India’s inclusion in FIFA’s Global series can be considered a turning point for esports industry in the country…

It has been a good few months for esports professionals and content creators around the world.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced people to spend more time at home and in the modern world, that directly results in more time spent in front of screens.

“It has directly affected esports and content creation in a lot of different ways,” Saransh Jain, an esports professional who won the Indian leg of the Virtual Bundesliga last year, told Goal.

“It could be said that it was a blessing in disguise, especially for content creation. Now that everyone has understood the importance of gaming and content, there has been a lot of growth for streamers on Youtube and Twitch,” the ESL Asia Season 2 winner added. “There hasn’t been any growth directly, with no LAN events possible. So it has been difficult but also helpful.”

Esports athletes and content creators have seen growth in what can be considered as a rapidly booming industry in India. And with EA’s decision to include India as one of the regions for the FIFA Global series, this could be a pivotal moment in the graph for esports in India. 

FIFA gamers India esports

FIFA gamers India esports

Saksham ‘Sakky’ Rattan, a Pune-based professional FIFA gamer who is only the second Indian to win an international trophy for FIFA, became the first player from the country to take part in the Global series last year. But how? He did so from Turkey.

“I finished in the top 500 in the world for Playstation last season without participating in any tournament that awarded Global series points,” Saksham, who plays for Turkey-based team Futblistco (where footballer Nuri Sahin as an investor), told Goal

Saksham, who has been competing for six years, is confident of doing well in the much-anticipated series. “So I am pretty sure I will be able to finish with a higher rank this year now that India is eligible. We should be having many more tournaments where we can win global series points and I am sure I will be able to participate in many of those.”

While esports’ growth is certainly remarkable, there are certain aspects that need to be improved if India is going to be a world-class gaming nation. 

FIFA gamers India esports

FIFA gamers India esports

“Esports is a massively booming industry in India. It has had a slow start in India but the investors have begun to realise the growth. But in our society, it is not directly looked at as a career option, that is something (that needs to change),” Saransh explained. 

“Most important aspects that need improvement are financial investment and media coverage. Also, the fact that there is a 31.2 per cent of tax deducted at source (TDS) on all prize money given to esports athletes need to be worked on.” 

The 19-year-old from Pune also believes the Global series is going to have a big impact on esports in India and is looking forward to kickstarting the new journey with FIFA 21. 

“It is going to completely change the scene for us, I am expecting big things for FIFA esports in India. (With FIFA 21) I am looking forward to the first-weekend league which starts from 16th (October) initially and then the regional qualifiers from November 2020.”