In a big move, The Government of India has officially recognised ‘E-Sports’ (Electronic Sports) as a part of Multi-sports events. The Department of Sports under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports will take E-Sports. Meanwhile, ‘Online Gaming’ will be under MEITY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology).
Indian Esports Industry has been fighting for Esports, not to be clubbed under the umbrella term “Gaming”. The Industry has maintained that Esports (Electronic sports) is a competitive sport where esports athletes use their physical and mental abilities to compete in specific genres of video games in a virtual, electronic environment.
Reacting to the news, Lokesh Suji, Director, of the Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF) says, “Great news for us to begin the New Year. We have constantly been working on establishing the difference between esports and gaming, and finally, our efforts have been fulfilled. Only a short time until we see Esports being placed in the same league as cricket, football, basketball, etc. and having similar fan power, scale and craze.”
“With the latest announcement and India recently competing for medals at the inaugural Esports Asian Games, people are shaking off the misconceptions linked with esports as a passion or career option. The year 2023 beholds greater opportunities for esports and we are anticipating more favourable developments, only making it bigger. It surely has been a great year for Indian esports,” Suji added.
“We welcome the appointment of MeitY as a nodal ministry for online gaming. A uniform central regulation for online skill gaming has been a long-standing demand of the industry and this step will hopefully lead to a progressive regulatory framework underpinned by consumer welfare. This will help further grow the industry and make online gaming a cornerstone of Digital India,” says Roland Landers, CEO, of All India Gaming Federation. “We also welcome the move to have MYAS regulate esports as part of multi-sports events. This will finally lead to the recognition of an India Esports Federation, better rules and procedures for the selection of India teams for international events like Asian Games and also lead to better opportunities and facilities for our esports players on par with other sportspersons.”
Ex-esports athlete, Animesh Agarwal, who is now the Founder & CEO, of 8bit Creatives, feels, “The entire Esports fraternity in India will be rejoicing with this welcome news which has certainly been a result of the gaming community’s collective efforts spanning over the last few years. Esports have already been considered as a medal sport in the Olympics and Asian games and this news will further boost the sport in the country as it was long overdue.”
Anirudh Pandita, the founder of Live streaming and Esports platform – Loco feels, “With this legislation, the government has underlined the importance of building a vibrant gaming ecosystem and we believe that if the industry works in resonance with the government, then India will become a global gaming superpower soon. In the past two years, Loco has been the largest investor in India’s game streaming and esports ecosystem and in 2023, we look forward to continuing our investment in domestic gaming technology and content initiatives.”