The gaming industry was slow to begin investing in India, with markets in North America, South East Asia, and Europe seeing the bulk of investment throughout the last decade. This has changed in the previous few years, as brands have begun to see the value that the Indian market has.
With the increasing fan following of esports, various gaming and non-gaming companies are making a considerable investment in India’s gaming industry as esports has now entered into a medal-winning league at international tournaments.
Many companies are starting a new division in their existing companies to develop games, train teams, organize esports tournaments, or investing/ collaborating with Indian esports firms.
Let us look at some companies which have invested in India’s esports industry:
Fnatic & Loco – Fnatic signed a long-term partnership with Indian live streaming platform Loco, owned by Pocket Aces. The partnership’s objective is to create unique esports content, including tournaments, live streams, and more.
Paytm First Games & Riot Games – Paytm First Games, an Indian digital gaming platform, signed a partnership with Riot Games, an American video game developer, publisher, and esports tournament organizer, to host a Teamfight Tactics tournament for the region. For the first time, Riot Games has been actively involved in hosting a tournament in India, even via a third-party organizer.
Nodwin Gaming & Airtel- Esports company, Nodwin Gaming, and telecommunications company, Bharti Airtel, announced a partnership to grow esports in India. The association was a success with the launch of the Airtel India esports tour.
The Airtel India esports tour covered all Nodwin tournaments across gaming titles of Clash of Clans, FIFA, PUBG Mobile, etc.
NVIDIA – Graphic processor major NVIDIA plans to expand gaming footprint in India by adding 100 gaming cafes in India. The US-headquartered company said that in the past few years, the country has more significant growth scope with its increasing online gaming community and has seen a sharp rise in gaming hardware and computers.
The company is helping build the gaming community through Gamer Connect events, which saw a footfall of seven thousand five hundred enthusiasts at the 14th edition in Bengaluru. It started with one hundred and fifty people in Bhubaneswar.
Riot Games – Riot Games has launched VALORANT servers for players in India. It marks the first significant activation by Riot in the region.
Nova Esports – Nova Esports, a Hong Kong-based esports team, announced a partnership with an Indian PUBG Mobile team known as Godlike.
The company looked after players’ salaries, providing boot camp support, and offering international exposure. This was the first time that the company has operated in the South Asian region.
Red Bull & Loco – Pocket Aces-owned Loco partnered with Red Bull. Loco is the platform of choice for Red Bull’s esports properties – such as the Red Bull Flick, the Red Bull R1v1r runes Dota 2 tournaments, and the Red Bull MEO mobile title events.
MTV – MTV broadcasted India’s first eSports league, UCypher, in 2017. The league was aired in an hour-long daily show.
MTV India also partnered with NODWIN Gaming to air Esports Mania, a weekly television program based on the Indian Esports scene.
Sony Liv – SonyLIV, owned by Sony Pictures Networks, unveiled an OTT gaming platform that supports more than 100 show-based games, multiplayer video quizzes.
Dell Alienware – Dell Alienware, an American computer hardware subsidiary of Dell, has invested in esports. The company’s primary mission is to deliver the most immersive PC gaming experience possible for gamers.
Acer – The growing demand for gaming products in India encouraged the Taiwanese multinational hardware and electronics corporation, Acer India, to grow its unit sales by 35-40 percent in 2020. Last year, the company produced Predator series of PCs for professional gamers, Nitro series of PCs for everyday gamers, and Aspire series of PCs for casual gamers.
Besides providing laptops, desktops, monitors, and accessories, specifically gamers, Acer is also developing the gaming ecosystem by making available top-notch gaming coaching through its recently launched Planet9 platform – where gamers and coaches can register and connect.
The company is working with universities to introduce gaming as a separate subject in the curriculum to encourage e-sports players in India. Acer also organizes Asia’s largest DOTA2 and PUBG gaming tournament – The Asia Pacific Predator League, where the India prize pool is ₹15 lakh, and the APAC prize is half a million dollars.
Mercedes Benz – Mercedes, a German automotive marque, is the India ESL Gaming esports circuit sponsor. Both the brands are targeting engagement from esports viewers and players in India and abroad.
Kingston – HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, sponsored Indian esports organization Entity Gaming’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team.
This was the first deal of its kind that the organization had entered, and it included both a monetary sponsorship and the supply of HyperX products.
Louis Vuitton – Louis Vuitton, a French fashion house and luxury goods company, integrated its apparel collection as in-game character skin for League of Legends, making it available to any player in the game.
Disney+Hotstar – Disney+Hotstar broadcasted the Game Awards 2020. The Game Awards is an awards ceremony hosted to honor artistic and technical merit in the video game industry.
Oppo – OPPO, a leading global smartphone brand, partnered with PUBG MOBILE India to host tournaments for them. It hosted the finale of PUBG. The finale took place at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre in Kolkata, with the top twenty squads from across India qualifying across four groups for the prize pool of INR 1.5 crores.
Skyesports – Chennai-based Skyesports hosted franchise-model league tournaments backed by paints giant Nippon Paint.
Reliance Jio – Reliance Jio, an Indian telecommunications giant, announced its first-ever esports IP – a Free Fire tournament in India. This was the company’s first public-facing venture.