India Officially Recognizes E-sports As a Part Of Multisports Event

This is a prominent step towards regularizing an industry that brings in millions if not billions of dollars every year in terms of investments and expenditures

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By Teena Jose • Dec 27, 2022

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The Indian government has officially recognized esports in the country. Esports will now be a part of the "multisports event" category in India under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and sports and a section related to "matters relating to online gaming" is added under MeitY as well.

Under the Cabinet Secretariat, the addition of "esports" was notified under the sub-heading Department of Sports under, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The notification was sent on December 23rd, 2022 marked on memo No: S.O.6062(E). This is a prominent step towards regularizing an industry that brings in millions if not billions of dollars every year in terms of investments and expenditures. The Government has made its intentions and willingness to boost the digital economy and gaming (now can be called esports) in India.

"Great news for us to begin the New Year. We have been constantly working on establishing the difference between esports and iGaming, and finally, our efforts have been fulfilled. We welcome this announcement by our government under the leadership of Hon'ble PM Modi ji, which will open new avenues to pour in more investment opportunities in this booming industry. From now onwards, we will have to build the proper infrastructure, training facilities and coaching for our young esports athletes. Only a short time until we see Esports being placed in the same league as cricket, football, basketball, etc. and having similar fan power, scale and craze," said Lokesh Suji, director, Esports Federation of India and vice-President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF), in a statement.

The Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) Promotion Task Force, which was established earlier this year after the Union Budget of 2022-23, has also submitted a report outlining the opportunities, challenges and recommended actions that the Government of India can take to promote and nurture the industry.

Commenting on the development, Rohit Jagasia, founder and CEO of Revenant Esports said that, "Today can be said to be the greatest day in Indian Esports history. The collective efforts of the entire gaming fraternity along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and sports have finally reaped its rewards. The year 2023 is undoubtedly going to be the start of the country's golden era in Esports and with the Asian Games as well as the Olympic Esports Week also set to take place soon, there is a lot of success expected to be in store for the entire community."

The government task force has recommended establishing incubators to accelerate the growth of startups in the AVGC industry and has asked the MIB to look into tax rebates, incentivizing foreign direct investments (FDI), and offering research and development opportunities to the industry

"Esports have already been considered as a medal sport in the Olympics and Asian games and this news will further boost the sport in the country as it was long overdue. The industry inclusive of developers, players and creators as a whole is growing at a fast pace and to come full-circle this recognition will be very thriving for the industry. It presents a clean slate for gamers and proves to neigh-sayers that Esports is, in fact, a serious sport that deserves to be recognised for its skilled and hard-working players who will be competing against some of the world's best players and put India on the map of professional gaming countries," said Animesh Agarwal, founder and CEO, 8bit Creatives and an ex-esports athlete, in the statement.

Teena Jose

News Desk Reporter with Entrepreneur India

Teena is a post graduate in financial journalism. She has an avid interest in content creation, digital media and fashion.

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