India’s esports industry has witnessed significant growth in recent years, both in terms of popularity and revenue. Recognizing the potential of esports, the Directorate of Sports and Youth Welfare (DSYW) of Madhya Pradesh, the state’s sports regulatory body, is set to launch the country’s first-ever online gaming and esports academy in August 2023. This pioneering initiative aims to identify and nurture the best esports prospects in the state and contribute to the growth of esports and gaming in India.
Madhya Pradesh Ministry Embraces Esports
Esports and the video game industry have gained immense traction worldwide, including in India. In line with this trend, the Madhya Pradesh ministry believes that esports is the future and is committed to supporting its development. Esports tournaments, both international and domestic, have seen prize pools skyrocketing into the millions of dollars. The minister of Technical Education, Skill Development, and Employment of Madhya Pradesh, Yashodhara Raje Scindia, expressed her vision for the upcoming online event, stating that players and teams between the ages of 10 and 17 will have the opportunity to register. She emphasized that Madhya Pradesh has become a sports hub and aims to promote all sports included in the Asian Games and the Olympics.
Converting Passion into Profession
The primary objective of launching the Esports Academy is to provide aspiring young players with the opportunity to turn their passion and hobby into a sustainable profession. Madhya Pradesh recognizes the interest of the youth in the digital and technological realm and aims to bring esports into the mainstream alongside traditional sports. By creating a platform for young talents to showcase their skills, the academy seeks to propel the growth of esports in the country.
Unveiling the Details
While the precise games and competition format for the academy have not been disclosed yet, the event is scheduled to take place between July 23rd and August 7th, 2023. The Madhya Pradesh sports department aims to provide a level playing field for all participants, allowing them to compete and showcase their abilities. By keeping the registration open to an unlimited number of players and teams, the academy aims to discover hidden talents from all corners of the state.
Challenges and Opportunities
Despite the commendable initiative, some individuals familiar with India’s current esports landscape may have concerns. Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), the Indian version of PUBG Mobile, currently dominates the esports scene in the country. The overwhelming popularity of BGMI poses a challenge for other games to thrive, as audience enthusiasm tends to be limited. While this reality presents a hurdle, it also represents an opportunity for the Esports Academy to diversify the gaming landscape and support the growth of other titles.
India’s first-ever esports academy, set to be launched by the Madhya Pradesh sports department, demonstrates the government’s commitment to harnessing the potential of esports. By tapping into the interests and skills of young gamers, the academy aims to provide them with the necessary resources and opportunities to pursue a career in esports. As the esports industry continues to expand, initiatives like this will play a crucial role in nurturing talent and contributing to the overall growth of esports in India. The launch of the Esports Academy marks an important milestone in the recognition and promotion of esports as a legitimate sport in the country’s sports landscape.
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