eSports in India is turning nerds into millionaires

DOTA 2, PUBG, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, eSports, India, Playtonia, Video games, Multi player games
eSports in India is a growing industry. Photo: iStock

Twenty one-year-old Bhavin Kotwani is a professional athlete who starts training at 8 in the morning and continues till 10 at night. The intense regime begins with three hours of individual training, and moves on to team training and strategising to play in international tournaments. He gets one day off — Sunday.

However, in India, Kotwani isn’t considered an athlete and most people don’t recognise what he plays as a sport. It’s considered at best a hobby and worst, a waste of time.

“I used to play games like ‘Counter-Strike’, ‘Call of Duty’, and ‘FIFA’ for fun when I was younger but in 2012, when I was 14, I decided to make my hobby a profession. It’s been three years since I began playing ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’ professionally,” says the professional eSports athlete with Global eSports. Now, Kotwani and team are all set to represent the south Asia region at the ‘Playtonia Conquerors Insignia 2019’ tournament in Malaysia from October 12-14.

With monthly salaries, food and accommodation taken care of by their companies, and opportunities to travel the world for tournaments, eSports athletes in India are doing away with preconceived notions that what they do is just a ‘game’ and proving that it is a legit profession.

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