With the online gaming market set to boom in India, Indiatimes has entered into an agreement with Games-Services, a production and publishing media company dedicated to digital entertainment, to host the 2006 Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC) in India for the first time.
The championship will be held in six cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune – for which registration will start in December. With the payment of a one-time entry fee of Rs 149, gamers can compete both in individual and group (five gamers) categories.
Five individuals and a group will be selected from each of these cities for the final competition in Mumbai in mid-May next year. Out of these gamers, one group and five individuals (total 10 gamers) will represent the country at the ESWC finals in Paris for the World Championship title.
A total of 850 gamers from more than 50 countries will compete for the grand finals in France in July 2006 for a total prize money of $400,000.
Elaborating on this new initiative, Mahendra Swarup, CEO, Times Internet Ltd, said, “In keeping with our endeavour to be always in the forefront of emerging trends, we feel that as the gaming industry in India is at a point of inflection, our partnership with Games-Services will help take the industry to the next level.”
The gaming industry in India at present stands at around $50 million and is set to grow at over 30 per cent. “Online gaming falls into Indiatimes’ massive plans in the broadband arena. World over, it has been seen that gaming has been a killer broadband application. By bringing ESWC to India, Indiatimes will help the tap latent potential of the online gaming industry in the country,” said Sanjay Trehan, Head, Broadband, Times Internet Ltd.
According to estimates, there are more than 20 million gaming-capable handsets in India. “The gaming market is reaching to a point from where it will explode. Our main motive is to grow awareness among the gamers and make gaming a mainstream affair,” said Vikram Khanna, Chief Manager, Times Internet Ltd.