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Will India’s New Franchise-Based Esports League Encourage Online Gambling?We discuss if India’s inaugural franchise-based CS:GO tournament, the Skyesports Masters, can trigger long-term growth in local esports and raise interest in the country's esports betting market.
The recent announcement of India's first-ever franchise-based esports league caused an understandable stir in the online gaming community. Leading South Asian esports tournament organiser Jet Skyesports announced the exciting new venture, which will feature local and international teams competing for an INR 2 crore (€220,000) prize pool.
Skyesports Masters Aims to Change the Game
The Skyesports Masters event will comprise eight of the best CS:GO teams from India and around the world. The invited teams will compete at a live LAN event in Mumbai rather than following the recent trend of allowing some groups to compete online.
Shiva Nandy, Chief Executive Officer for Skyesports, said:Quote
“The Skyesports Masters is set to redefine and raise the bar for eSports in India. With our franchised system, we have found eight fantastic partners to be a part of the inaugural season of the league. Our goal for the league is not to just create one of the grandest tournaments for audiences to enjoy but also to build a viable ecosystem for eSports organisations while unlocking many revenue streams for them.”
In addition to the €220,000 prize pool, the organiser has leveraged their ongoing relationships with various other businesses to add value to the competitors through merchandising deals, media campaigns, and direct sponsorships.
The success of both the tournament and the value added by these additional revenue streams will determine whether the event becomes a mainstay of the Indian esports sector or becomes another of the region’s non-starters.
Will Esports Betting in India Follow the Event?
India has a very tumultuous online gambling industry. The country’s gambling legislation is hampered by adherence to outdated regulations such as the Public Gambling Act of 1867. No specific federal law governing the sector has left each state to determine its own stance on land-based and online gambling, which is never the ideal environment for attracting investment from established gambling companies.
While there is a lot of pushback locally when it comes to games of chance like Online Slots, there is less resistance to betting, given its designation as a skill-based activity. This distinction is one of the reasons that a large percentage of Indian wagers are placed on betting events at offshore sites.
A popular betting segment over the past few years has been esports due to India’s love of video games and incredible mobile adoption. The launch of the Skyesports Masters tournament could be the ideal vehicle for drawing attention to India as a source of exciting esports betting action.
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