After launching separate online tournaments in collaboration with the Esports Players League (ESPL) and Garena Partners, Paytm First Games (PFG) has shifted its focus to the Indian sports industry.
The dual announcement comes at a time when online gaming is taking over as a form of entertainment at home. The Indian people are currently living in the fight against COVID-19 under government-imposed lockdown measures until 3 May.
The first ‘season’ of ESPL’s esport tournaments will be held from May to November. PFG, a joint venture between One97 Communications and AGTech Holdings, will supervise the country’s launch of the ESPL amateur esports network, conduct tournaments, acquire users and obtain local sponsorship, and develop local media content.
While, ESPL – a Singapore-based tournament network provider – will offer the tech solution, regional sponsorships, marketing partnerships, and a wider plan for sports.
As mentioned by VentureBeat, ESPL wants to provide a route for amateur gamers to become professionals. Eventually it will cover all sports channels but its initial focus is on mobile.
Michael Broda, CEO of the company, said in a recent release statement that India will have more than 1.2 mobile gamers and carry out 5G connectivity in 2020, making the country a main goal for ESPL’s amateur sports tournaments.
According to the Esports Observer, at least six other tournament sites, including the Sequoia, Times Internet, WinZO Games and the GoVentures-backed Mobile Premier League, are currently operating in the Indian Sport industry.
In the meantime, the collaboration between PFG and Garena Partners will deliver the first ever Free Fire India Solos (FFIS) 2020 tournament, giving each player in the country the chance to become the best solo player in one of the most famous mobile games in the world.
The FFIS will see amateur players playing against professional gamers on equal terms over two legs – the Masters and the Streamer Showdown, taking place in May and June.
Harold Teo, Free Fire Producer at Garena, told Sportskeeda: ”Games foster a sense of community and positivity, while promoting healthy competition.”
“We are excited to partner with Paytm First Games to allow players – both casual and professional – to compete to be the best solo Free Fire player in India. We want to showcase the power of the Indian esports community.”
In an article for Business Insider India, PFG said it now has more than half a million active players a day, spending up to 45 minutes a session on average. It added that in the past month, the platform has seen 200 percent growth, with more than 75,000 new users joining each day.