Back in September, the Indian Esports industry took a hefty blow when the Indian Government banned a number of mobile apps that had links to China, one of which was the massively popular esports title PUBG.
Despite outcry from the millions of users of the app, the Indian Government refused to budge on its decision. That facilitated Krafton striking a new deal with Microsoft Azure for them to host the game on their own non-China servers, which will allow mobile users in India to at least have a chance to play the game once again, once it is re-released over the week that coincides with Diwali.
Although these issues have caused problems across India for users of PUBG in particular. There is no doubt that further to our article from 2018 when we looked at whether India would be the next huge esports market, it certainly seems that a number of major players in both the esports and esports betting industries view the subcontinent as a potentially massive source of new customers.
In fact, the ban on PUBG has allowed a number of other companies to move into the market with alternative options to try and grab their share of what could potentially be one of the most lucrative esports markets in the world today.
Team Vitality, Riot Games, Noble Esports Make Moves Into the Market in India
Although hailing from France originally, Team Vitality has announced that it is going to set up in the region. The company raised around £12 million in funding from existing investors around a year ago and part of that deal was based on the fact that the company would seek to tap into the massive markets available in India and China.
While the presence of such a famous esports organisation in the country is a massive boost, the news that Riot Games has launched Valorant servers specifically for Indian players is a shrewd move, as the company seeks to fill the gap created by the ban on PUBG.
It is thought that the free to play model and the fact that the game can be played on older hardware make it particularly suited to the Indian region, the servers of which will become part of Riot’s South East Asian shard from their base in Mumbai.
Another exciting development for Indian customers is the news that North American esports organisation Noble esports has announced it intends to operate a roster for League of Legends Wild Rift in India. A number of former Dota and League of Legends professionals have been lined up to represent the team in the region when the game is eventually released.
Wild Rift’s release has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the problems that has created in setting up the game in the South Asian region in particular.
In addition to this, one of India’s biggest esports companies, NODWIN Gaming, has joined forces with drinks giant Red Bull to host the North East Esports Summit in India, which will see competitive tournaments held for popular mobile titles Clash of Clans and Free Fire.
While the situation in India remains somewhat fluid, ostensibly because of the ban on certain Chinese apps, there is no doubt that the gap this ban has created in the market is now being filled by companies seeking to gain a foothold in the potentially lucrative Indian Esports market.