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The gaming sector has witnessed a prominent growth in the global market. Several sports organisations have shown interest in associating with e-sports. According to EY, the gaming sector is expected to grow by 46 per cent in the next few years. Due to its high profitability, many sporting organisations are keen to be involved with gaming.
There has also been a rise in the viewership of e-sports. According to Newzoo's 2019 Global Esports Market Report, the viewership of e-sports touched 458.8 million in 2019, a 15 per cent increase over the previous year (2018). Around 32 per cent of the e-sports audience is between the age of 16-24 years, while 30 per cent come in the age group of 25-34, based on the data revealed by DataReportals.
The growing demand of the industry has inspired La Liga to join hands with EdTech company Hero Vired to organise a gaming competition in India, in which the participants would battle for the top spot by playing various e-sports. On Monday, Spanish football legend and LaLiga ambassador Luis Garcia and La Liga India's MD Jose Antonio Cachaza launched the 'Amateur eLaLiga Trophy' in New Delhi, along with Hero Vired's founder and CEO Akshay Munjal.
The competition would take place from April 9 to 26, its winner would get La Liga's official merchandise and a trip to Spain, which would be including stadium visits, accommodation, food, watching football matches, and more. Registration for the tournament started on March 28 and it's open for participants across India for free. The final of the competition would be held on May 8. Hero Vired will also provide learning courses to the 25 selected LaLiga fans, as part of their association with the league.
The fans would be selected based on various competitions and engagement activities that will take place across the year. Also Read - Man United could right decade-long wrongs with Erik ten Hag's appointment News9 also asked Munjal about the kind of programs that the 25 selected participants could avail from their learning platform. "The selected individuals could take courses associated with data science and finance and we would also be introducing a gaming course soon, which would be at the disposal of the Indian audience on our platform," said Munjal.
La Liga already has a 'Beat the Best' competition running across 13 different countries worldwide including the United States of America and China. This event is organised with the aim to propel the gaming industry in India.
After collaborating with Hero Vired, La Liga is eyeing to grab hold of the huge Indian gaming market. News9 questioned Cachaza about his interest in the gaming industry, to which he replied, "I often watch my kids play EA games on the Play Station and they really enjoy it. That's all I know about the games but I do know that the gaming industry has a lot of potential."
La Liga has received a good response from its internationalization strategy of the e-sports ventures. In the previous year (2020-21) 21,000 players registered for the eLaLiga Fan Cup across the globe, and they also generated 3 million impressions on social media. Former Barcelona player Luis Garcia said: "E-sports has always been a big part of football. It's a terrific opportunity for fans to get involved with their favourite sport and compete with their friends and other players from all around the world." Munjal said, "e-sports is rapidly gaining popularity, and as per a report, India will have over 1.5 million active e-sports players by FY25. We are delighted to contribute to this fast-growing ecosystem by bringing this challenge to India."
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