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Ronnie Screwvala bats for India’s e-sports federation to support local talents


Entrepreneur-cum-investor Ronnie Screwvala, who has already tried his hands in e-sports league is now planning something bigger. Based out of Mumbai, the former UTV head is going to set up India’s official e-sports federation, which will be predominantly focused on preparing local players for a global platform.

The proposed e-federation will work as a regulating body for all Indian e-sports events, which will further promote relationship-exchange with other nations in the space. As of now, the plan is in a preliminary stage, and it aims to encourage, organise, educate, and train e-sports athletes in India.

According to Screwvala, by forming a federation, athletes will get the government support they need to compete at global levels, reports ET.

Screwvala along with USports CEO Supratik Sen met the minister of state for youth affairs and sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to create a single internationally and nationally recognised body for India to bring the players under one jurisdiction.

Besides, the federation is also seeking the government’s endorsement for their players.

Screwvala, who owned futuristic sports business company USports, which had earlier launched e-sports league UCypher.

Claimed to be launching India’s first e-sports league, USports had signed an agreement with one of the largest game publishing companies, Valve Corp to use its hugely popular games ­Counter-Strike and DOTA2 for UCypher.

The company has also tied up with digital platforms like Youtube, Youtube Gaming and eSports platform with over 50 million monthly users, Twitch.TV.

Also Read: Trends that will drive Indian gaming industry in 2018

In his earlier interview, Sen had said, “We’re creating a viable career option for thousands of serious gamers who had no outlet for their talent earlier.”

Screwvala emphasised on the three most common criticisms of eSports (addiction, sedentary lifestyle, violent content), saying that creation of more sci-fi based content will help tackle at least the latter aspect in the coming years.

USports currently runs the Pro Kabaddi League—a team contact sport native to the subcontinent—and esports will be the next venture of the company founded by Ronnie Screwvala.

What is an e-sports league?

These games are multiplayer Games, where you form up teams and compete/play online. The most common video game genres associated with eSports are: Real-time Strategy (RTS, Fighting, First-person Shooter (FPS) and Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)

Some of the famous e-sports league are Defense of the Ancients (DOTA2), League of Legends (LoL), CounterStrike, Call of Duty, FIFA, Hearthstone, Starcraft, Vainglory.

Regulating bodies in e-sports

Globally, the International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) based out of South Korea regulates and recognise electronic sports as a legitimate sport. Around 50 nations are members of IeSF including India.

In India, Esports Federation of India (ESFI) acts as a regulating body as of now. It’s a full member of IeSF and Asian eSports Federation (AeSF), Dubai.

ESFI recently participated in 9th Esports World Championship organized by International eSports Federation (IeSF) at Busan, Korea in the month of November last year, where India got 20th rank against 39 countries.

The Indian gaming industry stands at an inflection point. It is set to become one of the largest and fastest growing game markets in the world. With the rise in online gamer base and adoption of new payment technologies, the need for such body may require.

In case, the body comes into play, it could be a huge thrust for Indian gamers.

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