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It might not win many Olympic medals, but India is beating the US and the UK in e-sports

Sangeeta Tanwar
By Sangeeta Tanwar

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This post has been corrected.

E-sports has emerged as an important mix in Indians’ overall sports-viewing experience.

About 73% of Indian respondents in a recent survey said they have watched e-sports, and 57% have played one, well ahead of enthusiasts in the US, UK, and European countries. Other Asian countries, including Singapore and Hong Kong, too, boast of big fan-following for e-sports, says a Jan. 30 report by Capgemini Research Institute.

The report gauges the impact of technology in transforming the viewing and playing experience of sports fans. The Capgemini Research Institute surveyed 10,363 sports fans across nine countries for the report.

The rise of digital technologies in sports has enhanced the viewing experience for fans as tech has become an integral part of how we consume e-sports, said the report.

Fans from Asian countries, including India, Hong Kong, and Singapore, lead in the adoption and acceptance of emerging technologies in sports. They are keen on using and experimenting with technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. Close to three-quarters of them (74%) have experienced the use of emerging technology in the stadium, with India leading at 88%.

 

“The use of emerging technologies in creating a unique fan experience is an exciting and rapidly growing area. Sports organisations across the world have a huge opportunity to tap into evolving expectations of fans and athletes to build a more connected, customised, and personalised engagement experience,” said Darshan Shankavaram, global digital customer experience practice leader at Capgemini.

Also, sports enthusiasts worldwide are increasingly using technology available inside stadia to enhance their viewing experience. For example, most of the fans check for regular updates on a mobile app while watching the match live, they access wi-fi to share updates on social media, and use their mobile for ordering food & beverages to be delivered to their seat, according to the report.

Sports followers in Asia are also willing to spend more money if assured of a more engaging and rewarding sports experience.

About 71% of them said they would pay more if new technologies enhanced their stadium experience, compared to those in North America (40%), Europe (34%), and Australia (33%).

Correction: An earlier version of this post said: “About 73% of Indians have watched e-sports.” This has been corrected.