Friday, 23 May 2014

Gaming in India

To the general public, the idea that those who play video games for a living have much in common with high level professional athletes might be laughable. But those involved with the scene understand the unique talent, skill and determination of the players mirrors that of “real” athletes, even if their physical fitness is different.

2013 world cup finals
League of Legends finals 2013


According to Riot Games eSports manager Nick Allen (speaking to Gamespot), after a long back and forth with the government, the U.S. finally now recognises eSports players as professional athletes, and will grant them visas under that identifierThis is groundbreaking for eSports. Now we can start looking at international players that come over. It’s a much easier process because they’re actually recognised by the government. It’s a huge thing.

Super Data Research, who released research earlier this year stating that Riot Games made $624 million in revenue for League of Legends in 2013 and that Dota 2 made around $80 Million, has put out a new report centred on eSports in collaboration with Newzoo.
The report states that viewership across all eSports titles has doubled within the last year, peaking to over 71 million by the end of 2013. Almost half of those viewers, 31.4 million, come from the United States where males account for 70% of frequent viewers and participants. The report finds that the majority of U.S. viewers are males between 21 and 34 years old. The average eSports viewer watches 19 times a month, with a session length of 2.2 hours. 
With the booming popularity of streaming services like Twitch, ESL and MLG, it is becoming easier than ever for gamers to connect with other players and form communities that culminate in competitive gaming.

This is professional gaming. What about general non-pro players?
So video [gaming] is pervasive throughout our society. It is clearly here to stay. It has an amazing impact on our everyday life. Consider these statistics released by Activision. After one month of release of the game "Call Of Duty: Black Ops," it had been played for 68,000 years worldwide, right? Would any of you complain if this was the case about doing linear algebra? 
I am not going to get into the discussion that gaming is good for health or not, but would advice you to watch this video from TED Talks


In India, gaming is just a leisure activity which is always discouraged. Go play cricket, soccer , etc with friends instead. On don't waste time on childish games and read books or study. But what if he / she is playing game for more than just leisure ? is a part of team with pro-level skills? Was about to participate in an International competition or had a dream to be a best player in that game?

Only a few in India will chose to follow their dream of professional gaming. They will be forced to study and do what their parents or family want them to do. Do a recognised professional course which has a better earning.

Time to give some more examples.

Carlos Rodriguez known as "ocelote" is a pro player who earns 1 million US $ ! link

He is one of the millions of pro gamers who earn much more than what other "professional" people.

Santanu Basu: Pro FIFA player from Calcutta

In 2007, when he ran away from home and hopped on to the unreserved compartment of a train with Rs 100 in his pocket and a joystick in his backpack to participate in the national finals of the World Cyber Games in Mumbai. Six days later, he flew home with the winner’s trophy and a job offer from a gaming company.
Gamer's Goal?

As Basu said in the interview, besides peer and social obstacles, there are more problems faced by a gamer. Since gaming is not popular yet in India, it is very difficult to find sponsors. Though it is changing with more gaming gear manufacturers entering the Indian market through online stores.

Another hurdle is the lack of adequate infrastructure. Online pro gaming is practically impossible because of the poor internet network with low bandwidth. For initial investment, gaming gear and high configration PC are very costly for a person who does not have support of his peers.

Language barrier, though of minor concerns, prevents a person to join an international team.

There are obstacles in life and to face them and show them your back, is what makes you a sucessful person.

If you or your child has a dream, don't let it die without giving it a try.