With the 2022 Asian Games, Esports was introduced as medal sports in eight different video game titles. However, two of the eight are currently banned in India, which does limit the scope of Indian talent representation across all categories.
Indian minister Dr. V. P. Sahasrabuddhe addresses Esports representation at the Asian Games for banned titles
Asian Games 2022 has officially included Esport as medal events. There are eight events that center around different titles, including PUBG Mobile (Asian Games version), Dota 2, Hearthstone, League of Legends, FIFA Online 4, Street Fighter V, Arena of Valor (Asian Games version), and Dream of the Three Kingdoms 2.
Today at the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, Indian minister Dr. V. P. Sahasrabuddhe addressed Indian representation at the Asian Games for banned titles.
“The subject of special mention of the house, which is about developing a prudent ecosystem of Esports, including legally permissible e-gaming. I would like to draw the attention of the house to the fact that among the eight games that are medal sports in the Asian Games 2022 two are banned in India by the Ministry of Electronics Information Technology, due to Data pilferage concerns.”
Dr. Sahasrabuddhe also added:
“What is required is to have a more holistic outlook toward Esports and gaming, and in that regard, there have to be some efforts on the part of the Government to ensure that India’s flag is represented and players are selected for these tournaments in a fair and transparent manner. I request that wider concentrations need to be held, to develop a prudent esports ecosystem in India to further economic growth as well as job creation.”
The two titles mentioned by Dr. Sahasrabuddhe are PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor. Both these titles are currently banned in India due to concerns regarding data privacy.
While Krafton, the studio behind PUBG Mobile, has created an Indian-only version of the title called Battlegrounds Mobile India or BGMI, no such alternatives exist for Arena of Valor.
The National Esports Championships have already opened up the door for players to compete in tournaments and represent India in DOTA 2, Hearthstone, FIFA 22, Street Fighter V, and League of Legends at the Asian Games 2022.
However, for titles like PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor, the qualification process remains inconclusive.
The Esports and Gaming sector has grown drastically over the last couple of years. The industry has not only opened up job opportunities for professional players along with other associating roles, but it has also contributed substantially to the national GDP.
Tournament organizers are hosting national and international tournaments, breaking down barriers, and prospering the sector.
The government’s active interest in growing the industry does look promising and could potentially open up the way for Indian players to qualify for and participate in all sectors of the Asian Games, including in PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor.
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