The lockdown served with the best possible condition for the growth of esports and gaming in the country: Akshat Rathee, Founder, NODWIN Gaming
We go into 2021 with tonnes of experience and with bigger goals, writes Rathi.
2020 will be attributed to the shenanigans of a virus and the way the world tried to cope with it. For us at NODWIN Gaming, 2020 will be attributed to the rise of esports and the gaming industry. While the world was trying to navigate through the “new normal”, we had to figure out how to fit in the large number of gamers who have registered for India’s longest-running esports league in a single season. That was our “breaking the fourth wall” moment. We penetrated the largest chunk of casual gamers and brought them under the competitive sphere for the first time. The lockdown served with the best possible condition for the growth of esports and gaming in the country. Even post lockdown, it was overwhelming to see a 30% audience retention rate on our socials.
Because the majority of esports tournaments are 70% online anyways, it wasn’t a big challenge to completely move to remote execution. The challenge was remote broadcasting, cloud production saved us there. And even with all the difficulties, we managed to constantly hit 3 million views every day on our PUBGM streams. We also had South Asia’s biggest LAN events lined-up this year, all of which eventually happened in an online setup. There was a flurry of ideas and innovations to fit the ‘new normal’, yes, we tried our hands on online fan meets, interview sessions, panel discussions and all of that. It was a great way of learning from each other. One of the best things to happen this year was the launch of the Airtel India Esports Tour to recognise the best gamers of the country across all major esports titles. A one-off event in collaboration with One Plus and Fnatic, the One Plus Domin8, where we saw esports cross over to sports. India’s top cricketers, gamers and influencers came together under one roof for their love of gaming. Talking of cricket, we even brought cricket esports to the masses through our tie-up with Playscape for World Cricket Championship. Prepare yourself to welcome cricket to the world of esports in the coming year.
And apart from esports, it was a sweet timing for all the newly released titles. Valorant, the country’s favourite FPS game at the moment. Among Us, Fall Guys and Cyberpunk 2077 to name a few.
Wrapping up 2020, it was definitely a year of uncertainties, fear, doing our best, a lot of learning and a gazillion zoom calls. We go into 2021 with tonnes of experience and with bigger goals. Maximum mainstream exposure for esports is the first one on the list followed by some interesting properties around mobile esports, all of which will be revealed in time. We are looking at a stronger return of our premier esports tournaments like the ESL India Premiership and the Northeast Esports Summit in 2021. We bid goodbye to a rather inflexible year and we head towards a new one with infinite possibilities for the Indian esports and gaming industry.
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