences. "As a game of skill accessible indoors and on the ubiquitous mobile phone, it gained much popularity during the lockdowns witnessed in 2020 and 2021. And as a mode of entertainment, it continues to serve hard core gamers as well as social gamers who wish to get competitive," writes Pherwani.

Though by 2025, EY estimates Esports to be a Rs 1,100 crore industry, the sport has a much larger economic impact. "We expect it to generate an economic value of around Rs 10,000 crore between now and FY2025," states Pherwani.

Ashish Pherwani
Ashish Pherwani

The report states, 1.5 million players, 85 million viewers, 20+ broadcasters and several brands, organizers and publishers will collectively define the esports market in India by FY2025. Presently, about 4 per cent of mobile games on the Play Store are from Indian publishers. As Indian game developers transition from developing social games to multiplayer games, Indian developers are expected to create games that are better suited for esports tournaments. The number of Indian gaming studios have grown 5x since 2015. There are over 14 esports broadcast platforms in 2021 which are expected to cross 20 platforms by 2025. While current viewership is 17 million, over 85 million unique viewers will watch esports tournaments in the country by 2025.

Esports received nearly Rs 1,300 crore investments in the past five years and would likely see another Rs 3,400 crore by FY2025.

As per EY's assessment, the Esports industry is expected to grow at 46 per cent CAGR over the next four years and streaming platforms will generate the largest chunk of Esport revenues. Tournament sponsorship and syndication revenue would likely quadruple to more than Rs 350 crore. Media broadcasting rights and advertisement sponsorship revenue together constitute this segment.

According to the EY report, Esports received nearly Rs 1,300 crore investments in the past five years and would likely see another Rs 3,400 crore by FY2025. "Investors often seek companies that have a single identified proposition. Therefore, esports or real money fantasy are much more appealing to investors. As the demand for more diverse and intricate games grows in India, Indian developers are shifting to create more unique and complex games meant for multiplayer competitive tournaments," states the report.

"The industry, however, faces regulatory challenges and uncertainty such as misconception that esports is gambling or a game of chance and its consequent banning by certain states. Additionally, lack of an industry nodal body, regulatory clarity and multiple ministries adds to it woes," Pherwani concludes.