In the world’s second-most-populous nation, esports is officially a professional sport.
India has reclassified competitive gaming as a multisport event, separating it from online gaming and moving it into the same category as cricket, soccer, and other sports.
The country’s Esports Federation approved what it deemed a “monumental decision” in order to grow its pro presence and league ambitions.
- “While online gaming is a loose term referring to playing any video game regardless of platform or level, esports refers to competitive video gaming,” wrote government officials.
- The shift will open up sponsorship and investment opportunities for esports.
- Esports will now be overseen by India’s Department of Sports.
“It will only be 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,” wrote the EFI.
Esports was a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games, with competitions for eight games including “FIFA,” “League of Legends,” and “Street Fighter V.”
The International Olympic Committee will hold its first Olympic Esports Week in Singapore in June.
Global esports prize winnings reached $220.9 million in 2022, per esportsearnings. Indian players placed 29th among all countries with $1.6 million, while Chinese players led a collective $45 million in earnings.
The top 10 esports teams were worth an average of $353 million as of May 2022, according to Forbes, with top team TSM reaching $540 million.