The Indian esports industry is one of the fastest growing esports industries in the world. This is all thanks to increased availability, processing power, and affordability of smartphones along with affordable high-speed internet which is allowing people from different walks of life to participate in esports. The participation of the players in competitions and winning positions at the global level has raised the interest of the audience more into esports. One of such teams which has grabbed the eyeballs of audiences is Godlike esports.
In conversation with AnimationXpress, Godlike Esports shared, “Platforms like YouTube, Loco have played a crucial role in ensuring that esports athletes have platforms to showcase their skills. The inclusion of esports in the Asian Games is also helping change the negative perception of mobile gaming. Parents and society are now realising that esports can be a rewarding career option. These factors have resulted in a significant rush in esports players in India.”
As per Godlike, India has over 150,000 professional esports players, 60,000 teams and has generated viewership from 17 million people across 14 broadcast platforms, which is expected to increase to 85 million viewers and 20+ platforms in the next four years. The average age of an esports fan is 26 making it a perfect platform for any brand looking to target the youth. Thus esports has become an extremely scalable business and India has become the dream for investors. “It also is the right time for investors to get the first-mover advantage since the growth curve for esports has just begun to move up rapidly,” the team added.
They shared the picture of how a lot of new teams have mushroomed, consisting of teenagers who dedicate their entire time to esports and fulfilling their financial needs by playing the sport. Similar to traditional sports, esports teams have expenses for training, practicing, teamwork and so on. Corporate sponsors have only started engaging with esports teams but most of the bigger corporate sponsors are yet to invest in this space.
There are challenges of financial inadequacy and sponsorship. The team added, “Since it is a nascent industry in India, there is a lack of infrastructure like formal training facilities, standardised policy framework, recognised career path from grassroots to international tournaments, and so on. A professional esports player’s career path is also quite short as most professional esport players retire in their late twenties.”
Now the struggle is how should a small esports organisation look for investments/ sponsors?
They replied, “There is no one size fits all answer and is an area where athletes and teams in any sport need the right strategy, guidance, and patience. We have been doing this for athletes and teams for years now and each one requires a unique approach. Sponsors and investors need to be looked at very differently as each gets involved at different points in a team’s life cycle. As far as sponsors are concerned, it is important to bring on a sponsor whose goals align with you. Smaller teams may want to look for smaller and possibly regional brands to start. The question for the right investor is even more complex. There are way too many variables to consider before deciding on who to approach for investment! That being said, esports teams should look for investors that have:
The ability and willingness to provide capital for the long term.
The willingness to change their investment strategy with the rapidly evolving business of esports.
Experience and connect with Indian and international esports stakeholders.”
They have recently signed Ginotra, Akashdip, Abhay, Nivesh, and Bablu as part of their Free Fire roster. The team said, “It’s been a pleasure for us to sign these players as they are some of the top Free Fire players across the country. They are excellent professionals who are determined to perform consistently and reach the highest standards possible.”
Godlike has recently also signed a CoDM lineup – Burnz, Learn, Vegaz, Broszxs, and Neutrino. They are also going to participate in the Call of Duty World Championship in December. They hope that they can perform well like they always have and are looking forward to more opportunities to expand their roster and add more professional gamers and content creators from various titles. Also they have recently announced GodLike BGMI Girls roster – Evil, Scar, AlphaQueen, Clutchy, Antra, and Rebel. Soon after the girl gang won Rooter Underdog 3.0.
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They have also been associated with talent management agency Cornerstone which will help bring esports into the limelight. “With the kind of expertise and experience the company has in the industry, it was a no-brainer for us to start this partnership with them. Their reach with endemic and non-endemic brands allows us to reach out to more partners. The BGMI roster, along with the Free Fire and Call of Duty roster, has also benefited from the association. Moving forward, Cornerstone is helping us understand the best way to position ourselves in the market,” they shared.
Few days back Jonathan Gaming of GodLike was awarded as the MVP of the BGMI tournament at the Red Bull M.E.O. (Mobile Esports Open). Commenting on that, the team said, “Overall 2021 has been a tremendous year for GodLike as a team. Our rosters across all three titles – BGMI, Free Fire, and CoDM have performed exceptionally well. We are really happy with their performance. We are grateful for the constant support our fans have shown throughout the year. Without their support and love, it would have been impossible for us to reach this level. We look forward to many such years.”