India: eSports players are legit sports athletes

November 12, 2018



The online gaming industry continues to rapidly grow and is gaining much recognition worldwide.

eSports at Asian Games

At the Asian Games 2018, the following 6 games featured at the event under the category of eSports, namely:

  1. Arena of Valor
  2. Clash Royale
  3. Hearthstone
  4. League of Legends
  5. Pro Evolution Soccer and
  6. Starcraft II

It is pertinent to note that at the Asian Games 2018 event, eSports was featured as a demonstration event and the medals won in respect of above-named gaming events were not be counted in the overall medal tally however, the eSports gaming is set to be featured as a medal event as the Asian Games 2022.

Given that Asian Games are the second biggest sporting tournament in the world after the Olympics, it can be said the popularity of eSports is fast growing and being featured at the event amounts to the biggest recognition of competitive gaming industry.

eSports industry body

The rise of eSports industry has given rise to many eSports organisations as well.

The International Esports Federation, established in 2008 and based in South Korea, defines eSports as “a competitive sport performed in a virtual environment in which physical and mental abilities are exercised to create victory conditions through generally accepted rules.”[1] It states that its obligations apart from striving for worldwide recognition of esports include hosting international esports tournaments and establishing standards for referees, players, certifications, titles and competitions.[2]

The Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (hereinafter referred to as ‘IFSG’) was formed in 2017 with the aim of creating a thriving ecosystem for users & gaming operators by laying guidelines for a common set of practices, setting standards of operation and creating a regulatory framework to protect the interests of the user and the gaming operator. It is India’s first and only Sports Gaming self-regulatory industry body formed to protect consumer interests and create standardized best practices in the Sports Gaming industry.[3]

It is also worth noting that in the event a gamer/ eSports athlete is aggrieved by the operations of a Sports Gaming operator or a Sports Gaming Company, complaint against the Sports Gaming operator/ company including complaints with respect to offensive/misleading advertising can be filed with the official IFSG Customer Complaint Cell at[4]

Rise of the eSports Industry:

India has already recognized that online sports games that require considerable skill, judgment and discretion are games of skill and not gambling.[5] It has basically paved the way the rise of eSports industry domestically as well as looks set to play a major role in the recognition of eSports worldwide.





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