- Tournament network and platform company Esports Players League has partnered with Paytm First Games to enter Indian esports.
- Through the partnership, Paytm First Games will oversee the rollout of ESPL’s amateur esports platform in India.
- The first season will take place from May to November 2020.
Esports Players League (ESPL), an esports tournament network and platform, has announced a partnership with Paytm First Games (PFG) to make its entry into Indian esports.
Through this partnership, PFG will introduce ESPL’s mobile esports focused online tournaments to the Indian audience. PFG will oversee the rollout of ESPL’s amateur esports platform in India, execute tournaments, acquire users, secure local sponsorship and partnership deals, and create local media content. ESPL will provide the tech solution, global sponsorships, media deals, and an esports strategy according to the announcement.
The partnership between PFG and ESPL aims to offer amateur leagues and tournaments within the country at a time when online gaming is picking up as a form of stay-at-home entertainment. India is currently under a government-imposed lockdown until May 3 due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“As malls, movie theaters and popular hangout options shut down temporarily in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, online gaming is picking up as a popular option for stay at home entertainment,” said Sudhanshu Gupta, COO of Paytm First Games “Esporting is fast expanding its gamer base in India. Our partnership with ESPL focuses on grass-root amateur leagues and the mobile esports space. This partnership will help us to launch the unique esports tournaments in India that will further expand the online gaming landscape in India.”
Paytm First Games is the digital gaming platform of Gamepind Entertainment Private Limited, which is a joint venture between Alibaba Group’s AGTech Holdings Limited and One97 Communications Limited, the parent company of India’s largest digital payments and financial services platform Paytm (valued at $17B USD). It announced its entry into Indian esports on April 8 by teaming up with Supercell to announce a Clash Royale tournament.
ESPL is an esports tournament platform provider that focuses on mobile esports with its headquarters in Singapore and regional offices in Cologne and Los Angeles. On March 4, it announced that it had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from early-stage venture capital firm 500 Startups. It has partnership agreements in Southeast Asia and Latin America, including a media partnership with the esports television network eGG Network. The company is co-founded by Michael Broda, former CEO of esports.com, Kin Wai Lau, founder of Australian game development and publishing company iCandy Interactive Limited (ASX: ICI), and Datuk Azrin Bin Mohd Noor, founder and managing director of behavioral data and technology company Sedania Innovator Berhad.
At least six other tournament platforms are currently operating in the Indian esports industry. These include real- money gaming platforms such as the Sequoia, Times Internet and GoVentures-backed Mobile Premier League, which recently partnered with SoStronk in January; and WinZO Games which raised $5M in July 2019 in a Series A round led by Kalaari Capital along with messaging and payments platform Hike.
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