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How Esports is a real sport, and must not be clubbed with iGaming, Fantasy, or other gaming categories



How Esports is a real sport, and must not be clubbed with iGaming, Fantasy, or other gaming categories
Reading Time: 4 minutes


The tremendous rise of competitive gaming is the greatest phenomenon of the 21st century. Once emerged as a hobby for many, competitive gaming gradually turned into a very professional and disciplined system.

Pandemic 2020 proved a significant year for Esports both in terms of increased engagement and its growing acceptance. With more time in hand being indoors, gaming became a viable option for entertainment. This amazing growth introduced competitive gaming to an entirely new breed of highly engaged audiences. Player participation in competitive gaming along with viewership for Esports events saw a significant spike.

As per statistics, Indian Esports accounted for around 4% of all online gaming users and 9.13% of aggregate revenue in FY20. In 2020, Esports viewership increased to 17 million and is projected to reach 85 million by 2025. India’s esports industry is set to quadruple in size to Rs 1,100 crore by 2025 from Rs 250 crore at present—clocking a compounded annual growth rate of 46%, according to an EY report.

Tarun Gupta, Founder, Ultimate Battle, which is India’s first-ever one-stop online esports platform, explained why Esports should not be clubbed in with iGaming, Fantasy, or other gaming categories.

Online Games are primarily divided into the following categories based on how the game is designed, the way the games are played, and the amount of skill required to play these games:

1. Card-based Games (ex. Poker, Rummy)
2. Casual Games (ex. Pool, Bubble shooting)
3. Fantasy Games (ex. Fantasy Cricket, Fantasy Football)
4. Esports (ex. DOTA 2, BGMI, VALORANT)

In India, people confuse esports with fantasy, rummy, or other casual games. There is no reason to associate these games with Esports. Esports is the organized form of video game competitions online and/or offline including video game genres of traditional sports, multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), real-time strategy (RTS), and fighting & first-person shooter (FPS) games.

Esports games are designed with high indulging competitive experience in mind. The games have various elements to them which not only make them sporting in nature but also open opportunities for gamers to learn about the game, grow and become the best at it and compete at a professional level.

Esports is a Real Sport, Here is Why:
When you think of sports, count the things that quickly come into your mind? It surely would be fierce competition, physical activity, fans, practice, and adrenaline rush, etc. Moreover, we think of an Esports player sitting at a desk and staring at a screen all the time. Though Esports may not involve the same level of physical activities as compared to sports like football, athletes do need enough physical stamina, motor skills, and reflex to control gaming devices and compete well with the gameplay.

The amount of effort, practice, and discipline required by professional esports athletes is comparable to many popular sports. Despite all the statistics and data showing the steep growth in Esports over the past few years, there is still a debate going on- “Whether Esports can be categorized as real sports or if it’s a sport at all.”

Global sporting authorities have now started recognizing Esports as a sport. Recently the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) announced that eight games including FIFA, PUBG, and Dota 2 will be a part of the Asian Games 2022. To recall, Esports was a demonstration event at the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta.

Let’s look into the similarities to traditional sports and find out why these similarities match up and make Esports a real sport all the way.

1. Game Mechanics
Game mechanics are the rules and set of methods that guide the gamer’s actions and interactions between the player and the game. The depth and dynamics of in-game mechanics for Esports game titles are just as vibrant as sports in their gameplay and strategic movements. Combining this with the depth of the game’s mechanics which keeps evolving makes Esports a top-notch sporting match. Esports players have to master the game’s mechanics and concentrate on learning and improving game-specific skills. These game mechanics help to make gaming an engaging and fun-filled experience.

2. Learning Curve of the Game
Like traditional sports, Esports has a steep learning curve that helps gamers become more proficient with the game and gain a deeper understanding of the game. The curve elevates further as the player progresses through the game. As difficulty levels add up further, gamers have to play with more refined gameplay strategies to fight and win. To succeed in Esports, you’ll have to be the best in terms of game skills along with team coordination, opponent research, critical thinking, and multi-tasking.

3. Physical prowess and Strategic Thinking
Dive deeper into Esports games and you will find both forms of sports have a lot in common. Throughout the game, Esport athletes are required to sustain high levels of attention to make important decisions under time pressure. This is also true in the case of athletes in Esports. Traditional sports require mostly athletic abilities and then strategies to make scores. Esports, on the other hand, requires players to have flash reflexes, an understanding of deep in-game mechanics as well as coping with changing dynamics of in-game strategies to be implemented during gameplay. Only the players with superb athletic ability and strategic understanding of games can coordinate to strike at the right time.

An esports gamer practices and hones their skills for hours in order to perfect their movements on the keyboard and mouse while simultaneously coordinating with teammates. The Esports athletes achieve up to 400 movements on the keyboard and the mouse per minute, four times as much as the average person. The whole thing is asymmetrical because both hands are being moved at the same time and various parts of the brain are also being used at the same time.

4. Practice and Training is essential
In terms of practice and training, Professional esports and traditional sports athletes share several common characteristics. Like traditional athletes, Esports professionals exhibit a commitment to excellence, perseverance, and a passion for their sport. Moreover, they both go through physical and mental training to fine-tune their athletic and gameplay abilities.

Esports athletes work hard to physically and mentally prepare themselves and practice for each competition that they are competing in.

It requires rigorous training and efforts to become a professional Esports professional. Like other traditional sports, Esports athletes need to have qualities like concentration, precision, and execution that only come after the solid in-game experience. The government needs to take this into cognizance and bring Esports under the umbrella of policies and legislations of Sports.


Sands China Awarded New 10-Year Gaming Concession



Reading Time: 2 minutes


The Sands China group has been awarded a new 10-year gaming concession in Macao, as announced by the Macao government Saturday. The concession is awarded on a provisional basis, subject to finalising and entering into a new gaming concession contract with the Macao SAR.

“Our commitment to Macao has never wavered and we are honoured to continue the partnership we began with the government and people of Macao 20 years ago. In the coming decade and beyond, we will remain steadfast in our strategy of continuous investment in Macao – in its economy, its people and its community. Macao’s future as an international tourism destination remains bright and we look forward to furthering our leadership role in helping it reach its full potential,” Robert G. Goldstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Sands China Ltd, said.

“The entire company is elated at the news of our successful bid for a new 10-year gaming concession. We are grateful to each of our 25,000 team members for their tireless support and dedication. Our gratitude also goes to the tender committee for its meticulous and thoughtful consideration of the tender submissions. We will do our utmost to further contribute to Macao’s economic diversification and its continuing development into a world-class international tourism destination,” Dr. Wilfred Wong, president of Sands China Ltd, said.

Sands China’s tender submission in September highlighted the company’s unprecedented level of investment in Macao, particularly in the area of non-gaming tourism amenities and attractions. It also detailed Sands China’s plans to help broaden the appeal of Macao as an international tourist destination.

“Sands China is thankful for the guidance of the Macao SAR government over the past 20 years and looks forward to being part of this next exciting chapter in Macao’s history in the next decade and beyond. We are honoured to have the opportunity to continue contributing to Macao’s integration into the overall development of the nation, investing in non-gaming, and to helping strengthen and promote Macao as the ultimate destination for both leisure and business travellers,” Dr. Wong added.

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World Esports Championship: CS:GO team to kick off India’s campaign on December 2



World Esports Championship: CS:GO team to kick off India’s campaign on December 2
Reading Time: 3 minutes


The Indian CS:GO team will be leading the country’s charge at the IESF’s 14th World Esports Championship as they take on Tajikistan in their opener on December 2.

A team, comprising of skipper Ritesh Sarda (Defaulter), Shuvajyoti Chakraborty (Mcg1LLzZz), Anshul Adarkar (KiiLSwitCh), Hrishikesh Shenoy (Crazy_Gamer) and Harsh Jain (lynX) has been placed in the Group C along with Tajikistan, Team IESF and Chile. After their eighth-place finish in the last edition of the tournament held in Eilat, Israel, the team will be determined to clinch a podium finish this time around.

Team India CS:GO captain Ritesh Sarda said “It’s been a great honour to represent India back-to-back in the WEC. We as a team are excited and prepared to play in the upcoming WEC starting next week in Bali. The world finals is going to be a huge spectacle. With the right mentality and proper grind, we have high hopes for the tournament and will try to bring the laurels to the country.”

Organised by International Esports Federation (IESF), the upcoming 14th World Esports Championship will witness the participation of top athletes from over 120 countries, competing in six different Esports titles—CS:GO, Dota 2, Tekken 7, eFootball as well as debutants PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Bang. With a massive prize pool of USD 500K (INR 4 crores approximately) up for grabs, the tournament will be conducted in Bali from December 1 to 12. Team India consists of the same athletes which represented India at the last World Esports Championship in Eilat and had won the National Qualifiers (NESC2022).

Besides CS:GO, India will also participate in the Tekken 7 and eFootball titles.

“This is another great opportunity post the Commonwealth Esports Championship for India’s esports athletes to prove their metal. With Olympics also announcing “Olympic Esports Week”, esports is inching towards its Woodstock moment; and medals in events like CEC, WEC will help in establishing India as a dominant-esports powerhouse’ globally. This set of our athletes have great potential and we are confident that they will give a tough challenge to the world’s best and emerge victorious and make our glorious nation proud. I wish them all the very best and look forward to see them triumph in their respective titles” said Yugal Kishore Sharma, Director of Esports Federation of India.

Hitesh Khorwal (Rcool) and Hemanth Kommu (Peshemak7) will represent India in the Tekken 7 and eFootball titles respectively.

Khorwal will battle it out against athletes from Pakistan, Bahamas, Venezuela and Palestine in the Group E and will be beginning his challenge against Lucius Antoine of the Bahamas on December 3.

The Indian’s clash against Arslan Siddique of Pakistan on the same day following his opening game will be one to watch out for. Arslan has won the VSFighting X, Dreamhack 2022 and Combo Breaker 2022 titles earlier this year.

I am really glad that I will be representing India in WEC this year, this feeling is adorable and I can’t explain my emotions. WEC is always an arduous task for Tekken participants since our scene has progressed tremendously well and reached a new zenith. So it’s a moment to cherish for me. It creates a perfect scenery of success for me after putting my blood and sweat into this game. This time I am more devised for the WEC. As a mountain to climb it already is, I feel confident as well as prepared for this. It’s a great opportunity to prove my mettle against the literal virtuosos of the title and my body, soul and mind, is ready for it. Bring it on, Bali!” Hitesh expressed his excitement ahead of the World Championship Finals.

Kommu, on the other hand, will be competing against athletes from Kazakhstan, Armenia and Guinea in Group P. He will play his first match against Cheick Conde of Guinea on December 3.

“It’s an amazing feeling and honour to represent our country at the 14th WEC. It’s a huge opportunity for me to play at such a big event with the top players from different countries competing. I’m confident with my grind and will try my best to get the best results in the tournament and want to bring some glory from it back home.” Hemanth said while expressing his thoughts on getting the opportunity to represent India in the world finals.

The group stage games for Tekken 7 will be contested in the best-of-three format and for CS:GO it will be in the best-of-one.

Following the conclusion of the group stage, the Top-2 teams from each group will progress into the next round in the CS:GO and Tekken 7 titles while for eFootball only the top team of the group will qualify for the next stage.

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SuperGaming and Google Cloud Collaborate to Empower Game Developers with a SuperPlatform



Reading Time: 2 minutes


Leading Indian game developer SuperGaming has chosen Google
Cloud to bring its best-in-class live-ops engine, SuperPlatform, to game developers the world
over. This will empower game developers to make better games with battle-tested cloud
infrastructure that currently powers all of SuperGaming’s efforts. This includes PAC-MAN, which
has more than one billion downloads across all storefronts, and its multiplayer shooter
MaskGun, which has more than 65 million players.

SuperPlatform will run on Google Cloud and will enable game developers to manage live ops,
matchmaking, player progression, player data, analytics, monetization systems, server scaling,
sales, and merchandising. It also integrates with popular game development platforms.

“The SuperPlatform is at the core of what makes our games tick,” says Roby John, CEO and
co-founder, SuperGaming. “It’s been made by game developers, for game developers, and after
years of iteration, finesse, and supporting some marquee games like PAC-MAN, we felt it’s the
right time to share it with more game developers. Google Cloud’s reach, technical expertise, and
best-in-class infrastructure made it an obvious choice as our partner to bring this to market.”

SuperPlatform is a SaaS (software as a service) and will be an ISV (independent software
vendor) running on Google Cloud, which provides secure, scalable, and sustainable
infrastructure that will enable more game developers to access SuperPlatform at scale.

“Gaming is a big focus for Google Cloud. We have scaled our global investments in this space
and are excited about the response we are getting from the market. ” says Bikram Singh Bedi,
managing director, Google Cloud India. “Advancements like the SuperPlatform are welcome
additions to an ever-evolving ecosystem. With Google Cloud’s infrastructure that enables
developers to build at scale and SuperGaming’s pedigree in gaming, we can really drive impact
and innovation and see more games come out of India.”

“By working closely with Google Cloud engineers and SDKs, a lot of our initial friction was
eased,” says Navneet Singh Waraich, chief technology officer and co-founder, SuperGaming.
“One key for us and our SuperPlatform customers is choice, and the ability to migrate our entire
orchestration as needed for cost-effectiveness without disrupting the game client or server
integrations on the frontend. This was a major plus for choosing to build our current stack on
Google Cloud.”

In addition to this, upcoming SuperGaming titles such as Indo-Futuristic battle royale, Indus and
Tower Conquest Metaverse Edition will also run on Google Cloud.

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