The global video game industry is thriving despite the widespread economic disruption caused by the coronavirus. With the precautionary norm of social distancing reducing consumer and business activity to a minimum, gaming is proving to be an engaging distraction for people at home looking for social interaction. The initial data shows huge growth in playing time and sales since the lockdowns began.
Citing the COVID-19 scene ASUS India business head, Consumer and Gaming PC, System Business Group Arnold Su shares with AnimationXpress that, “The upward curve for gaming brought on by the pandemic which has given a significant fillip to what was already a growth industry. Esports is riding a wave of growth like never before. With mainstream sports around the world on pause, people are increasingly swinging to online gaming to fill up the empty hours of the lockdown. Millions of people staying home are looking for interesting activities, and it is a great opportunity for the esports industry to attract viewers. We have been conducting various community engagement activities in the offline space for our communities, however, the present situation allowed us to take our initiatives offline to online.”
On a global scale, India has just started out and has already shown the potential of becoming a top country in esports. With the emergence of competitive gaming, esports is evolving as a viable career option for virtual athletes and gamers. In the same context Su added that, “esports is the world of competitive and organised video gaming. It brings competitors from across the globe together from various leagues and genres of gaming. Participants compete against each other in the same games that are popular amongst gamers such as Fortnight, Call of Duty, PUBG PC, Counter-Strike, and LOL to name a few. With its massive population of potential gamers, India as an esports market is brimming with opportunities. And we are well-poised to capitalize on the growth in the coming times.”
Considering the recent context staying indoors and avoiding social gatherings is perhaps the safest and easiest way to curtail the spread of the virus. Today, government is steadily trying to bring some degree of normalcy with the resumption of essential services to keep the economy going albeit with strict measures in place. At a time when the world is undergoing so much stress, ASUS is aiming to encourage gamers to utilise their time productively, thus they are enabling them to cope with the change in the usual routine.
A series of tournaments named ROG Showdown had been recently organised by ASUS which inspired a healthy competition among gamers “that will pump them up during the Coronavirus lockdown imposed across many parts of the globe. ROG Showdown has been receiving international applause with the participation of teams like Shattered Lagcy, Red Viperz Gaming, TeO Ignite among others. More than 2500 participants from countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India are giving each other tough competition. On the back of its immense popularity, the tournament ended up hosting the second-largest LOL (league of Legends) Tournament ever played in India. Indian team Filler Cuties won the tournament by defeating Red Viperz Gaming from Bangladesh. The tournament has cumulatively helped to ROG and Intel to connect digitally with an approximate 1 M audience base.”
During the lockdown period, a lot of new players have emerged in gaming and esports and Su believes, “With gaming companies quickly adapting and innovating to the current situation, there has been wider adoption of non-gamers to gaming tournaments. This bears out in the fact that our ROG Showdown witnessed the participation of students, working professionals, and live streamers in massive numbers. We have also received several international entries for the tournament. Various players and teams from countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, and Srilanka also participated in the Showdown.”
Going forward post Covid-19 crisis, Su thinks that “the global gaming industry is expected to register a CAGR of 12per cent from 2020-2025. Increasing internet penetration is driving the demand of the market. The number of people with internet access in emerging markets has grown in the past years. Talking about the future post COVID-19, this period has witnessed a surge in gaming due to the pandemic and there has been a good blend of professional as well a casual gamers and we expect it to increase even further. “
Since esports is an important category for Asus, they will continue with their activities in the online and offline space. As for the current situation, the focus is online however they believe at the end of the situation when everything normalises, they will be conducting a host of offline events as well.