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Esports World Cup 2024: Indian Esports Industry Reacts to its Potential as Game-Changer for Country’s Video-Gaming Ecosystem

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In a landmark announcement, Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia declared the creation of the Esports World Cup, set to kick off in the summer of 2024 in Riyadh. The event promises to reshape the Esports landscape and enable the sport to usher in a new era of opportunity and competition for gamers worldwide.

The Esports World Cup will be replacing Gamers8, a renowned Esports festival held in Saudi Arabia. In this year’s edition of Gamers8, there were 20 different competitions across titles such as League of Legends, Fortnite, DOTA 2, FIFA 23, Rainbow Six Siege, PUBG Mobile and Starcraft II amongst others.

Furthermore, the event boasted an unprecedented prize pool of $45 million, marking the largest in the history of Esports tournaments. While the titles for the Esports World Cup are yet to be announced, the tournament will include the most popular games in the world across all genres and have the largest prize pool in Esports history, as per the official announcement.

The recently published “India Games Market Report 2023” by Niko Partners states that India is predominantly a mobile-first market, with 96.8% of total gamers playing on smartphones or tablets. With the opportunity to compete in such a high-profile tournament with substantial prize pools, Indian Esports athletes are expected to diversify into various gaming titles that are not that popular within the community, in order to secure a spot at the tournament. This, in turn, will contribute to the growth and diversity of the Esports industry in the country.

Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and VP of Asian Esports Federation, said: “The announcement of the Esports World Cup is indeed a historic moment for the global Esports community. This tournament will serve as a catalyst for change and growth, both on the global Esports map and in India. For a country with a predominantly mobile-focused gaming culture like ours, this event’s massive prize pool and diverse title offerings will undoubtedly motivate our Esports athletes and aspiring gamers to broaden their horizons and branch out to different titles. We see the Esports World Cup as an exciting platform that not only celebrates Esports but also unites the industry’s stakeholders on a global scale.”

According to data from Gamers8, the 2023 edition of the tournament recorded a cumulative viewership of 1.3 billion, with peak concurrent viewers reaching 1 million. The total views reached 2.09 million, and the impressions stood at 3.8 billion. The event also roped in prominent names such as Adidas, Pepsico, Aramco, Razer and many more global brands as official sponsors.

The Esports World Cup’s magnitude is expected to surpass these numbers, providing high visibility and prestige to Indian athletes participating in the tournament. This will undoubtedly lead to attracting more investments from sponsors, legacy brands, and venture capitalists, which will bolster Indian players and the community.

“Esports has always transcended borders and united passionate gamers from around the globe. With the announcement of the Esports World Cup in Saudi Arabia, the Indian Esports ecosystem is on the verge of a transformative journey. The tournament will not only serve as a platform for our incredibly talented players to showcase their skills on the world stage but also foster international collaboration, promote the growth of Esports in India, and inspire a new generation of gamers to chase their dreams. The Indian Esports community is ready to make its mark and this opportunity is the catalyst we’ve been waiting for. Let’s rise, break boundaries, and redefine what it means to be a part of the global Esports family,” said Animesh Agarwal aka 8Bit Thug, Co-founder of S8UL and Founder & CEO of 8Bit Creatives.

Esports in India has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years, with notable achievements in international competitions. In the Asian Games 2022, the nation fielded a historic 15-member contingent, competing in titles like DOTA 2, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, League of Legends and EA Sports FC Online. Prior to that, Esports also made an appearance at the Commonwealth Esports Championships in Birmingham 2022 where India’s DOTA 2 team even clinched a remarkable bronze medal.

In the 141st session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) held in Mumbai recently, IOC President Thomas Bach announced their plans regarding the creation of the Olympic Esports Games. With Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the Esports World Cup, India’s Esports talents will have another global platform to showcase their skills.

Mayank Prajapati aka MiKeYROG, who represented India in Street Fighter V: Champion Edition at the recently concluded Asian Games 2022, said: “As an Esports athlete, I see this as a window of opportunity for every gamer across India to proudly represent the country and make a name for themselves on the global stage. Much like in traditional sports World Cups where previously lesser-known athletes rise to prominence and lead their nation to glory, this could be the moment for Esports athletes to shine. The Esports World Cup has the potential to motivate Indian players to push their limits in various titles, thus expanding the talent pool and propelling the entire sector to newer heights.”

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Asia-Pacific Sports Betting Market Report 2024-2030, Featuring Dafabet, SBOBET, 1xBet, TAB, CrownBet, UBET, Sports Toto Malaysia, Mansion88, 12BET and W88

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The “Asia-Pacific Sports Betting Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report by Platform, Type, Sports Type (Football, Basketball, Baseball, Horse Racing, Cricket, Hockey, and Others), Region, and Segment Forecasts, 2024-2030” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The Asia Pacific sports betting market size is anticipated to reach USD 60.34 billion by 2030. The market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 11.5% from 2024 to 2030. The increasing penetration of the internet and smartphones drives the demand for sports betting in the Asia Pacific. The accessibility and convenience offered by these technologies have led to a surge in online sports betting platforms, attracting a wide range of enthusiasts from diverse demographics. In addition, the rise of digital payment systems has facilitated seamless transactions, encouraging more individuals to participate in sports wagering activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the Asia Pacific sports betting market due to the widespread cancellation or postponement of sporting events across the globe due to lockdowns, travel restrictions, and social distancing measures implemented to restrain the spread of the virus. For instance, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, initially scheduled for 24 July to 9 August 2020, was postponed due to the pandemic. The postponement of such big sporting events restrained the growth of the Asia Pacific sports betting market during the pandemic.

Moreover, the growing popularity of alternative betting options such as virtual sports, esports, and fantasy sports has diversified the offerings within the sports betting market, appealing to a broader audience base. As these non-traditional forms of betting gain traction among younger demographics, sports betting operators are investing in expanding their product portfolios to cater to evolving consumer preferences and market trends. The fantasy sports platforms allow users to create virtual teams composed of real-life athletes and compete against each other based on the players’ actual performance in sporting events. These alternative betting options enhance the overall betting experience and offer opportunities for bettors to engage with sports in innovative and interactive ways, thus fueling the growth of the sports betting industry in the Asia Pacific region.

Asia Pacific Sports Betting Market Report Highlights

  • Based on the type of betting, the fixed odd wagering segment accounted for the highest revenue share of 24.7% in 2023 owing to the increasing popularity of fixed odds wagering due to the transparent way of betting based on the odds set by bookmakers, which allows bettors to choose from various options
  • Based on the platform, the online segment dominated the market in 2023 and is also expected to grow at a significant CAGR over the forecast period. This shift towards online sports betting in the Asia Pacific can be attributed to secure payment options and the ability to manage accounts online
  • In terms of sports type, the horse racing segment accounted for the largest revenue share in 2023. The increasing globalization of horse racing events and the integration of international races into local betting markets have contributed to the expansion of sports betting on horse racing in the Asia Pacific
  • China held the largest share of 22.8% in the Asia Pacific region in 2023 and is expected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period. Moreover, the liberalization of gambling regulations in some areas of China, such as Macau and Hainan Island, has created new opportunities for the growth of sports betting

Key Attributes:

Report Attribute Details
No. of Pages 80
Forecast Period 2023 – 2030
Estimated Market Value (USD) in 2023 $28.09 Billion
Forecasted Market Value (USD) by 2030 $60.34 Billion
Compound Annual Growth Rate 11.5%
Regions Covered Asia Pacific

Key Topics Covered:

Chapter 1. Methodology and Scope

Chapter 2. Executive Summary
2.1. Market Outlook
2.2. Segment Outlook
2.3. Competitive Insights

Chapter 3. Asia Pacific Sports Betting Market Variables, Trends & Scope
3.1. Market Lineage Outlook
3.1.1. Parent market outlook
3.1.2. Related/ancillary market outlook
3.2. Market Dynamics
3.2.1. Market driver analysis
3.2.1.1. Increasing adoption of mobile phones and rising internet penetration
3.2.1.2. Growing number of sporting events and leagues
3.2.2. Market restraint analysis
3.2.2.1. High competition from international as well as domestic companies
3.2.3. Market opportunity analysis
3.2.3.1. Increase in the disposable of middle-income groups
3.3. Asia Pacific Sports Betting Market Analysis Tools

Chapter 4. Asia Pacific Sports Betting Market: Platform Estimates & Trend Analysis
4.1. Platform Market Share, 2023 & 2030
4.2. Segment Dashboard
4.3. Asia Pacific Sports Betting Market by Platform Outlook
4.4. Market Size & Forecasts and Trend Analyses, 2018 to 2030 for the following
4.4.1. Offline
4.4.2. Online

Chapter 5. Asia Pacific Sports Betting Market: Type Estimates & Trend Analysis
5.1. Type Market Share, 2023 & 2030
5.2. Segment Dashboard
5.3. Asia Pacific Sports Betting Market by Type Outlook
5.4. Market Size & Forecasts and Trend Analyses, 2018 to 2030 for the following
5.4.1. Fixed odds wagering
5.4.2. Exchange Betting
5.4.3. Live/In Play Betting
5.4.4. eSports Betting
5.4.5. Others

Chapter 6. Asia Pacific Sports Betting Market: Sports Type Estimates & Trend Analysis
6.1. Sports Type Market Share, 2023 & 2030
6.2. Segment Dashboard
6.3. Asia Pacific Sports Betting Market by Sports Type Outlook
6.4. Market Size & Forecasts and Trend Analyses, 2018 to 2030 for the following
6.4.1. Football
6.4.2. Basketball
6.4.3. Baseball
6.4.4. Horse Racing
6.4.5. Cricket
6.4.6. Hockey
6.4.7. Others

Chapter 7. Asia Pacific Sports Betting Market: Regional Estimates & Trend Analysis
7.1. Regional Market Share Analysis, 2023 & 2030
7.2. Regional Market Dashboard
7.3. Global Regional Market Snapshot
7.4. Market Size, & Forecasts Trend Analysis, 2018 to 2030:
7.4.1. China
7.4.2. India
7.4.3. Japan
7.4.4. South Korea
7.4.5. Australia
7.4.6. Philippines

Chapter 8. Competitive Landscape
8.1. Recent Developments & Impact Analysis, By Key Market Participants
8.2. Company/Competition Categorization
8.3. Vendor Landscape
8.4. Company Profiles

  • Dafabet
  • SBOBET
  • 1xBet
  • TAB
  • CrownBet
  • UBET
  • Sports Toto Malaysia
  • Mansion88
  • 12BET
  • W88

For more information about this report visit researchandmarkets.com

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Profiles of Animesh Agarwal, Naman Mathur, Payal Dhare and Tirth Mehta

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  1. Animesh Agarwal aka 8Bit Thug, Founder & CEO of 8Bit Creatives and Co-Founder of S8UL

Mr Animesh Agarwal is the Founder, and CEO of 8Bit Creatives, India’s leading Esports consulting and talent management agency.  He is also the founder of S8UL, a hub of gaming content and Esports. S8UL is the parent org of IQOO SOUL, the leading Esports organization in India.

S8UL is the only Indian Esports organization to win at the global Esports Awards and has done so multiple times by securing the prestigious ‘Esports Content Creator of the Year’ recently. Having also won the inaugural ‘Global Impact on Mobile Gaming’ award at the MOBIES earlier this year, the organization has elevated the stature of Indian Esports worldwide. Moreover, team SOUL has also roped in iQOO as its exclusive title sponsor, marking the first time that an Esports organization in the country secured a high-profile title sponsorship with a mobile manufacturer that extends beyond individual tournaments.

Animesh dons several hats as an entrepreneur, an ex-pro gamer, a monster energy Esports athlete, a gaming & luxury lifestyle content creator, and a pioneer in the Indian Gaming Industry. He has a deep understanding of the industry and is dedicated to shaping the Esports and gaming industry in India. He has partnered with other industry front runners like Nodwin Gaming & LOCO to make substantial strides in advancing gaming & Esports in India.

His Company, 8Bit Creatives is equally making remarkable milestones in the business of content creation and brand collaborations around gaming and esports. With some of India’s top gaming talents in their line-up and backed with experience and exposure of collaborating and curating campaigns with 100+ top-notch brands like Netflix, Coca-cola, Reliance Digital, Mx Players, OnePlus, Realme Narzo, Flipkart, Airtel, and many others; 8Bit Creatives boasts of managing popular and renowned gaming content creators and influencers- Mortal, Scout, Mavi, Snax, Thug, Payal, Kaashvi, 8bit Goldy, 8bit Sid to name a few.

 

  1. Naman Mathur aka Mortal, Co-Founder of S8UL

Naman Mathur, popularly known as Mortal, is a prominent figure in the Indian Esports community and the Co-Founder and CMO of S8UL Esports. Known for his exceptional gaming skills and influential presence, Naman has been instrumental in shaping the landscape of Indian Esports. His achievements both as an Esports athlete and a gaming creator have earned him global recognition, cementing him as the face of Indian Esports.

Naman holds the distinction of being the only Indian Esports athlete nominated four times in the prestigious global Esports Awards. The 26-year-old clinched the runner-up in the ‘Esports Personality of the Year’ category in consecutive years in 2022 and 2023, following his previous nomination for the ‘Streamer of the Year’ category in 2020 and 2021 where he secured the second position on both occasions.

As an Esports athlete, the Mumbai-born gamer has won notable tournaments including the BMPS Season 1 (2022), PUBG: Mobile Club Open, and PUBG Mobile India Series (2019) while also representing India on the international stage. Acknowledged for his exceptional gaming content, Naman was honored with the ‘Best Gaming Influencer’ at the Impact Digital Influencer Awards last year.

With an impressive following of 7 million subscribers on YouTube and over 5.3 million followers on Instagram, Naman’s influence transcends his gaming prowess, as he has played a pivotal role in elevating the status of Indian Esports on a global scale.

 

  1. Payal Dhare aka PayalGaming, India’s leading female gamer who is part of 8Bit Creatives

Payal Dhare, hailing from the small city of Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, defied societal stereotypes from an early age and embarked on a journey as a gamer. It all began when her cousin brothers introduced her to the world of video games.

While Payal’s father provided unwavering support, her mother initially shared the concerns for her future. However, Payal’s determination and passion gradually changed her mother’s perspective. As a result, her mother now stands as a proud supporter of Payal’s achievements.

Payal commenced her career as a hardcore content creator. Although her first video on YouTube did not feature gameplay, it served as a significant starting point for her. Unlike aspiring lifestyle influencers, Payal’s primary focus was to connect with her audience through gaming. She aimed to have fun while playing games and involve more people in the process. Payal believed that competitiveness was not always necessary when engaging in video games.

By breaking stereotypes and pursuing her passion, Payal Dhare has become an inspiration for aspiring gamers, content creators, and individuals seeking to challenge societal norms. With over 3.1 million followers on Instagram and 3.69 million subscribers on YouTube, her journey exemplifies the importance of following one’s dreams, even in the face of adversity.

 

  1. Tirth Mehta, Bronze medal winner in Hearthstone at Asian Games 2018

Tirth Mehta, a 28-year-old lad from the sleepy town of Bhuj in Gujarat’s Kutch district won the bronze medal in Hearthstone — a popular online digital collectible card game — at the Esports demonstration event at the 2018 Asian Games. Hearthstone, developed and published by American video game company, Blizzard Entertainment, has garnered huge interest among online gamers from across Asia, including Japan, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, besides India. The game is a combination of chess and poker, requiring players to have core skills in maths and probability.

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QTech Games bolsters its bingo offering with S4Gaming’s non-jackpot games

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Emerging-markets leader strengthens its premium platform with a new game family from the revered video-bingo supplier

QTech Games, the number-one games distributor across Asia and all emerging markets, has signed an upgrade to its existing S4Gaming partnership, enabling its platform customers to more premium content from the video-bingo supplier’s non-jackpot bingo offering.

Barcelona-based S4Gaming draws from a deep well of breakout games, including popular slots titles such as Multidragon, Golden Lion, and Binvaders. These games already form part of the progressive portfolio made available to QTech Games and its clients, but they have now been joined by a new portfolio of non-jackpot games around bingo, featuring hits like La Mina de la Suerte, Gran National Bingo, Pesero and more.

This non-jackpot game family is proving more engaging to players who enjoy better RTP from their favourite underlying core games, and attractive to operators searching for no – or more limited – jackpot liabilities.

S4Gaming boasts a comprehensive catalogue, ably backed by an experienced team that offers decades of industry expertise in a developing digital landscape that demands varied content, above all in newly regulating jurisdictions like LatAm. Its cornerstone philosophy hinges strongly around innovation, providing creative ideas to improve every aspect of the UX.

This ongoing collaboration widens S4Gaming’s geographic footprint, targeting emerging markets from Asia to Latin America in particular. As the fastest-growing distributor in Asia over the past few years, QTech’s platform is proven in fragmented territories and delivers the most expansive gaming suite around, localised for each region, with native mobile apps, powerful reporting and marketing tools, and 24/7 local-language support.

Unlike many other verticals, bingo initially struggled to adapt products to mobile and its smaller screen interface, losing its lines for invention. However, now S4Gaming is capitalising on the enormous potential within bingo to deliver an engaging, socially-led product that can win back the market share conceded to other gaming sectors.

QTech Games CCO, Daniel Long, said: “It’s another resounding endorsement of our platform to have integrated more premium content from S4Gaming. Their expanding video-bingo library is an engaging vertical in and of itself, delivering another dimension to our gaming-vertical spread, courtesy of some high-quality graphics, responsible gameplay and unique features. Together, we will continue to raise the bar and shape a localised experience for global players.

“There’s no reason for the social aspect of bingo to be impacted in the transition to mobile. In fact, its surging popularity among millennials, should propel this surge of interest in this timeless game across the generations. The key is to maintain and evolve a varied product portfolio that caters to all player preference and points on the volatility and return-to-player spectrum. Some players simply prefer a more reliable RTP and longer dwell-time from their go-to games, while this is also appealing to operators who might be looking to avoid towering jackpot liabilities.”

Carles Fernandez, CCO at S4Gaming, added: “QTech Games is a natural habitat for superior games and a rarefied air for the player experience. We are broadening our influence across developing regions and their market-leading platform provides an agile pathway to some previously overlooked territories.

“Needless to say, agreeing this new deal tracks our core strategy to fully leverage our reach, and we look forward to seeing how new audiences embrace our games.”

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