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BGMI Removed from App Stores, Know All Details Here

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According to the sources, Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) game has been removed from the Apple and Google App stores in India. BGMI is the rebranded version of PUBG Mobile from Korean game publisher Krafton. As per the industry sources, the game has been taken down from the platforms post government’s orders. It is noted that the game had garnered exponential success in India.

The youngsters have a huge craze about this game and almost every gaming enthusiast has played this game. It signifies how BGMI has succeeded in the Indian market. But now as the game has been removed from the app stores, the gaming industry players have reacted to it. Read below what they have to say.

“This is too early to comment and we should wait for the official statement from the Government or the publisher to know more about this matter. India is paving its path to becoming a multi-sport nation where every sport is getting the right visibility, audience and investment to grow. We have to reflect the same in Esports where we need to start giving exposure to multi Esports titles and not limited to one. With so much attention on every front including the government, It’s also high time our Indian Video game developers speed up the process to launch world-class esports video game titles,” said Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF).

“We are yet to receive an official statement from the Government on the reason behind the removal of the game from the Play Store and App Store. This is between the publisher and the government and we hope this issue will be resolved soon. For ESPL, it’s a wait-and-watch time to take further decisions,” added Vishwalok Nath, Director, Esports Premier League.

Rohit Jagasia, Founder & CEO, Revenant Esports commented, “The BGMI BAN will definitely be a setback for all major stakeholders like Tournament Organizations, Esports Teams, Coaches, Support Staff and most importantly the Athletes. However, at Revenant Esports, we will still be supporting our BGMI Athletes and make sure they use our training facility to create content and try their hand at different games. With that being said, the entire industry will take a hit but Revenant was built during the first stint of the Ban and we have always believed in diversification we still have rosters competing in Pokémon Unite which will be representing India at the World Championship in London, Call of Duty Mobile which will be playing the regional playoffs for the World Championship, Apex Legends that previously represented the SEA region in the ALGS Playoffs in Stockholm, Valorant that is currently playing a couple of regional tournaments. We have been the youngest team to represent our region over 3 times in 8 months. We have always believed in diversification and will continue to do so, we are optimistic of supporting our BGMI Athletes during these trying times”.

“As the official statement is yet to come on the removal of the game, if this game removal will stay for some time then it will be damaging to the ever-growing Indian esports ecosystem. It’s not just about one game but with the kind of popularity, player base and viewership BGMI has, it is leading the biggest esports title in India. Looking at it from a sports lens, although we are a multi-sport nation, cricket enjoys the biggest chunk of revenue and viewership source in our country. This potential stay will hamper the whole esports ecosystem – consumers, businesses, stakeholders, jobs and much more. There is a large investment riding on startups, tournaments and game streaming, it’s a trickle effect waiting to happen. All being said, the esports revolution in India is huge and the community is tightly bound. Indian esports will continue to grow and thrive,” concludes Sagar Nair, Co-Founder & CEO, Qlan.

Rohit Agarwal, Founder & Director, Alpha Zegus stated, “All we know is that such occurrences are becoming more common by the year, and are happening without any foresight. Not very long ago, we saw a wave of China-based apps getting banned overnight, and also saw the likes of Free Fire getting the red flag – all happening without any prior warnings. Also, with the recent incident of a boy killing his mother over a BGMI argument, the game had yet again come under the radar of the government and marked it as “unsafe for young adults”. Similar incidents of arguments and damages due to the game have arisen in the past. Government is yet to release an official statement in terms of the reasoning behind the ban (considering Krafton had taken almost all possible precautions to launch the game within set guidelines) but what we have realised by now is mobile games are becoming more unpredictable by the day. I hope a regulatory body comes into play which monitors the games over time, instead of banning them overnight.”

Gaming

Esports Collective’s Fan Engagement Platform FanSpace to Launch on 15th August

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Esports Collectiveis all set to launch India’s premier esports fan engagement platform, FanSpace. The platform will see a beta launch on August 15 as the nation celebrates its 75th year of Independence.

The application though will be going public on September 18, 2022.

FanSpace is designed to solve the access and information flow problem that the grassroots and the larger gaming community can take benefit from. The data-driven approach will aim to cater to the needs of esports enthusiasts by allowing them access to all the statistical data, match reports, and results of all the competitive games that are taking place in India at any given point.

Currently, the Indian video gaming and esports ecosystem lack a data-driven fan engagement platform. ESC noticed the business edge and worked on the opportunity to capitalize on community engagement and provide esports fans with all the information, statistics and data they needed about any match that is taking place with just a click of a button.

“We dedicated several months in research to garner insights and understand the problems that lie in competitive gaming. As esports is heading towards a mainstream sport, there is a lack of authentic and one-stop availability of data, statistics and performance metrics of esports athletes and teams” said Aryaman Kataruka, Co-Founder, FanSpace.

While the industry estimates the number of Esports players to have doubled from 300,000 in 2020 to 600,000 in 2021 and Esports teams also grew by over 50% from 60,000 in 2020 to more than 100,000 in 2021.

The total prize money as per the recent E&Y report in 2021 crossed INR 200 million and there is also a meteoric rise in viewership, from 600,000 hours in 2020 to 2 million hours in 2021.

The app aims to be a one-stop solution and will streamline the data flow for all tournaments, small or big that are being played in India and also the performances and various other statistic marvels. The app will cover the following among other things.

  • Tournament Coverage – Industry first live experience enabled by data and analytics
  • In-Depth Stats – Analytical representation at four levels: tournament, match, team and player
  • Content Creations – Merging realities between gaming and lifestyle through written and video content.
  • Breaking News – Fast, first and concise- bringing the world of gaming to your fingertip.

“With FanSpace’s holistic approach, we are deploying various industry-first technology initiatives on our platform to merge competitive telemetry data along with community engagement and provide fans with a one-stop destination for all the information that they require,” said Rohit Reddy, Co-Founder, FanSpace.

While there are several social media outlets that provide users with news related to the esports and video game scene, none have so far provided fans with a central dashboard carrying quality data for competitive tournaments. Esports fans love to collect data on their favorite professional esports athlete and content creators that they idolize.

Founded in 2021, ESC has played a significant role in helping nurture the gaming culture in India. Now backed by Polygon, among other strategic investors, FanSpace will be the latest in its line of initiatives to help solve some of the fan engagement issues that the nation’s esports industry still seems to juggle to this day

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Indian DOTA 2 Team Clinched Bronze Medal at Commonwealth Esports Championship

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The Indian DOTA 2 team produced a power-packed performance to clinch the bronze medal at the first-ever Commonwealth Esports Championship. The Indian Dota 2 team, comprising Moin Ejaz (captain), Ketan Goyal, Abhishek Yadav, Shubham Goli, and Vishal Vernekar, defeated New Zealand by 2-0 in a best-of-three format. 

Indian Esports industry is overwhelmed by this bronze medal win and bat for Esports recognition as a sport so as the players who are bringing laurels for the country gain the benefits and support any sports community and athletes would receive. Also, the community requires the brands to come forward and support the teams and athletes in a long run to reach their ultimate potential. 

Not to forget that Esports is a proper medal event in Asian Games 2022 which is scheduled next year in Hangzhou from 23rd September to 8th October 2023 (earlier in 2018 it was there as a demonstration title and India had managed to secure the bronze in Hearthstone courtesy of Tirth Mehta). The esports titles in which the Indian contingent is participating are – FIFA 22, DOTA 2, League of Legends, Street Fighter V and Hearthstone. So, there are multiple medals at stake in esports at Asian Games 2022.  

Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation, commented, “This win is a historic moment for the Indian Esports ecosystem and will not only aspire many esports athletes to represent India on a global stage but will help establish India as an esporting nation. We need to build a robust & sustainable esports ecosystem for India which is inclusive and diverse (developed across multiple esports titles), leading to the shaping up of not one/two but hundreds of medal winners across multiple esports titles and gender. For brands, they have to look at Esports as their long-term marketing strategy to develop and grow the sport and not just for their activation tools. Our athletes/teams need support and encouragement from the brands for the long run just like any other sports athlete. We hope brands will put their focus and eyes on this next-generation sport and come up with a long-term vision to grow the sport and upskill our esports talent.”

Animesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO at 8bit Creatives stated, “After years of grinding, this victory has surely put us a step ahead in the process of recognizing esports as a sport by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). As someone who dreamt that esports and gaming will one day shine, when people were not even thinking about it, it personally means a lot to me ofcourse. But when I see the impact it is having on the industry and on our society, I realize its true impact. We have the potential and we can surely nurture many athletes for such upcoming events. Apart from that, it should be inspiring for many of us as we won one in Asian Games 2018 and now this one makes it clear that we can do a lot more if given the desired chances. We hope that this win will result in more tournaments around all Esports titles and a tally of investments and sponsorship for the teams and athletes in India. The more support for gaming flourishes, the more gamers can help good brands and products reach the right audience.”

Mr. Sagar Nair, Co-Founder & CEO, Qlan, The Gamer’s Social Network said, “The win at the Commonwealth Games 2022 by the Indian Dota 2 team will go down as a landmark moment for Indian esports on multiple levels. I’m confident that this victory will pave a path for esports in India to be put in the bracket alongside any other mainstream sport in the country. The fogged perception and narrative around esports in India will witness a much-needed change in the right direction where every esports title will be backed by the stakeholders of the ecosystem. You never know what title will lead India to its next medal. Looking at it from a marketing perspective, this opens up doors for brands to get into team sponsorships, athlete endorsements, product integrations and any other form of brand partnership that brands have been engaging with other sports and athletes. Also, as esports is a proper medal event at the next Asian Games, this can potentially open the floodgates for brands to reach out to a massive GenZ consumer base.”

“It’s a very big moment for the entire gaming community. Seeing our Indian team being a part of CWG was a matter of pride in itself, but our victory added immense confidence in everyone about the direction in which Indian Gaming Space is going. Not only is this a confidence booster for players, parents, and other stakeholders, even brands will take notice of such achievements. They would definitely want to associate with current (or potential) names that put India on a global roadmap, similar to sports like Cricket. We might even see brands recognize players from games apart from the mainstream games, and give a certain monetization boost to a new segment of gaming altogether,” commented Rohit Agarwal, Founder & Director, Alpha Zegus.

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India’s Mohammed Ibrahim Storms Into Sim Racing World Cup Final

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India’s Mohammed Ibrahim secured his place in the final of the first-ever Sim Racing World Cup by finishing second in the Asian Continental Qualifiers.

Ibrahim ended the race impressively with a lap time of 1:33.575 behind Thailand’s Thanathip Tanalapanan, who grabbed the top position after completing the race in 1:33.561.

India’s other participating driver, Davlish Singh, on the other hand, secured the sixth position with a lap time of 1:34.026 at the Qualifiers which saw the participation of 14 top drivers from across Asia, competing for two available spots in the final. Both Ibrahim and Davlish had won the NESC22 (Simracing), the Indian National Qualifiers which were held in a hybrid mode at ESFI’s multiplex partner INOX’s Megaplex, Malad, Mumbai.

“Since my childhood, I’ve been fascinated with racing cars, which developed into a passion for motorsports. It is a surreal feeling to qualify for the grand final of the SRWC. I feel glad to have carried the momentum in the qualifiers after winning the NESC and hope to do so in Monaco as well. It is going to be a challenging experience to compete with the best sim racing drivers from all over the world.

I will be working on a few minor things to improve my gameplay and perform at the highest level to make my country proud in the finals. Racing is my goal and vision, wish to excel in both Sim as well as on Real Motorsports, and always look for opportunities and support.” said the jubilant Ibrahim, who already has titles of the Isolation E Championship, McLaren Logitech G Challenge, US F4 Kcr Championship and Ultimate E Championship to his name.

Interestingly, Ibrahim’s finish was also the fifth fastest, globally. Apart from Tanalapanan, only David Toth of Hungary (1:33.197), Slovenia’s Jernej Simonic (1:33.329) and Spain’s Pedro Sanchez (1:33.336), who qualified from the European continent, recorded less time than Ibrahim.

The Continental Qualifiers saw drivers from 39 countries, divided into 5 continents. The final will take place in Monaco from October 23 to 24 as Ibrahim among 12 top drivers will fight for the title.

“Ibrahim has made the entire country proud by making sure India is one of the countries that contests in the inaugural Sim Racing World Cup final. Both Ibrahim and Davlish performed brilliantly against the top drivers from the Asia region. This is a huge achievement for the sim racing community and another step towards further growth of Esports in India. Everyone at ESFI wishes him the best of luck to win the championship.” said Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation.

One of the country’s top sports and Esports specialised communication firms, Artsmith – Concepts & Visions and India’s Leading Multiplex chain INOX continue their support for this prestigious tournament as the communication and venue partners of ESFI respectively.

The first-ever Sim Racing World Cup is organised by the International Esports Federation in association with Monaco Esports Federation. The tournament features one of the world’s most popular sim racing titles, Assetto Corsa. 

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