Loco Could Spearhead Dota 2’s Resurgence in India
The International (TI) is the best time of the year for Dota fans and this year TI11 raked in , 67 million Hours Watched, and 563K Average Viewers on the official stream alone. In India, countless fans witnessed Tundra Esports make history at the grand finals on Loco’s regional broadcast. The game’s content has largely been marketed in English and we are finally seeing large-scale regional content around Valve’s MOBA which has helped a lot of players gain a renewed interest in the game. Dota 2 is seeing a resurgence in India thanks to the efforts of homegrown streaming platform Loco.
Regional Content Has been Ignored in India For a Long Time
TI11 was officially broadcasted by Valve in five different languages including English, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. In comparison, Dota’s biggest competitor, League of Legends, streamed its world championships in almost 20 languages. According to the , around 10% of the Indian population speaks English.
While there has been pan-India penetration of internet connectivity and social media content, many publishers have failed to capitalize on the massive audience that India boasts. The population of India is second only to China and it boasts a diverse culture spanning different languages. Publishers focusing on regional content can easily tap into a larger audience.
Loco proved that there is a need for regional content recently after NODWIN Gaming streamed TI11 on the platform and it was an instant hit. The Dota 2 mega event was streamed in Hindi and despite the event taking place during the early morning hours in India, the stream got over . The platform has proven that there is noticeable interest from Indian fans who want to watch international mega events in their native languages across PC and mobile.
Esports content in local languages has done very well on Loco and there are thousands of creators who stream esports and mobile esports content to fans. Loco is also home to content creators and streamers who understand the Indian audience and are capable of connecting with fans through their content.
NODWIN streamed not only the grand finals on Loco but also all four days of the main event as well. It was a welcome sight to see Indian fans be excited for Dota once again and support their favorite teams on an Indian streaming platform.
It’s not just esports content that is getting a lot of love in India either. Loco has successfully highlighted the interest of the Indian audience that is willing to view all kinds of esports tournaments whether it be Valorant, Apex Legends, and more. The Indian esports and gaming community wants more content not just by playing the games but also by watching their favorite creators on the platform.
Can Dota 2 Be Revived in India?
Esports in India was growing at a slow rate until mobile esports came along. While CS:GO and Dota were the go-to games that fans associated with Indian esports in the past, the advent of mobile gaming changed the landscape entirely.
No one can dispute the importance of mobile esports, but does that mean that it cannot coexist with PC esports? Absolutely not. One of the biggest advantages of the mobile esports community in India is that there is no dearth of Indian content creators who are willing to stream or create videos in different local languages from all parts of India.
Unlike the age of CS:GO and Dota esports in India, we now have access to faster and more affordable mobile internet as well as powerful entry-level smartphones. But the difference between the early 2010s and now is that a lot of PC esports content creators are still focused on English content.
in prize pools, Dota 2 accounted for 32% and CS:GO stood at 29% of the prize pool. With a total of $800,000 on the line in 2019, just 52% was made by Dota 2 and CS:GO together.
Just because mobile esports has seized the lion’s share of the esports market does not mean that there is no room for Dota content creators to grow. Loco is one of the best platforms that can help content creators connect with their audience.
To illustrate how big Loco’s reach is through Indian languages, all you need to do is take a look at . Its English channel has earned over 232,000 views. But the number pales in comparison to the Tamil and Hindi channels. The Tamil channel features over 635,000 views while the Hindi channel has a staggering 51.4 Million views. With so much potential in the Indian esports and content creation ecosystem through localized content, Dota 2 can definitely become popular among fans.
The Path Ahead for Dota 2
Valorant and GTA 5 have proven that there is still a massive demand for PC gaming content. GTA 5 has over 129 Million views while Valorant has over . Dota can definitely reach a similar number as it continues to be one of the biggest games in the world and it still has an ardent fan following in India.
India’s Dota 2 team recently won bronze at the Commonwealth Games while Indian player Krish "Krish" Gupta has joined Southeast Asian esports organization TNC Predator. The passion for the game is still there and anyone willing to grow a community around the game can still do so. They only need to tap into India’s diversity through targeted content and understand what the audience needs. Localizing content can help creators introduce new players to the game and earn a sizable and loyal audience.