Although eSports has recently established itself as one of the fastest-growing markets in India, it first rose to prominence in the country back in 2012. Since then, Startup Talky reports that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been the region’s most popular competitive gaming title. Over the past decade, increasing numbers of creations have hit the market and added much-needed depth to the sector. With that, let’s take a look at which games are growing India’s eSports market and how they’re developing broader entertainment streams.
CS: GO’s Popularity is There for All to See
Based on the above, there’s only one place to start, and that’s with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The Valve Corporation title has continuously captivated India’s gaming community, which has opened the door to eSports opportunities. According to Esports Earnings, India currently ranks 39th regarding competitive earnings from CS:GO, having amassed just over $266,000 in winnings. Moreover, Agneya Koushik is now one of the country’s best CS:GO players and the 23-year-old is an in-game leader for BL4ZE Esports. Since being founded in 2019, the Indian organization has sought to bring together online communities in the entertainment industry and connect with their audiences by streaming on Twitch and uploading content to YouTube.
The sense of community that stems from eSports in India is a microcosm of broader trends in the country’s entertainment market. While CS:GO is one development that strives to unite audiences through streaming, this is also a common approach within the online casino sector. At Genesis Casino, a casino online in India, the operator provides the gaming community with access to immersive, real-time content via video streaming. The platform has a vast array of real-time games, including Crazy Time, Green Diamond, Lightning Roulette, and many more, showcasing that web-based casinos share eSports’ interest in enhancing experiences for the online community.
Shooters are Retaining Their Appeal
Over the last few years, Battle Royale titles have grown increasingly common within India’s competitive gaming sector. Sportskeeda reports that Garena Free Fire was the highest-earning title in the South Asian country in 2020. The free-to-play third-person development’s newfound popularity has seen it become a focal point of India’s eSports sector. Because of that, Garena, Free Fire’s developers, set out to launch four major events in 2021 with a combined prize pool of approximately $272,200.
In addition to Free Fire, Call of Duty: Mobile is also taking India’s eSports industry by storm. According to Dot Esports, the country ranks second behind the United States for the market share of CoD: Mobile’s total downloads. As a result of the title’s mobile success, India now has its own competitive Call of Duty division, known as the Indian Gaming League – Call of Duty Mobile.
Counter-Strike Laid the Foundations
There can be no doubts that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive set something of a precedent within India regarding eSports gaming preferences. Over the past decade, shooters have enjoyed the most success within the country, and that’s only grown more prominent following the rise of mobile gaming. Because of that, it’s hard to see another genre claiming the crown over the coming years.