The Indian government has accepted esports as part of the country’s multi-sport events category under the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The report identifies esports as a competitive sport where participants compete in terms of physical and mental skills in a digital environment.
Recognition of esports in India
In recent years, esports has seen strong growth and demand in India. This is thanks to the introduction of affordable internet and more accessible education and digital connectivity. The government and private organizations have played a key role in making this possible.
According to the official gazette issued by the Government of India, esports will be added to the Department of Sports (Khel Vibhag), which in turn belongs to the “Ministry of Youth and Sports (Yuvak Karyakram Aur Khel Mantralaya).”
The Indian government has officially recognised e-sports in the country. E-sports will now be a part of the “multisports event” category in India under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and sports.
— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2022
Due to the industry’s growth, the Government of India has established the Electronic Sports Federation of India (ESFI). It will be responsible for allocating a portion of its budget to support the development of esports infrastructure. In turn, they create esports training centers and provide funds for the organization of large-scale events.
Commenting on the report of inclusion as a major sport, the head of the Indian esports federation and vice president of the Asian Esports Federation, Lokesh Suji, said:
“We have constantly been working to establish the difference between eSports and iGaming, and finally, our efforts have been fulfilled. So we welcome this announcement from our government, which will open up new avenues to generate more investment opportunities in this booming industry.”
“From now on, we will have to build a proper infrastructure, training, and coaching facilities for our young eSports athletes. However, it will only be a short while before we see e-sports being placed in the same league as cricket, soccer, basketball, etc., and have similar power, scale, and craze among fans.”
Participation of private companies in the industry
As mentioned above, private bodies’ involvement in the esports industry’s growth cannot be ignored. This could take the form of organizing, marketing, and sponsoring esports events and tournaments.
Some private players in the esports industry have commented on this news.
Founder and CEO of 8bit Creatives and former esports athlete Animesh Agarwal said:
“The entire Esports fraternity in India will rejoice at this good news which has undoubtedly resulted from collective hard work. Efforts of the gaming community over the last few years. E-sports has already been considered a medal-winning sport in the Olympics and Asian Games, and this news will further boost esports in the country as it has been long awaited.”
“The industry, which includes developers, gamers, and creators in general, is overgrowing, and closing the loop on this recognition will flourish the industry. Moreover, it presents a clean slate for gamers. Finally, it demonstrates to the neighbors that e-sports is a serious sport that deserves recognition for its skilled and hardworking players who will compete against some of the best players in the world and put India on the map of professional gaming countries”.