Info-tech

Why people are spending hours watching others compete in online games?

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on September 30, 2019 Published on September 30, 2019

Rahul Manchanda, a second year engineering student in Patna eagerly awaits for gaming tournaments to begin, and spends hours watching them without blinking an eye. His favourites are not IPL or Wimbledon but something called PUBG tournament.

"I've seen my friends earn handsome money by playing PUBG and Tekken. These are strategic games and require a lot of skills. I follow these tournaments to improve my gaming skills," Manchanda told Businessline, explaining how he also aspires to become a professional online gamer one day.

Online gaming in India is gaining ground rapidly with multiple events drawing millions of gamers to just watch it online while thousands are seen packed inside stadium-like venues where select top gamers are fighting it out on their screens.

Gaming in India is no more just about competing with friends for fun but is turning into a real money spinner for many.

Gaming events in India

Dreamhack for example is one of the largest gaming events in the world, which now also takes place in India. This year the venue is NSIC Exhibition ground in New Delhi, a massive venue where you'd typically expect multinationals hosting their trade shows.

The event will also be hosted live on Viacom18's video streaming platform Voot.

The money factor in gaming

As per a recent KPMG report, the Indian gaming industry is estimated at Rs 4,380 crore in FY18 and is expected to grow further at 22.1 percent CAGR taking it to Rs 11,880 crore by 2023. Increased digital usage and the rise in the number of gamers, will be key in headlining this growth in online gaming.

Even mobile gaming events are getting people excited to learn how top gamers play and earn from it. The PUBG Mobile India Tour 2019 for example promises a prize money ₹1.5 crore.

Prize money at these events can be as high as Rs 3.8 crore. Dreamhack is offering Rs 39 lakh as the prize money. The prize pool for Dreamhack this year is Rs 1 crore.

"India has a very strong gaming community, which we got to experience first hand during last year's event. This makes DreamHack Delhi a natural next step in our effort in making the DreamHack experience the perfect culmination of the gaming year in India," said Marcus Lindmark, co-CEO of DreamHack.

It's not just the players on ground who are competing for money. Even those coming to watch the gameplay, will get to play games at the venue and daily top scorers will be awarded from a prize pool of Rs 75,000 for retro games and Rs 1,00,000 for table-top games.

And to watch others play you'd have to shell out Rs 500 to just enter the venue. For others, watching online is the cheapest option.

Some companies are also using such gaming events as a recruitment ground. Take for example AMDGameOn2019, which will also have a recruitment booth where interested candidates can upload their resume by scanning the QR code displayed at the booth. The event scheduled for October 12-13 in Hyderabad, will see shortlisted candidates being invited by AMD for career opportunities.

“In its 4th year already, GameOn has grown to become a popular annual gaming destination. We are excited to be back and showcase the best gaming technologies developed by AMD. Our goal is to let the visitors know all about gaming and get the community to experience AMD technology firsthand,” Andrej Zdravkovic, Corporate VP Software at AMD said.

Published on September 30, 2019
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