Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), India’s largest integrated telecommunications company, and NODWIN Gaming, South Asia’s leading esports company, today announced a partnership to further grow esports in India.
Given India’s large youth population and rapidly growing internet penetration, esports has the potential to become a large part of the country’s mainstream sporting culture. It is estimated that by 2021, online gaming will become a USD one billion-plus market in India with over 620 million gamers.
The partnership has been kicked off with the launch of Airtel India ESPORTS TOUR, which is the first and largest property of its kind in this segment. It will also have a national ranking and awarding system for Indian esports players based on their year-long performance across top tournaments, and this will be used as a base to create a points table for all participants.
Airtel India ESPORTS TOUR will initially cover all NODWIN tournaments across gaming titles of PUBG Mobile, CS:GO, Clash of Clans, FIFA, etc. The coverage will extend to all iconic NODWIN tournaments such as the India Premiership by NODWIN, DreamHack India, The Northeast Cup, KO Fight Nights, and PAN Fest.
Post the culmination of the annual tour, the final leaderboard across games will be presented to recognize and reward the winners at an award show celebrating the key players in the ecosystem – the esports athletes, the teams, the talent, the best plays, etc.
The broadcast of the Airtel India ESPORTS TOUR will be available on Airtel’s digital platforms and help with taking this emerging format to newer audiences.
Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer, Bharti Airtel said: “Airtel has always been a pioneer in Indian telecom and we are thrilled to partner with NODWIN to unlock the potential of esports in India. Airtel is an enabler of digital lifestyles in emerging India and youth are at the core of our brand proposition. We look forward to a deep and long term collaboration with NODWIN as we embark on this exciting digital journey.”
“NODWIN Gaming believes that by binding the elements of independent tournaments into a single storyline we will give rise to a new culture in the competitive world of Indian esports. The teams and players will now look up to perform throughout the year rather than focusing on few big standalone tournaments in a year,” said Akshat Rathee, Founder and MD, NODWIN Gaming.
Initially, the Airtel India ESPORTS TOUR will be seeded by NODWIN in its extensive tournament network and will aspire to be a platform where all tournaments will carry an agreed weightage independent of the organizer. The ecosystem will allow the flexibility of choice for players to play what they want and when they want.