Niantic announced the completion of five successful years for its pioneering game – Pokémon GO. To celebrate the occasion, the company launched a short video highlighting the impact of the game among the communities worldwide. Launched in 2016, Pokémon GO became a phenomenon owing to its novel gameplay, lovable characters and the facets of exploration, mobility and community built-in. The game has crossed one billion downloads and spans across 150+ countries.
Niantic also took this occasion to highlight its India focus. Commenting on the five-year journey, Omar Tellez, Vice President, Strategic Partnership, Niantic, said “We are elated to surpass the 5-year milestone and as the game embodies, the journey of exploring new possibilities has just begun! We have been present in India from the beginning and have built a thriving community of Pokémon GO trainers. Through 2020 and 2021, India has ranked among our key growth markets. We are now taking this relationship to the next level with dedicated conversations, events, celebrations and outreach in the coming months.”
In the past two months, Niantic has intensified its focus on the India market with the launch of dedicated country specific social media pages (@PokemonGOAppIN) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the game as well as key recruitments. Growth Scouts have also been hired in the region and are using local partnerships to bring Pokémon GO to more Indians.
India has been at the forefront of mobile and data revolution in the past five years and has around 365 million mobile gamers (2020). Demographic dividend coupled with cheaper, faster data as well as better and affordable smartphones have accelerated the India’s rise to become 5th largest mobile gaming market in the world. It is estimated that by 2022 that 44% of the smartphone population will be playing games on their devices; at the same time, by 2023, the mobile gaming sector in the country is expected to reach $3 billion as compared to $1.2 billion in 2020.(Sources: InMobi and Mobile Marketing Association)
Gamers from India, Pakistan and Nepal to Compete at WEC 2021
Esports athletes from India, Pakistan and Nepal will get the opportunity to compete virtually in open qualifiers to take a shot at becoming the champion of the region.
While talking about the launch of World Esports Cup (WEC), WEC Director, Vishwalok Nath said: “We all know how intense it becomes when it comes to any India-Pakistan match and we want fans to witness this epic clash in esports as well. The World Esports Cup will also aim to connect the gamers and gaming community from the South Asian Countries in one platform which will be a first of its kind initiative.”
The tournament, which will be played over a period of three months, will have initial round of two open and closed qualifiers across three regions to screen the best 24 squads from each country. Then, respective countries will battle out to get their best 12 squads which will lead them to finals which will feature their top 4 squads. In the Grand Finals, top 4 squads from India, Pakistan and Nepal will showcase their strategies, coordination and tactical skills to decide the best of the best team from the region. The tournament will be live streamed on official YouTube and Facebook channels of India Today and Aaj Tak along with their websites.
Mr Nath further added regarding its association with Infinix Smartphones, “Mobile gaming with the advent of economical and more advanced smartphone technology has clearly pushed the esports ecosystem to a much wider audience, tapping the still untapped markets across the region and I believe our partnership with Infinix Smartphones consecutive for the second IP property is a strong indication of the potential that WEC brings forth. We are expecting a phenomenal response for this Tri-Nation tournament.”
In its inaugural edition WEC will witness 33+ Days of streaming. The Hong Kong-based smartphone giant, Infinix Smartphones is geared up with multiple upgrades and innovations specifically designed to give an unparalleled and exceptional gaming experience with Dar Link game boost technology, which enhances the gaming interaction and visual experience in heavy-duty Games like Free Fire.
“We at Infinix are dedicated to providing the best gaming experience to our customers with our value driven product offerings. To empower gamers and make gaming-focused smartphones available for everyone, even for those from the remotest areas of the nation, we have been focusing on R&D like never before and are constantly trying to improve ourselves with each product that we bring to the market. Our indigenous DarLink game-boost technology is just one example of our efforts in this direction. With this partnership, we aim to open doors and give new opportunities to the growing gaming talent in India. We are confident that Indian players will not only win but will also encourage the Indian gaming pool in a global platform like WEC.” Mr. Anish Kapoor, CEO of Infinix Smartphones said while announcing the association.
While Esports is now a medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games as well as few other upcoming Asian Championships in the near future. It is expected to see full-fledged induction in Paris Olympics in 2024. WEC’21 aims to play the role of a catalyst to develop, support and grow the Esports ecosystem in India and its neighbouring countries and get esports recognised as a mainstream sport.
World Esports Day Returns to Promote Competitive Gaming
The British Esports Association is proud to announce that it will host the second annual World Esports Day, due to take place on Saturday 23rd October 2021 and bring people together for a global celebration of esports.
Following on from the success of last year’s activities, the event is coming back bigger and better to increase awareness of the positive impacts that esports has on society.
The campaign aims to celebrate all things competitive gaming, including the players, tournaments, streams, content, as well as other areas that help to build up the industry.
World Esports Day is backed by the British Esports Association, as well as having further support from the Global Esports Federation, Singapore Esports Association and Twitch.
After raising money for Special Effect in last year’s event, this year the selected charity is COVAX.
‘COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX, is a worldwide initiative aimed at access to COVID-19 vaccines directed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the World Health Organization.’
In light of the pandemic, British Esports decided it was best to support this charity in its journey to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to countries all around the world.
Funds raised will go straight to COVAX and allow more people globally to be protected amidst the current global situation.
There are several ways to get involved with #WorldEsportsDay, whether you are an individual or organisation.
Some of the many things to do include: hosting an event, running a stream, doing an educational piece or even just promoting esports through social media.
To give some inspiration, these are some of the activities completed last year:
– RAF vs student show matches
– Warzone Tournament
– Fundraising Stream
– Social Media Post
– Merchandise Promotion
World Esports day allows for organisations to let their creativity shine through and help to celebrate all of the positive aspects of esports with people from around the globe.
Download our activity deck:
British Esports has created a deck for individuals and organisations to gain more of an understanding about the day itself, as well as how they can get involved.
This deck outlines the processes behind things like donations to give you more of an understanding about what happens in a more detailed way.
As well as the deck, there are also several assets and resources available to help get activities started, and for you to show your support for the campaign.
These include: – Social media templates
– Streaming overlays
– Donation ticker
– High-quality logos
All of the World Esports Day assets provided have the space for individuals and organisations to include their own branding, whilst showing their support for the day.
Facebook to Host its First Ever Gaming Event in India
Facebook announced its first-ever gaming event – FBGamingPressStart in India. Spread across two days, the virtual event will be hosted by popular comedian Abish Mathews and provide game developers, publishers, and creators across India an opportunity to build, grow their communities, and monetize on Facebook.
#FBGamingPressStart is another step in Facebook’s mission of bringing the world closer together. On Facebook, people can find entertaining gaming videos to watch, follow their favorite creators and game titles, build meaningful connections in gaming groups and chats, discover new games and play those games with people from across the globe — all in one place. The event’s opening address will be made by Gio Hunt, VP of Gaming Business and Operations, Facebook, Ajit Mohan, Managing Director and Vice President, India, and Manohar Hotchandani,Business Development Director, Facebook.
Focused on gaming publishers, the first day consists of sessions titled ‘Play 101: Facebook Instant Games & Cloud Opportunities’, ‘Get In-App Ads Right With Audience Network’, ‘Supercharge Your Game With Facebook Gaming Services’ and AR as well as gaming communities. On the second day creators, publishers and Esports companies will be able to check out sessions on Facebook Gaming video programs, Gaming Creator Programs and Stories of Diversity and Monetisation from popular gamers in the gaming community.
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