The tremendous increase in competitive play is the biggest phenomenon of the 21st century. Since it emerged as a hobby for many, competitive gaming gradually became a very professional and disciplined system.
Pandemic 2020 proved to be a significant year for Esports both in terms of increased engagement and its growing acceptance. With more time available indoors, gaming has become a viable entertainment option. This incredible growth has introduced competitive gaming to a new generation of highly engaged audiences. Player participation in competitive games, along with viewing Esports events, has increased significantly.
According to statistics, Indian sports accounted for around 4% of all online gaming users and 9.13% of aggregate revenue in FY20. By 2020, Esports audience has increased to 17 million and is projected to reach 85 million by 2025. India’s esports industry is expected to quadruple in size to Rs 1,100 crore in 2025 from Rs 250 crore today – registering a rate of growth annual compound of 46%, according to EY’s report.
Tarun Gupta, founder, Ultimate Battle, which is India’s first unique online e-sports platform, explained why e-sports should not be associated with iGaming, Fantasy or other game categories.
Online games are mainly divided into the following categories based on how the game is designed, how the games are played, and the amount of skill required to play those games:
1. Card based games (eg Poker, Rummy)
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2. Casual games (eg pool, bubble shooting)
3. Fantasy games (eg Fantasy Cricket, Fantasy Football)
4. Esports (ex. DOTA 2, BGMI, VALORANT)
In India, people confuse electronic sports with fantasy, rummy or other casual games. There is no reason to associate these games with Esports. Esports is the organized form of online and/or offline video game competitions, including traditional sports video game genres, online multiplayer battle arena (MOBA), real-time strategy (RTS) and first person shooter (FPS) games ).
Sports games are designed with a highly indulgent competitive experience in mind. The games have several elements that not only make them sporty, but also open up opportunities for players to learn about the game, grow and become the best at it, and compete at a professional level.
Sports is a real sport, here’s why:
When you think about sports, do you count the things that come quickly to your mind? It would certainly be fierce competition, physical activity, fans, practice and adrenaline, etc. Also, we think of a sports player sitting at a table and looking at a screen all the time. Although sports do not involve the same level of physical activity as sports such as football, athletes need sufficient physical endurance, motor skills, and reflex to control gaming devices and compete well with the game.
The amount of effort, practice, and discipline required by professional electronic sports athletes is comparable to many popular sports. Despite all the statistics and data showing the sharp growth of sports sports in recent years, there is still an ongoing debate – “Whether sports sports can be categorized as real sports or if they really are a sport.”
Global sporting authorities have already begun to recognize sporting sports as a sport. Recently the Asia Olympic Council (OCA) announced that eight games, including FIFA, PUBG and Dota 2 will be part of the 2022 Asian Games. To remember, Esports was a demonstration event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.
Let’s examine the similarities with traditional sports and find out why these similarities combine to make Esports a real sport in every way.
- Game Mechanics
Game mechanics are the rules and set of methods that guide the player’s actions and interactions between the player and the game. The depth and dynamics of game mechanics for Esports game titles are as vibrant as sports in their gameplay and strategic moves. Combining this with the depth of the game mechanics, which continues to evolve, makes Esports a top-notch sports game. Esports players must master game mechanics and focus on learning and improving game-specific skills. These game mechanics help make the game an engaging and fun experience.
- Game Learning Curve
Like traditional sports, Esports has a steep learning curve that helps players become more proficient with the game and gain a deeper understanding of the game. The curve increases as the player progresses through the game. As the difficulty levels increase, players need to play with more refined gameplay strategies to fight and win. To be successful in sports, you’ll have to be the best in gameplay skills, along with team coordination, opponent research, critical thinking, and multitasking.
- Physical dexterity and strategic thinking
Dive deeper into the Esports games and you’ll find that both forms of sports have a lot in common. Throughout the game, Esport athletes must maintain high levels of attention to make important decisions under time pressure. This is also true for athletes in Esports. Traditional sports mostly require athletic skills and then strategies for scoring. Sports, on the other hand, require players to have instant reflexes, a deep understanding of game mechanics, as well as dealing with the changing dynamics of game strategies to be implemented during the game. Only players with excellent athletic ability and strategic knowledge of the games can coordinate to attack at the right time.
An esports player practices and hones his skills for hours to perfect his keyboard and mouse movements while simultaneously coordinating with his teammates. Esports athletes achieve up to 400 keyboard and mouse movements per minute, four times more than the average person. The whole thing is asymmetric because both hands are being moved at the same time and various parts of the brain are also being used at the same time.
- Practice and training are essential.
In terms of practice and training, professional sports and traditional sports share several common characteristics. Like traditional athletes, Esports professionals demonstrate a commitment to excellence, perseverance and passion for the sport. In addition, both undergo physical and mental training to improve their athletic and playing skills.
Sports athletes work hard to prepare physically and mentally and practice for every competition 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 such as concentration, precision and execution that only come after a solid experience in the game. The government needs to take this into account and bring sports under the umbrella of sports policy and legislation.