As the gaming business garners more eyeballs and brings in opportunities in various sub sectors attached to it, everyone wants a slice of it. Gamerji is one of the latest entrants in the Indian gaming industry. With multiple platforms in the country springing up offering cash prizes to the winners, Gamerji, founded by Soham Thacker and Varun Gajjar too intends on bringing professional gaming to a much wider consumer-base. The company recently acquired a funding of $400K from La Gajjar Group, an investment group based in Ahmedabad which they intend on building technology, increasing operations and also “gaining users”. “Gamer ji essentially is an online esports tournament platform where you conduct virtual tournaments for different popular esports games with likes of, PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile, Clash Royale. The whole phenomenon came into existence from the gap that we identified in the market that most of the esports tournaments conducted globally are mainly focused on the pro-level gamers.” Says Gamerji co-founder Soham Thacker. Given the availability of smartphones and internet connections, gaming as a hobby is rapidly moving into the rural segments as well. With that, a lot of players will be keen on earning some cash and get into the competitive scene even though if not in the top tier. Earlier Gamerji was completely into the fantasy sports genre, however they saw an opportunity in this segment and wanted to fill it. The team started working on the platform last March and launched it in July and have been garnering users since then. It is soliciting close to about 200 thousand gamers over the past six months. With fantasy sports, which is another growing market in India, the majority of engagements come during the sports events, however regular gaming titles are not limited to timeline spikes. The team apparently studied the needs in both the matured gaming markets and the upcoming ones and created this model. While traditional esports is restricted to PC and consoles, the dynamics are quickly evolving, especially in a mobile-first country like India. Hence, the team at Gamerji wants to give a sense of competitive or somewhat semi-professional gaming experience to its users. The platform conducts around 20 tournaments in an hour on various scales. The registration fee can range from Rs. 5 to Rs. 500 depending on the user’s choice and confidence and the prize money is reverted in accordance to the tournament’s pool. However, money is not the only thing that a player may win from a tournament. The platform also organises sponsored tournaments for brands who want to promote their brand by giving out goodies or merchandise. Recently, the platform hosted a tournament for ComicCon India where they gave out passes to the winners. Thacker himself being a computer engineer wanted to see the back-end of the site, as he mentions, “I did it myself along with my team. I have twenty one people in my team right now. We have everything in house including tech, development, game coordinators, and more. That is [Development of the platform] something I wanted to leverage my personal skills to build a better platform.” These platforms target users between 16 to 30, Gamerji is no different. However, coming up with such a platform came with challenges, “The biggest challenge that we faced was when we came out of the venture we had in the fantasy sports segment. There we had extensive learnings even from a marketing or user acquisition standpoint, making sure that the user retention is something very crucial when it comes to a platform like ours.” As with these platforms, the audience has a plethora of activities and apps to choose from and losing their attention for even a bit can make them lean on to other games or apps. Gamerji overcame this app by adding additional features to keep the consumers engaged while they wait for a tournament or match. Based out of Ahmedabad, the team is pushing for more by next quarter, “We have reached our million user mark. We are definitely rising after the pre-series round in the next quarter which will get our platform to 1.3 million gamers by the end of this year.” Gamerji is also first ever Indian startup to be selected in the accelerator program by Qatar Sports Tech – A sports-centric startup investor and accelerator based in Doha, Qatar. Currently the platforms hosts only three games, COD Mobile, PUBG Mobile and Clash Royale, but are open to try new titles in the like of Free Fire and more soon.