India set for professional esports league

Mobile gaming company Nazara Games has announced plans to launch a professional esports league in India.

The Mumbai-based company plans on investing Rs 136 crore (€19.3m/$20.3m) into the venture, which will be entirely owned by its Nazara Technologies subsidiary.

Nazara will develop an online, esports-dedicated content platform alongside a professional league and a network of professional teams, which it will support.

The league is set to receive live online streaming, while Nazara also plans to provide guides, forums, online tournaments and coverage of the esports scene.

Nazara Games’ chief executive Manish Agarwal told the Hindu Business Line newspaper: “There is a huge traction in the esports market globally, and it is only a matter of time before companies start investing in it. We’re looking at a niche market.”

He added: “Europe, Korea, China and the US have seen massive growth in the number of players and spectators. Asia-Pacific accounts for 44 per cent of the audience and is the fastest-growing region globally.”

The tournament is set to have two seasons each year and feature six teams, which will be selected through free-to-enter online qualifying tournaments. Games that will be contested in the league include Counter Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2.

Nazara’s initiative comes with UCypher, another major esports league, expected to launch next month. The Indian Gaming League already exists in the local market.