What’s new in Nodwin after you get funding from Krafton? Also, how do you see the deal in terms of the growth of the gaming industry in general?
Games in India are on fire whether it’s skills-based games where we see players like MPL and Dream 11, or dedicated sports brands like us in Nodwin, which is broadcast and influential and whose values are on the top of the pyramid. As for Krafton’s investment, we will continue to follow our roadmap. We are looking for international expansions in markets that are primarily mobile phones such as Africa and the Middle East, as well as in all other such markets that are in line with our understanding.
In addition, our focus is on capacity building, manpower, studies, and especially on our content strategy so we can move forward and build many IPs related to games or sports.
How do you view the competition and what has changed in terms of challenges since Nodwin started?
The growing number of participants in the Indian spectrum of sports will make our job of growing the sports space much easier. At Nodwin we’ve been trying to build this market for the last four to five years and somehow we had to do it ourselves. I like joining competitions in the esport business because it makes it much easier for me to be part of a larger ecosystem in which other people also contribute.
As for the challenge, we currently have to solve two problems – the problem of awareness and marketing in games and sports. I think the best marketing campaigns we saw on mobile devices were during the Covid crisis. Two years ago, I still had to explain to people what gaming and sports are, which is no longer the case. Basically, between the last two years, big marketing campaigns have just been passed on by word of mouth through influencers, content, YouTube, or the tournaments we run. The foundations, however, were laid five years ago.
What are your strategies for staying ahead of the competition in terms of Nodwin tournaments?
You have seen us grow at a certain pace in the last few years, but we have grown very fast in these two years due to the prevailing market situation. We didn’t have to go to market much at the time. However, we work with YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and other different platforms for promotional activities. We work with brands such as HP, Pepsico, Redbull and Asus. Over time, our marketing strategy has become product-oriented. We are currently partnering with Riot for the VCC tournament. This is a joint initiative of the two of us to introduce the Valorant Conquerors Championship as a qualifying tournament for the APAC Last Chance Qualifiers as part of the Valorant Champions Tour 2021.
Have a map of stories from zero to hero in which people from India, other countries of South Asia, Africa and various markets get the opportunity to play globally. We and our friends from the Riot Games have worked together to build this scale that connects South Asia with the global roadmap of Valorant Esports, which is VCT 2021.
Do you believe that esport will compete with the biggest traditional sports leagues in terms of future opportunities, and between advertising, ticket sales, licensing, sponsorships and trading, there are huge growth areas for this emerging industry?
Not surprisingly, esport is often compared to its predecessor – traditional sports. However, esport certainly has none of the typical boundaries of traditional sports. We are already among the leading esports companies in India. More people watch the sport than the French Open or the Formula 1 race. Even the sports audience surpasses the Kabaddi spectators in India. However, compared to cricket, we are lagging behind. India has so many sports channels that focus on cricket, so if you think about it and start looking at the numbers, you will see that esport has outnumbered all traditional sports except cricket. Still, there are times when people prefer to watch sports than Australia’s cricket match against England or Pakistan against Bangladesh.
Being in second place after the most watched traditional game like cricket is nothing less than saying that esport is on its way to making a great story of growth.
Since you are one of the pioneers in the Indian sports ecosystem, what would be your suggestions for sports enthusiasts planning sports as a business? Also, share with us your upcoming IP addresses and tournaments.
For such enthusiasts, I suggest – find your niche! We have some great companies in India that are developing in esports or are well established. There are content creators, networks of influential people and streaming organizations that work well. The whole real money gaming sector was phenomenally large during that time. There are so many opportunities for people planning their business in sports. Companies like Ewars have recently raised money. Then there are websites like Sportskeeda, AFK Gaming and Total Esports, which work great with their content. There are so many opportunities based on your ability, intellect and investment capacity.
Our on-site tournaments, which we love so much like Dreamhack and the Premiership final, are late. We will soon publish more IP addresses to go with. I am extremely excited about this year, especially about the Riot partnership. We are looking forward to three or four big IPs.