Esports & Gaming
“The growth and success make India one of the most promising markets,” says STAN CEO & Co-founder Parth Chadha

“The growth and success make India one of the most promising markets,” says STAN CEO & Co-founder Parth Chadha

One of the emerging esports and gaming fan engagement platforms, STAN is created by passionate gamers for the gaming community to help them grow closer to their favourite stars. The co-founder & CEO of STAN, Parth Chadha exclusively sat down with InsideSport.IN for an interview where he elaborates on the overall presence of esports in India and its potential in the coming […]

One of the emerging esports and gaming fan engagement platforms, STAN is created by passionate gamers for the gaming community to help them grow closer to their favourite stars. The co-founder & CEO of STAN, Parth Chadha exclusively sat down with InsideSport.IN for an interview where he elaborates on the overall presence of esports in India and its potential in the coming years.

Here are the excerpts from the interview.

What are the key factors that have contributed to the growth of the esports industry in India?

India’s gaming ecosystem has experienced remarkable growth, positioning the country as a global hub for adoption. Several factors contribute to this phenomenon.

First, India’s large and young population, with the majority under the age of 35, exhibits a strong affinity for gaming, making it one of the world’s largest gaming markets.

"The growth and success make India one of the most promising markets," says STAN CEO & Co-founder Parth Chadha.
Parth Chadha

Second, the rising smartphone penetration in India, coupled with affordable devices and high-speed internet, has made it the second-largest smartphone market globally, fuelling the surge in mobile gaming, which is immensely popular in the country. The release of PUBG Mobile/BGMI and cheaper data rates provided by Reliance Jio created a significant impact, leading to exponential growth in the esports industry since 2018.

Another key factor is localization, as Indian game developers have adeptly created games tailored to the Indian market. By incorporating elements of Indian mythology, culture, and languages, these games have resonated strongly with Indian gamers.

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The rapid growth of esports in India has fueled increased participation and investor interest. Esports tournaments have seen exponential growth since 2018, resulting in a surge in participation and viewership. The amount of prize money in esports tournaments has also experienced substantial growth, with tournaments offering prize pools ranging from 25 Lakhs to 1 Crore becoming a regular occurrence.

With its combination of a large and young population, rising smartphone penetration, localization efforts, government support, a talented developer pool, and the flourishing esports industry, India’s gaming ecosystem has become a global hub for adoption. This growth and success make India one of the most promising markets for game developers and investors worldwide.

How does STAN’s platform help to engage fans with their favourite esports creators and players?

STAN is dedicated to enhancing the esports experience for our users. We provide numerous engagement levers that allow fans to connect with their favourite creators on a more personal level. For example, users have the opportunity to meet their favourite creators in person, play games with them, and even redeem official merchandise from the creators themselves. These unique opportunities help to foster deeper connections between creators and fans, creating a more immersive and rewarding gaming experience for all.

Overall, STAN is revolutionizing the way that users engage with their favourite creators and esports platforms. By leveraging blockchain technology and providing unique engagement opportunities, we are creating a platform that is not only authentic and secure but also engaging and fun for all users.

What are some of the challenges that STAN faces in its mission to revolutionize the esports industry?

Some of the challenges that STAN faced include navigating the regulatory environment, dealing with unclear taxation policies related to web3, no regulatory body and addressing government recognition of esports as a legitimate sport. However, there are positive developments underway as the government is actively working towards resolving these issues. This includes actions like officially recognizing esports as sports, and creating guidelines to facilitate the smooth operation of companies like STAN in the industry.

What are some of the ways that STAN is working to promote responsible gaming?

STAN is promoting responsible gaming in the following ways:

Wallet Management: STAN utilizes a non-custodial wallet system to manage users’ funds securely, providing a trusted and reliable platform for financial transactions.

Time Monitoring: STAN takes measures to monitor and manage the time users spend on the platform, promoting healthy gaming habits and preventing excessive playtime.

Profanity Filters: STAN has implemented profanity filters to maintain a respectful and positive environment, ensuring that users can engage without encountering abusive or offensive language.

Reward System: STAN rewards users with game currencies that can be used within popular games like BGMI and FF. This incentivizes responsible gameplay and provides users with additional benefits for their positive engagement.

Community Building: STAN facilitates connections between fans and top players, creating opportunities for learning, mentorship, and sharing positive experiences. This helps foster a supportive gaming community.

What are your thoughts on the potential for esports to become an Olympic sport?

The meteoric rise in the popularity of esports is undeniable, as demonstrated by the impressive viewership numbers of major tournaments. The League of Legends World Championship in 2020 alone attracted over 49.95 million viewers across multiple platforms, accumulating a remarkable 1 billion hours of viewership. Notably, other games such as Counter-Strike have also garnered significant attention, with events like the 2020 IEM Katowice peaking at over 1 million viewers.

This surge in popularity has caught the attention of various sporting organizations, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who recognizes esports as a means to engage with a new generation of sports fans and maintain relevance. While esports has not yet been included as an official Olympic event, the Intel World Open held in Tokyo prior to the 2021 games received support and promotion from the IOC. Furthermore, the Paris 2024 Olympics will feature esports in the form of “virtual and connected” events running alongside the main games, indicating a growing interest in its integration.

Despite the growing momentum, challenges remain for the inclusion of esports in the main Olympic Program. However, with “alternative” sports like surfing and breakdancing securing provisional spots in the Olympics, the argument for esports’ inclusion becomes stronger. The IOC has also taken steps towards embracing esports by announcing the Olympic Esports Series 2023, a tournament that will culminate in live, in-person finals for the first time. Players participating in this event will have the opportunity to progress to the Olympic Esports Finals 2023, creating an exciting pathway for esports athletes.

With gaming becoming a viable career option, how do you envision the future landscape of professional esports in India, and what opportunities and challenges do you anticipate?

As the gaming industry continues to grow rapidly worldwide, including in India, the landscape of professional esports is poised for significant development. In envisioning the future of professional esports in India, several opportunities and challenges are likely to arise.

Opportunities:

Increased Recognition and Investment: As esports gains mainstream recognition, there is a potential for increased investment from sponsors, brands, and media outlets. This could lead to enhanced infrastructure, better training facilities, and higher prize pools for tournaments, providing a boost to the professional esports scene in India.

Career Pathways and Professionalism: With the growth of esports, there will be a rise in career opportunities within the industry. Professional players, coaches, analysts, commentators, event organizers, and other supporting roles will find a place in the ecosystem. This could pave the way for structured career paths, professional leagues, and more comprehensive training programs.

Gaming Infrastructure and Ecosystem: The growth of professional esports will likely stimulate the development of gaming infrastructure, including dedicated gaming arenas, gaming cafes, and specialized training facilities. This infrastructure will foster a vibrant ecosystem that supports professional gamers and encourages grassroots talent.

Challenges:

Acceptance and Stereotypes: Despite the progress made, esports still faces stereotypes and misconceptions that undermine its legitimacy as a career option. Educating the public, changing perceptions, and highlighting the skills and dedication required for success in esports will be crucial in overcoming these challenges.

Infrastructure and Support Systems:

While the esports infrastructure in India is evolving, there is still a need for robust support systems, including sponsorships, talent scouting, and professional training platforms. Building a sustainable ecosystem that nurtures talent, provides resources, and supports players’ well-being will be essential.

Competition and Global Standards: India’s esports scene will need to meet global standards to compete internationally. This includes improving player skills, adopting standardized regulations, and creating opportunities for Indian players to participate in global tournaments. Strengthening the competitive landscape will require strategic partnerships and collaborations with international organizations.

Broadening the Player Base: To ensure long-term growth, it will be crucial to expand the player base and promote inclusivity within esports. Encouraging diversity, reaching out to underrepresented communities, and providing equal opportunities for all aspiring players will be vital for the sustained development of the industry.

The study highlights the growing significance of gaming as a primary or secondary source of income. In your opinion, how can the gaming industry and stakeholders further support and promote the welfare of gamers to ensure their long-term success?

Formation of Gamer Association: Establishing a regulatory body or association for gamers, similar to BCCI for cricket, would be a crucial step. This body would take actions to ensure the well-being of gamers and provide a unified voice for players, advocating for their rights and interests.

Ensuring Financial Stability: It is essential to guarantee fair compensation for gamers, particularly professional players. This can be achieved through the implementation of transparent revenue-sharing models and prize structures. Additionally, promoting sustainable income opportunities such as sponsorships and endorsements will contribute to the financial stability of gamers.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business in the esports industry?

To thrive in the competitive esports industry, it is essential for businesses to implement certain strategies and approaches:

Understand the audience:

To effectively cater to gamers, it is crucial to understand their preferences, needs, and the challenges they face. Engage with the gaming community, conduct surveys, and gather feedback to identify any gaps or issues that gamers may be experiencing. This understanding will help you tailor your products or services to meet their specific demands.

Build a strong network:

Networking is vital in the esports industry. Establish connections with players, teams, event organizers, influencers, and other key stakeholders. Collaborating and forming partnerships within the industry can provide valuable opportunities for growth, exposure, and credibility.

Stand out from the competition: Gamers have high standards, and the market is saturated with competitors. Differentiate your business by offering unique and innovative solutions. Whether it’s through exceptional customer service, cutting-edge technology, or exclusive features, find ways to stand out and provide added value to gamers.

Adapt to market trends and feedback: The esports industry is dynamic and rapidly evolving. Stay informed about the latest market trends, technological advancements, and shifts in gaming preferences. Continuously gather feedback from the gaming community and be willing to adapt your business and offerings accordingly. This flexibility and responsiveness will help you stay relevant and meet the evolving needs of gamers.

What are your thoughts on the future of esports in India?

The future of esports in India is incredibly promising, and it is likely to experience rapid growth. The recent return of Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) is likely to provide a substantial boost to the Indian gaming community. Notably, major game developers such as Krafton (BGMI), Riot Games (Valorant), The Pokemon Company (Pokemon Unite), and Activision (Call of Duty Mobile) are investing in India to bolster the esports infrastructure.

The Indian market has also witnessed a surge in PC esports, primarily due to the introduction of Valorant. This trend is expected to continue, with increased investments pouring into the country from renowned international esports organizations like TSM, Vitality, and Galaxy Racer. These investments reflect the rapid growth and potential of the Indian esports scene.

In summary, the Indian esports industry will expand rapidly, with the return of BGMI and investments from major game developers and international esports organizations. The future looks bright for Indian esports as it continues to gain recognition and attract significant investments.

What are the plans of STAN for the future?

STAN has set its sights on the next five years with a determined vision to become the number 1 platform globally in gaming and eSports. STAN strives to become the ultimate destination for EVERY ESPORTS/GAMING FAN, offering a comprehensive and interactive platform that allows fans to actively engage, play, and forge deeper connections with their favourite idols. This unparalleled experience is achieved through the innovative utilization of digital collectibles and mutable NFTs.

So, these are what Mr Parth Chadha had to say regarding everything. There will be more news coming your way. So, stay tuned.

Read More- PUBG Lite New Update 2023 is here, Follow the steps to download

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