Growing Momentum of Indian Esports Requires Regulation

Esports in India are gathering momentum as high-speed Internet and mobile technology is becoming readily available, a new report by KPMG has revealed. 

India Needs Regulatory Framework Esports to Fall Back On

Esports in India is about to explode, and the only thing that may be holding the industry back is limited regulation that makes it harder for stakeholders to operate in the country. Yet, demand for esports competition is surging, driven by content creators, tournament organizers, and competitive professional organizations.

Now, esports is headed to the Asian Games, and in all likelihood, competitive video gaming will end up as an Olympic discipline, despite skepticism. Esports was already part of the Asian Games as a demonstration sport in 2018, and it enjoyed a lot of success and a warm welcome.

A new report by KPMG, one of the largest accountancy firms in the world, estimates the potential of online gaming and esports at $1.65 billion in India by 2023. 

Millions of players are getting involved with esports, and much of this recent upsurge is the shift towards mobile esports titles, including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds: Mobile (PUBG)Mobile Legends Bang Bang, and most recently League of Legends: Wild Rift.

The presence of immersive mobile esports titles, access to cheap mobile technology, and fast-speed Internet has given esports in the country another boost, the report said. However, for esports to truly reach its potential, it would need a sound regulatory framework to fall back on. 

That is the opinion shared by the Federation of India Fantasy Sports Bimal Julka, who spoke to The Hindu Times and said that esports needs a self-governing body with “regulations and ethics.” 

Think of Players Welfare First, Says Vinod Varma 

Such a body already exists in a global plan with the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) trying to bring transparency and fairness in competitive video gaming, especially at a time when criminals are targeting competitive video gaming and subjecting it to match-fixing, with even the FBI on the case.

“It is a nascent industry, problems will arise, and we will address them as we go. We need to do much more,” Julka explained. Indian Sports Federation president Vinod Kumar Varma argued that whatever regulation comes in place, it should focus on the welfare of players rather than give the federation exclusive control over what happens with players.

Establishing a federation early on can reinforce ESIC’s efforts in curbing match-fixing, a problem with which India has familiar as it has already seen cheaters flood live events in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and PUBG.

Nevertheless, the country is sorting through cheaters quickly and establishing itself as a prime destination for esports. With sportsbooks already circling, this is even more reason to see a central body established and regulating competitive video gaming in India. 

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