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In the past one year or so, recognition towards competitive gaming has completely changed all over the world.…

In the past one year or so, recognition towards competitive gaming has completely changed all over the world. We got more million dollar tournaments (nothing new to the esports), professional gamer Ninja got featured in the cover of ESPN (a sporting magazine), esports were played in the Asian Games and we are probably going to see them very soon in the Olympics as well.

A still from the Asian Games esports event

The scene just like the world, received the same kind of effect in India. The biggest prize pool for a single tournament was ₹1 crore which was the PUBG Mobile India Series 2019. This number will only be going up from now on. To many people in India, esports may have been a new concept of which they learned of in the past year. It may thus come as a surprise to many that competitive gaming has existed long before that within the country.

Many different companies have been working for years in India to promote esports and to make it more mainstream. One of these is Nodwin Gaming.

Nodwin Gaming’s journey began in 2012, yes, a full seven years ago. The official site reads- “A group of gamers were unhappy with the direction Indian gaming was progressing towards. So, they did what gamers do best – pick up the controller and lead the way.” We are glad they did.

The company can be credited to bringing ESL to India. ESL is the biggest esports company in the world. It is also the oldest that is still functional. The company has held over 109,000 tournaments in its platform ESL Play. The formation of ESL India was a huge accomplishment for esports within the country itself.

The company has thus been instrumental for promoting competitive gaming in India. It has also held a lot of top notch LAN events in the country. Some of these are the ESL India Premierships and the Dreamhack Mumbai held in December of last year.

A still from Dreamhack Mumbai.

One of the greatest success of Nodwin Gaming would be its current partnership with ESL to bring the ESL One Dota 2 major event to India. This is just phenomenal as the $300K (over ₹2 crores!) tournament is the first major international esports event in India. The Dota 2 major will feature the best 11 teams from over the world and one local Indian team. The tournament has left Dota 2 fans from India in a frenzy in anticipation for the major which will be held at the Dome @ NSCI, SVP Stadium, Worli, Mumbai between April 19-21.

ESL One will be the first big international live event in India.

Nodwin Gaming has also been a part of many major tournaments in India such as the aforementioned PUBG Mobile India Series 2019 where it was the broadcasting partner for the grand finals.

In 2018, Nazara Technologies acquired a majority stake of 55% in NODWIN Gaming for an undisclosed amount. Nazara also works closely in esports and was a major part of the ₹40 crores Series A funding for HalaPlay (on 18 March 2019), an online daily fantasy sports startup. Nazara made public its desires to invest around $20 million to set up an esports league in India. They made this announcement in 2017 and have said that they will do so within the next five years. Its acquisition of a majority of NODWIN Gaming will further bolster this aim with the combined expertise of both major companies.

Esports are still developing and have a long way to go.

Esports is thus still in the process of evolving and developing, especially in India where the concept is relatively fresher. India has huge potential to become a leading revenue generator from competitive gaming thanks to its large and young population. The ESL One in Mumbai will thus undoubtedly be the first of many international esports tournaments within India.

About The Author

Wasif is an esports/gaming journalist and writer who closely follows competitive gaming and other popular video games. He loves writing and is published on a number of sites. You can reach him on his Twitter account.

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