ESL and the Indian mobile game developer Nazara Technologies have announced a collaboration following an investment from the former company. The minority stake acquired by the world’s biggest esports organization could facilitate expansions in India.
Spreading esports’ global presence
The investment aims to grow the Indian esports scene. Additionally, it will help ESL reach more fans in this part of the world, which has shown great potential for online gaming.
“Our goal is to bring esports to the players and fans all around the world,” said ESL CEO Ralf Reichert in a press release. “We believe that Nazara, one of the leading mobile games companies will help us in expanding our ESL operations through strategic local partnerships.”
Nazara, a developer of casual mobile games, has shown an increased interest in the competitive gaming scene. The company recently acquired a majority stake in an Indian esports startup Nodwin Gaming.
“Through this acquisition, we aim to provide Indian esports enthusiasts a robust player and community orientated esports ecosystem, in which players can thrive, improve their skills and become top competitors at an international level,” said Nazara CEO Manish Agarwal in a press release.
Nazara also received a $51 million investment recently, made by the venture capital firm India Infoline (IIF). It happened shortly before the gaming company launched its IPO.
License agreement accompanied by minority stake investment
In addition to its investment, ESL signed a license agreement with Nodwin Gaming. The partnership gives Nodwin exclusive licensing rights for organizing and operating ESL competitions in India.
The Indian company will also hold media distribution rights for ESL content in India. The length of the agreement was set to five years.
Nazara demonstrated its dedication to growing Indian esports last year when the company launched an esports league. Committing $20 million for its rollout evidenced the company’s serious intentions.
“Esports has become a cultural phenomenon in the last few years,” said Nazara founder Nitish Mittersain via press release last February. “Countries in Europe, Korea, China, and the US have seen massive growth in the number of players and spectators. Asia-Pacific accounts for 44 percent of the audience and is the fastest growing region globally. Given improving internet connectivity in India today, launching an esports league seemed the perfect way to reach out to the large group of esports enthusiasts in India.”