Indian Esports Stakeholders Welcome the Release of Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI)
KRAFTON has finally officially launched Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) after a brief period of leaving the game in early access, exciting fans, and stakeholders for the future of the game. While the overall sentiment towards the game’s announcement has been very positive on social media, AFK Gaming reached out to several key stakeholders in the Indian esports industry to gauge their responses to this massive announcement. Key leaders from ESFI, Newgen Gaming, NODWIN Gaming*, Skyesports, Team Vitality, The Esports Club**, and Trinity Gaming as well as PUBG Mobile streamers and players like Dynamo Gaming, Kronten Gaming and JONATHAN have shared their thoughts on the official release of Battlegrounds Mobile India and its potential impact on the Indian esports scene.
Indian Esports Stakeholders Welcome the Release of Battlegrounds Mobile India
ESFI’s statement on the release of BGMI
The release of BGMI highlights the importance of the Indian gaming sector for global gaming developers according to Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF).
"After much discussion, we can now finally roll on to the exclusive esports game, created just for Indian players,” said Suji. “It is much celebrated because of the exclusivity it offers and it also portrays how important the Indian esports sector has become for global gaming developers. With the latest launch, we can envision that the gaming community will thrive and we can expect to see more exclusive multi-player games being curated for the Indian market. It also supports our vision that India will become the next powerhouse in esports.”
Additionally, he encouraged Indian game developers to create a game based on Indian ethos and culture that could create the exact buzz and hype that BGMI did in India.
Newgen Gaming’s statement on the release of BGMI
Anurag Khurana, the CEO and co-founder of Newgen Gaming (which operates esports tournaments under its Penta Esports brand) was happy to see another esports title entering India, especially one as anticipated as BGMI.
“Given the familiarity that BGMI has to its audience, it should be a rather smooth ride for the game to get integrated in the Indian esports ecosystem, as indicated by the figures in just 24 hours of the official release,” said Khurana. “Like Tencent worked its way with PUBGM and Garena with FreeFire, I am looking forward to Krafton taking BGMI up in a big way."
NODWIN Gaming’s statement on the release of BGMI
According to Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and MD of NODWIN Gaming, this may mark the dawn of a new era in Indian esports.
"The return of India Ka Game Battlegrounds Mobile India in its new avatar is the beginning of a new era in Indian gaming and esports,” said Rathee. “New teams will form, new stars will rise and the heroes of earlier will get a chance to claim their throne again. We at NODWIN Gaming are extremely excited to see what the future holds."
NODWIN Gaming is an esports tournament organizer which recently raised an INR 164 Crore ($22.4 Million USD) investment from Krafton.
Skyesports’ statement on the release of BGMI
Esports in India is already growing at a rapid pace and the release of BGMI will certainly make it even bigger according to Shiva Nandy, Founder and CEO of Skyesports - a tournament organizer based in India, best known for its Skyesports League and the Skyesports Championship.
“The game had crossed 40 million pre-registrations and is currently on the top-grossing list. The huge fan following, which includes a large number of young gamers, will make it grow further,” said Nandy. According to him, this would also pique the interest of a lot of endemic and non-endemic brands in BGMI events.
Nandy also expressed Skyesports’ interest in hosting BGMI tournaments. “We have already lined up many things and the preparation is underway,” he said. “Skyesports can’t wait to start grassroots tournaments, not only at the regional level but at the pan India level as well. Krafton should also show interest in making third-party IPs like Skyesports' events smooth and successful.”
Team Vitality India’s statement on the release of BGMI
Esports organizations like Team Vitality are understandably very excited about BGMI’s esports plans. Randall Fernandez, General Manager, Team Vitality India expressed that it was welcoming to hear of BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA’s launch and that it was looking forward to the game’s contribution to boosting the Indian esports ecosystem.
“We assume 2021 will only include domestic tournaments and are quite eager to hear from Krafton about their plans to integrate the country into international play,” said Fernandez. “Team Vitality definitely wants to support local growth in the region by providing better player conditions with world-class standards of amenities in order to bring out the highest performances from our athletes.”
Furthermore, the organization intends to compete on the international front with its players. Fernandez stated, “We also want our players to go all the way and represent India in World Championships. Given we are all in this journey together, we are happy to work alongside Krafton and its local partners to help achieve this goal at the earliest."
The Esports Club's Statement on the release of BGMI
“It's exciting to see BGMI finally out for players in India”, said Ishaan Arya, Co-Founder and Head of Business Development of The Esports Club (TEC). TEC has been hosting several tournaments of esports titles like Call of Duty: Mobile, Valorant, and Rainbow Six: Siege, which filled the void left by the removal of PUBG Mobile from the country's esports ecosystem.
Arya also stated that TEC was eagerly looking forward to how Krafton will navigate the new esports ecosystem with an emphasis on both first and third-party events. He stated, “PUBG Mobile was a crucial catalyst for esports in India, so BGMI has big shoes to fill!”
Trinity Gaming's Statement on the release of BGMI
The PUBG ban adversely affected content creators who were predominantly creating content for the title. The reintroduction of the game will allow popular content creators to get back into the game once again. Abhishek Aggarwal, Co-Founder & CEO of Trinity Gaming (a network of esports and gaming influencers) shared how he expected this to be a monumental moment in the esports industry.
"Finally, we all are witnessing the historic moment in the Indian gaming and esports industry as this exclusively designed game will fuel the growth of mobile gaming in India and the game will leverage the power of the mobile-first gaming ecosystem of the country,” said Aggarwal.
He also mentioned that this was an opportunity for gamers to become influencers, expressing his excitement about witnessing how new gamers will make the most of the opportunity presented by the game’s launch. “For the gaming & esports content creators, it will be a new route to explore more new content and also engage with the new set of followers of Battlegrounds Mobile India," he added.
Former Fnatic India Lead Nimish Raut’s Statement on the release of BGMI
“I think the official launch of BGMI will definitely give a boost to the esports ecosystem,” says Nimish Raut (Former Fnatic India Lead) who hopes that a lot of smaller tournament organizers will be given a chance to hold weekly tournaments in the near future.
He elaborated on this by stating, “All the players who have not been able to compete at the highest level will now at least get some competition at a national level, while Krafton tries to work on the overall ecosystem. This is going to boost and bring us back on track.”
Raut also believes that BGMI’s release will put some pressure on other publishers of esports titles who have a stake in the Indian market. “Hopefully, this will also put pressure on other publishers just so that they understand that the Indian audience cannot be taken for granted and that they also need to invest in the esport and the ecosystem,” he said.
However, he also acknowledged that even if that is not the case, BGMI should build a strong esports ecosystem for India. “Otherwise India will be a one-trick pony,” said Raut. “But that is fine, the idea is to make sure that that pony is so strong and so sustainable that if the others don’t invest that shouldn’t really affect us as an overall esports ecosystem.”
Dynamo Gaming’s thoughts on the release of BGMI
Popular Indian YouTuber, Aaditya “Dynamo Gaming” Sawant expressed that this was a historic day for the Indian esports & gaming industry. “The much-awaited exclusive version of the game is here and the whole community, even people in general, are now getting the chance of having a Chicken dinner and get that nostalgic feel,” said Dynamo.
He also believes that the game is going to accelerate the growth of esports and content creators in the country. “The Indian flavours in the game are going to make it more adventurous, exciting and fun to play,” He said. “Let's play the game and start the grind as there will be more announcements coming soon for the development of the esports ecosystem in India."
Kronten’s thoughts on the release of BGMI
Chetan "Kronten" Chandgude, owner and streamer of GodLike Esports stated that he could not contain his excitement after Battlegrounds Mobile India successfully overcame all the odds & launched its official version on Google Play Store.
“I hope this will create a ripple effect in bringing in more exclusive games specially customized for Indian consumers,” said Kronten. “It promises to offer a fresh mobile gaming experience and I hope it further elevates the standard of esports in India. The coming of BGMI opens a whole new avenue for the Indian esports community to dwell upon and take advantage of the game by creating content, hosting tournaments, collaborating with brands, engaging with their followers, and so on.”
Kronten also added that the Indian esports industry needed to be constantly introduced with similar games that would support the esports ecosystem to thrive and involve more players. “The biggest plus point of esports is its inclusive nature, it doesn't demand any criteria and gives equal chance to everyone," he added.
JONATHAN’s thoughts on the release of BGMI
Former PUBG Mobile pro player Jonathan "JONATHAN" Amaral stated that BGMI’s launch is going to fuel the growth of the Indian esports and gaming industry. “We will soon witness the high prize pool tournaments to develop the whole ecosystem of Battlegrounds Mobile India,” said JONATHAN. “All the prominent organizations will start their grind and prepare their rosters to become the best in the competitive scene in India.”
The player also confirmed that he was going to make a comeback. “I promise that I will make a strong comeback and will delight my fans with power-packed and thrilling performances in this exclusive game,” He said. “The existing and new content creators community will also get a chance to accelerate their journey from becoming a gamer to an influencer."
Earlier last week, Sid Joshi, former manager of TSM.Entity stated that TSM’s former PUBG Mobile players and himself are no longer part of the organization. However, neither the organization nor has the player issued an official statement about this development.
In September 2020, The Indian Government blocked 118 mobile apps which were deemed to be prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India. The banned apps included PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite amongst other apps. Krafton finally launched the official full version of Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) on 2nd July 2021, two weeks after the Early Access was made available for all players.
Despite murmurs of upcoming BGMI Tournaments featuring streamers and influencers, Krafton is yet to officially announce its esports plans for Battlegrounds Mobile India.
*NODWIN Gaming is a minority investor in and a client of AFK Gaming.
**The Esports Club is a client and vendor of AFK Gaming.