Leading esports and digital gaming platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) recently conducted an event at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) to raise awareness about mobile gaming and esports industry and career options in the industry.
As per a report by IFSG-KPMG, the esports industry in India is worth around INR 43.8 billion and is estimated to reach about INR 118.8 billion by the year 2023, with the GAGR of 22.1 per cent.
MPL is an online gaming platform that connects game developers to gamers. The platform was founded last year by Sai Srinivas Kiran G, an IIT Kanpur graduate, with his friend Shubham Malhotra. MPL hosts various games like chess, quiz, carrom, fantasy sports and rummy from third-party developers on a single app.
The MPL event at IIM-A was presided by a panel of renowned industry personnel including Sai Srinivas, Co-Founder and CEO, MPL, Professor Amit Karna, Chairperson- Placements, IIM-A, Naman Jhawar, Head of Strategy, MPL, Deepak Ojha, Founding Editor, Talk ESport, and was moderated by Dibyojyoti Mainak, General Counsel, MPL.
The event was preceded by a presentation by Deepak Ojha, on the domestic and international esports industry. Later, the panel discussion covered a range of topics including how games of skill can be democratised by the ease of access offered by esports. The game studio and developer focus for esports platforms like MPL was also discussed.
Professor Karna highlighted potential job opportunities for management graduates in the esports industry. Students from IIM-A also raised a lot of questions on the current state of the industry in India and about the available or potential job roles in esports organisations.
“We are glad to be able to partner with esteemed institutions like IIM-A to create awareness about esports and how it presents a tremendous opportunity for India on multiple fronts like recognition, employment and monetisation,” said Sai Srinivas, Co-Founder and CEO, MPL.
As the industry grows, the company is said to be set to actively involve student and academic community by holding events and competitions where students can present business plans, case studies, etc.
Hopefully, such activities by platforms like MPL will pave a path for a more aware academic environment, where new talent will be eager to join the esports industry, giving it a push.
In October 2019, in an interview to Glaws, MPL CEO Sai Srinivas said, ‘Esports in India and across the globe is on the cusp of a mainstream revolution. Given the global opportunities that are mushrooming, we at MPL believe India is poised to grab the chance. We need the right support system for esports players and developers alike. And MPL provides the platform for the entire system to grow on.’
‘Overall, we want to play our part in developing gaming and esports as a viable career option for developers and gamers alike,’ added Srinivas.
Earlier this year, MPL raised US$35.5 million (around Rs. 248.5 crores) in a Series A funding round led by Sequoia Capital India, Times Internet (part of the Times of India Group) and GoVentures (the investment arm of Indonesian tech startup Go-Jek).
Diverse skills are employed to operate a platform like MPL. This year, MPL acquired Pune-based engineering firm Crevise Technologies in a cash and stock deal to leverage their experience in DevOps, Machine Learning, and Full Stack Development to make MPL platform more robust, agile, and reliable for its users.
Esports platforms, such as MPL, also create opportunities for professional gamers to make a career out of their skills. In July, MPL conducted a chess tournament called MPL Chess Mahayudh, where three professional chess players won from the prize pool of INR 11 lakh. VS Rathanvel, an 18-year old chess prodigy from Coimbatore, won the first prize of Rs. 5 Lakh. Overy 90,000 users, including grandmaster Ankit Rajpara, from Gujarat, participated in the event on the tournament day. Viswanathan Anand, a renowned Indian chess players, was the brand ambassador of the event.