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Nazara plans eSports league, to develop digital gaming ecosystem

Mobile game publishing company Nazara Games on Tuesday said it will launch an eSports league in the country and also invest about Rs 136 crore (about $20 million) over the next five years to develop the Indian digital gaming ecosystem.

"Countries in Europe, Korea, China and the US have seen huge growth in the number of eSports players and spectators.

Asia Pacific accounts for 44 per cent of the audience and is the fastest growing region globally...we are confident of reaching out to a large group of eSports enthusiasts in India through our league," Nazara Games CEO Manish Agarwal said. He added that the eSports league will provide a platform for gaming content, launching tournaments, building games as well as creating a community of players/coaches/spectators.

The company estimates the Indian eSports community in India to be 5 million-strong and growing.

"This will be an ecosystem in which players can thrive, improve their skills and become top competitors at an international level," he said.

The league will be managed by a new company, which will be a 100 per cent subsidiary of Nazara. "Based and styled on successful eSports formats that have been applied internationally, Nazara is investing in building a wider eSports ecosystem. We will invest $20 million over the next 5 years across marketing, strengthening technology platform as well as content creation," he said.

The league will have two seasons per year and will feature six teams that will be selected through an open and free online qualifier tournaments. The league will include games such as DotA2, CS:GO and other games which will be announced shortly.

According to a CII-TechSci Research report, the Indian gaming industry was valued at $543 million in 2016 and is projected to grow to $801 million by 2022. Mobile gaming accounts for the largest chunk at $265.8 million last year and is forecast to touch $286.2 million in 2017.
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