In a bid to ensure the professional, legal and contractual rights of eSports players in India are safeguarded thoroughly, an ESports Players Welfare Association (EPWA) has been created which would hand a big boost to the country’s fast growing eSports movement.
Globally, ESports has an estimated audience of 474 million and is the fastest growing among all sports.
ESports will also be a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.
As per a report, India currently has 1,50,000 players and around 60,000 teams and the number of esports players in the country is expected to grow to 1.5 million players and 250,000 teams by 2025.
eSports Players Welfare Association (EPWA) aims to be the guardian organisation when it comes to shielding the interests of eSports athletes across India. EPWA will be the first of its kind in India to offer assistance to athletes engaging in eSports. Amar Ratnam, an ex-pro gamer, has been appointed as a liaison between the players and the industry.
Commenting on the development, Ritesh Nath, the CEO & Founder of EPWA said: “The future of eSports in India is bright, especially due to the penetration of 4G and the subsequent surge in mobile gaming. Professional governance and structures are vital to the success of any sport; the absence of either in the eSports industry in India is one of the key drivers that led to the formation of eSports Players Welfare Association (EPWA). With the exponential increase in the number of eSports players (amateur and professional) and avenues for them to earn a living, EPWA will strive to ensure their rights are protected by defining industry norms, setting regulations, and assisting relevant stakeholders to form policies.”
On the other hand, Shivani Jha, EPWA Director expressed: “eSports has been in the limelight lately with attention being drawn to it thanks to its inclusion as a medal event at the upcoming Asian Games in 2022 and potentially an Olympic nod as well. As wide as the gaming industry may be, absence of any regulations or stringent rules in eSports allows for exploitation of players. The top priority at EPWA will be to address player grievances regarding their legal obligations and contracts.”
“EPWA will also work to bridge the awareness gap that exists in the country by educating the industry about the latest eSports rules and regulations from India and around the globe,” she added.