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How 5G Can Revolutionize India's Gaming Industry Gaming experts say that 5G will accelerate esports and video gaming growth in India tremendously

By S Shanthi

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India's telecom industry is waiting for the upcoming 5G spectrum auction with bated breath. Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea (Vi) and an Adani Group entity have all joined the race to disrupt the space. 5G is expected to bring a telecom revolution. For the gaming sector, this means super-fast downloads and uploads, glitch-free multiplayer video games, live streaming, and real-time gaming.

It is being said that 5G will accelerate esports and video gaming growth in India in multiple ways. We asked experts how.

"5G is powering new possibilities for professional players by maintaining a stable internet connection which is crucial. With a raw speed that is much higher than that of 4G, players can experience a smooth and uninterrupted playtime. With faster speed and improved latency, gamers will get a more competitive edge and will catapult the billion-dollar industry of esports, said Lokesh Suji, director, Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF).

While traditionally, we need to download the games to play, with 5G, players can enjoy the games on the cloud without compromising their experience. "This will allow users to save space on their mobile devices, PC & Consoles. Video game updates are another big nightmare for our gamers, and these are no small 5-10 MB updates, these are like 1 GB updates and take decent time to download, while with 5G, downloads will happen in a jiffy," he added.

5G is expected to propel the gaming industry by democratizing access to high-end AAA games in the mainstream. "It will also offer gamers, easy access to newer and more unique experiences like AR and VR. Faster internet speed and reliable connection will encourage game developers, designers, and storytellers to work on grander, more complex, and engrossing stories. This freedom will result in more quality content with time," said Vishwalok Nath, director, Esports Premier League.

The rollout and proper adoption of 5G will take a while considering the complexities involved. However, once the rollout crosses a critical threshold, experts say that it will offer impressive flexibility to almost all industries across a wide spectrum.

"The upcoming metaverse, and all virtual reality technology that again would completely elevate the gaming experience, would be facilitated in large parts by 5G. One of the reasons why gaming has become so popular in the last few years is the multiplayer & social experience that games are now able to provide, and 5G is expected to make that even smoother. To be honest, 5G will impact gaming in more ways than one," said Animesh Agarwal, an ex-esports athlete and founder and CEO, 8bit Creatives, a gaming talent management agency.

Last year, telecom giant, Airtel, hosted a cloud gaming demo on a LIVE Airtel 5G test network. S8UL gamers were among a few to experience it firsthand and Agarwal also attended the event with the team. "Our pro gamers, Mortal aka Naman Mathur and 8bit Mamba aka Salman Ahmad tested cloud gaming on the Airtel 5G test network at Manesar. They used mid-segment smartphones connected to a 3500 MHz high capacity spectrum band, recording speeds of over 1 Gbps and a latency of 10 milliseconds. Both the gamers agreed that 5G technology would have an impact on the efficiency and experience of online multiplayer genre games such as battle royale and racing games," said Agarwal.

Further, tournament organizers will be able to organize more localized events with higher participation and reach a wider viewing audience. "This, in turn, will give brands more sponsorship opportunities, not only to reach out to a bigger audience base but also to experiment with more complex advertising formats which would otherwise be very data dependent," said Rohit Agarwal, founder and director, Alpha Zegus, the next-gen marketing agency specializing in the domains of gaming & lifestyle.

With 5G, experts are also sure of seeing more talent coming into the space. "I'm certain we will see more budding talent rise up the ranks since internet connection has always been a matter of concern for many avid esports enthusiasts. With that being said, 5G will definitely lay a huge emphasis on mobile gaming and esports provided the prices are affordable since India is a very price-sensitive market," said Rohit Jagasia, founder and CEO, Revenant Esports.

S Shanthi

Former Senior Assistant Editor

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. 


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