June 2023 Indian Esports Rewind
The Indian esports scene has sprung back to life with the return of Battlegrounds Mobile India. It’s been a jam-packed month of June with the Indian Gaming Community (IGC) being treated to countless tournaments, both official and third-party ones, that have kept the community engaged and revved up for what’s more to come.
Krafton’s official BGMI: Rising Launch Party 2023 was a great success with fans and players enjoying the tournament thoroughly. The event featured 64 teams in total consisting of top streamers and pro players celebrating BGMI’s resounding comeback. With tournament organizers slowly building momentum, esports organizations are revealing their best rosters to compete in the BGMI esports landscape.
Moving past the omnipresent BGMI, players took part in the country-wide cafe qualifiers for Skyesports Masters Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) tournament. The cafe qualifiers took place in 20 cities to identify the next big talents in Indian CS:GO. Likewise, Valorant esports also saw exciting action with the Valorant Challengers League (VCL): South Asia tournament where top teams battled it out for a spot at Pacific Ascension.
Having said that, here’s a recap of everything important that happened in June 2023 in Indian esports.
TSM Shuts Shop in India, Lets Go of BGMI Roster
Team SoloMid (TSM) bid adieu to its BGMI roster on 4th June, confirming the rumors that were making the rounds on social media earlier. With this, TSM has officially paused its operations in India. The organization announced on , “Today we announce the departure of Aquanox, Mayavi, Blaze, and Ninja. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication, good luck with everything in the future.”
TSM entered the Indian esports landscape in 2020 by joining hands with Entity Gaming to participate in PUBG Mobile esports. Following this, the North American organization also fielded a team in Free Fire.
However, the last few years have been a bumpy road for TSM in India. It faced troubles during the bans on PUBG Mobile, Free Fire, and BGMI. Additionally, its partnership with 1xBet also drew criticism from the community. Its partnership with FTX, worth millions of dollars, also ended after FTX declared bankruptcy in 2022.
AFK Gaming’s Perspective:
TSM is one of the most famous esports organizations and brands recognized globally and when it stepped into Indian esports, it was a sign of a growing landscape. However, the organization has taken a hit globally and has been facing financial troubles over the last few months.
Letting go of its BGMI roster also reflects the current state of the global organization that is reportedly looking to . Notably, after securing the FTX partnership, TSM said it would be using the money to expand its presence in mobile esports and widen its reach in Asia, Europe, and South America. With the sponsorship falling through, it was only a matter of time before TSM took a step back from these markets.
TSM’s recent withdrawal from Indian esports once again highlights the importance of fielding multiple rosters in different titles. Though TSM fielded teams in BGMI and Free Fire, arguably two of the most famous titles in mobile esports in India, it failed to expand to other games like New State Mobile or field a regional Valorant team in the country.
Government Plans to Ban Three Types of Online Games in India
Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar recently made a significant announcement regarding the central government's efforts to prohibit three specific types of games in the country. Chandrasekhar emphasized the government's development of a comprehensive framework dedicated to online gaming, with the primary goal of disallowing three types of games — those that involve betting, that are harmful to the user in any way, and that are addictive.
The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology did not disclose the precise criteria for classifying games within each of the aforementioned categories.
Chandrasekhar also expressed a firm stance on the matter, stating that the government will not tolerate games that exhibit any of these undesirable elements. The concerns surrounding the detrimental effects of such games on individuals and society as a whole necessitated the implementation of strict regulations.
AFK Gaming’s Perspective:
With the rise of online gaming and its increasing influence on individuals, particularly the youth, there is a pressing need to regulate this sector. By focusing on games that involve betting, pose risks to users, or have addictive features, the government is taking proactive measures to safeguard the well-being of its citizens.
However, a lack of clarity with respect to the broad and somewhat ambiguous definitions encompassing the category of games subject to prohibition is concerning. It will be ideal if the government can elaborate its stance on games incorporating loot box mechanics, battle pass systems, and other potentially contentious elements, as well as their explicit criteria for deeming a game as "addictive."
This will be critical for both the gaming industry and investors seeking to comprehend the scope and implications of these regulations. The absence of clear guidelines and discernible criteria may lead to uncertainty and potential challenges in complying with the forthcoming restrictions, leading to .
Esports social networking app Qlan has secured pre-seed funding to fuel its expansion plans. It secured a , led by investors Marwah Sports, CIIE.CO and Faad Network. The early-stage startup will utilize the capital to expand its gamer community, gain deeper insights into user preferences, and establish a robust product-market fit.
Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) publisher went live on 20th June. One of the most iconic cars by Bugatti, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, was added to the game as a vehicle. Apart from the Vitesse, players also have the opportunity to drive the Bugatti La Voiture Noire. The event will be live till 6th August.
The Indian Gaming Community and many creators came forward to raise money to support the victims of the that took place on 2nd June. According to a , several popular gaming creators and streamers raised over INR 35 Lakhs for the cause.
Orangutan Gaming emerged victorious in a thrilling series against Reckoning Esports during the Final Showdown of the tournament. The team qualified to compete in the VCT Pacific Ascension but unfortunately was eliminated from contention after going 0-4 in the Group Stage.
With the return of BGMI, many Indian esports teams announced their BGMI rosters in anticipation of many more official tournaments. Among those are , , , and . With likely happening very soon, fans can expect many more organizations to finalize their rosters.
GodLike Esports’ all-women team – Team Rebel – won the . Team Rebel made history after becoming the first female lineup in BGMI esports to win an official tournament organized by Krafton.
Blind Esports has been on a winning streak ever since the return of BGMI and the team has already stacked up ₹2,335,000 INR in total winnings from tournaments including Skyesports Champions Series 2023, Villager Esports DOMIN8R Series, Upthrust Survivors Saga Season 2, and Lidoma Battleground Invitational, among other tournaments.
Team India dominated the League of Legends seeding event for the Asian Games 2022 as it registered comfortable victories against Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan and has established itself as one of the teams to watch out for in the highly anticipated tournament. The seeding fixtures for Dota 2, Street Fighter V, and FIFA Online will be held in July 2023.
BGMI esports fans have a lot to look forward to in July, as multiple teasers of major tournaments including the BGMI Masters Series have been spotted. However, official announcements regarding these tournaments are still pending from Krafton.
FPS fans should also brace themselves for jam-packed Valorant and CS: GO action in July, thanks to Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) Pacific League Last Chance Qualifier and Skyesports Masters, respectively. Global Esports will be taking on six other teams in the Pacific League with hopes of making it to Los Angeles, California for Valorant Champions 2023. And over in CS: GO, eight franchised teams will be competing in Skyesports Masters to take home the lion’s share of the impressive prize pool of INR 2 Crore.
Additionally, you can also follow the seeding events for Asian Games 2022 closely where top Indian esports athletes will be taking on other teams in Dota 2, Street Fighter V, and FIFA Online.