Higher stakes and higher hopes for gaming in India
Gaming in India is on the rise and it is estimated that in the next five to ten years India’s gaming scene will literally explode and become one of the world’s largest. An organization called The League of Extraordinary Gamers (LXG) are doing their part towards the accomplishment of this goal as they are slowly becoming synonymous with hosting eSport competitions in India.
Last year, they introduced Indian LAN Gaming (ILG) Season one, which was a nine month long event filled with several LAN tournaments taking place in multiple games. This was a great initiative that turned out to be more popular than LXG had initially expected and significantly raised the profile of Indian gaming.
This year, the second season of ILG is running and the stakes are higher than ever as a total prize pool of $153,322.00 is offered. This is a 650% increase from last year’s season and it’s therefore expected that more gamers will be taking part in the more than 150 tournaments that are scheduled in ILG’s calendar for the year. These tournaments will take place in sixteen cities across India, including more than twenty selectively chosen gaming cafes, as well as a couple of universities that are offering their facilities.
The scale of this event is not only a huge boost to the eSports industry in India, but is yet another confirmation that eSports gaming is becoming one of the most popular sports across all continents. The enormity of the event is however not the main thing that makes Indian LAN Gaming such a revolutionary venture in India. What’s so novel about it is the fact that it encourages young Indian people to mingle and hang out in gaming cafes instead of sitting at home and not being able to experience the emotions and passion of their fellow competitors. The director of eSports and broadcasting at LXG, Kiran Noojibail, thinks along these lines as he had the following to say about it:
“Everyone is playing online these days, but we wanted to focus more on LAN competitions where gamers can play in gaming cafes instead of sitting at home as is generally the case”
This format of gaming is highly reminiscent of how games such as Counter Strike used to be played in internet cafes and the organizers of the ILG claim that they want to bring back the camaraderie which was present at those gatherings. They say that the result of a match is always important, but what is even more valuable is that they are taking the first steps towards establishing a gaming culture in India.
Kiran Noojibail says that their aim isn’t to compete, but it is to promote gaming in the country. He predicts that by the year 2022 there will be a huge demand for gaming in India and he believes that by that time organizations such as LXG have to do their part to prepare the ground for this.
With a huge prize pool and tournaments all over the country, they are certainly showing a lot of enthusiasm. The fact that the majority of tournaments in ILG Season 2 are held for FIFA 18, CS:GO and DOTA 2 is also proof of the direction which they want to go in. These are however not the only games featured in this year’s ILG as Rocket League, Rainbow Six: Siege, Player Unknown’s Battleground (PUBG), Call of Duty and Overwatch will also be included.
The event just recently started and will run for a total of seven months with plenty of minor tournaments leading up to a grand finale at the end of year. Matches are played every week and can be followed on major social networks. In addition, as it has become customary at all renowned events around the world, the organizers have made it possible for members of the audience to get all sorts of eSports related merchandise on match days.