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Official Recognition to E-Sports

Context: The Indian government has officially recognized E-Sports in the country as part of multi-sports events.

More on Official Recognition to E-Sports

  • Background: There had been a growing demand for E-sports to be included in the curriculum of multi-discipline events after it was included in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games as a demonstration sport.
  • Official recognition: The President of India amended the rules governing E-sports and asked the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Sports Ministry to include e-Sports as part of multi-sports events.
    • It has been done by the president by exercising powers conferred under “clause (3) of article 77 of the Constitution”.
  • Nodal agency: The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will be the nodal agency for online gaming-related matters and the sports ministry will have to include it in its curriculum.


Article 77(3)

  • The President shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of India, and for the allocation among Ministers of the said business


What is E-Sports?

  • E-Sports (Electronic Sports) is a competitive sport where gamers use their physical and mental abilities to compete in various games in a virtual, electronic environment.
  • E.g. BGMI, Valorant, Call of Duty, Tekken 7, and DOTA 2.


Gaming v/s E-Sports


  • Gaming refers to playing video games in general.
  • This includes playing Candy Crush on mobile phone, God of War on Play Station, or Counter-Strike on PC.
  • Online card games like Rummy and Poker are also classified under gaming, not E-Sports.


  • E-Sports are online games that are competitively played in the form of tournaments and leagues.
  • Some of them are digital or virtual versions of mainstream sports like cricket, football, etc.
  • While E-Sports promotes live matches, gaming does not promote live matches.
  • Recognition:
    • As the birthplace of E-Sports, South Korea was the first country to officially recognize E-Sports back in 2000.
    • By now, countries such as the China, USA, Finland, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Thailand and Pakistan have officially recognized E-Sports.
    • Besides, countries like Italy, Brazil, Nepal, Indonesia, Turkmenistan, Macedonia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Serbia Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Georgia have also recognised esports as regular sport.

  • Featuring of E-Sports:
    • Esports were featured at the 2018 Asian Games as a demonstration sport, meaning medals won in this sport would not be counted in the official overall medal tally.
    • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that its inaugural Olympic Esports Week will take place in Singapore in 2023.


Arguments in Favour of E-Sports

  • Contribution to economy: The vast ecosystem of E-Sports holds much growth potential and employment prospects.
  • Inclusivity: In contrast to traditional sports, E-Sports have fewer gender restrictions, more accessibility for people with disabilities, etc., thus promoting inclusivity.
  • Boost social skills: Most major competitive E-Sports are team-based, which promotes skills such as communication, collaboration, and learning how to work effectively with others.


Arguments Against E-Sports

  • Gaming disorder: It is a condition where gamers prioritize e-sports over other activities to the degree where it impacts overall health and well-being.
  • Environmental Concerns: US gaming consoles are linked to 34 terawatt hours a year in energy usage, which is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions of roughly five million cars.
  • Security concerns: Issues such as cyber-attacks, cheating, and E-sport piracy are plaguing in the industry.


India’s E-Sports Industry

  • Growth: According to FICCI-EY Media and Entertainment Report 2022, the number of E-Sports players doubled from 300,000 in 2020 to 600,000 in 2021.
    • E- Sports revenue grew by 29% from INR 7.5 billion in 2020 to INR 9.7 billion in 2021.
    • The number of esports players are expected to reach one million in 2022, out of which 20% would be women.
  • Employment generation: The gaming and E-Sports industry employs just over 40,000 individuals in India, and this is poised to grow.
  • The Catalysts:
    • The COVID-19 Pandemic: Amid the lockdown, millions diverted their attention to gaming recreationally, with some even turning to professionals.
    • Increasing digitization: The advent of 5G, deeper penetration of Internet connectivity etc.


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