Gaming, in all its varied forms, has always been perceived as a purely recreational activity — something about its ability to devour enormous units of time and electricity, without any evidence of physical benefit, has always kept it outside the realm of productivity. In the last two decades, however, gaming has evolved into a billion dollar multimedia juggernaut, with an ever-increasing base of fans whose median age, globally, hovers around the early 30s. Today, Paul Newman’s maxim from The Color of Money stands all too true — if you’re the best at something, anything, then it can be arranged.
That’s what Yash Pariani and Krish Galani are here to do, with the Indian Gaming League — not just arrange for riches, but add a layer of legitimacy to India’s fledgling online gaming scene. They’ve done this by creating India’s first professional online and offline gaming platform, dubbed the Indian Gaming League — the E-sports portal allows gamers to form leagues, purchase credits and partake in online tournaments, which allow them to win cash prizes. IGL hosts daily events, letting gamers engage in several multiplayer gaming activities across all gaming platforms — XBox, PC and PlayStation. Given their age, both Yash (23) and Krish (20) have seen gaming technology take huge leaps forward in terms of quality and sophistication, over the last decade and a half. They created the Indian Gaming League in an effort to tap into the eSports phenomenon that’s swept the developed world, particularly the United States, where Krish cut his teeth in the eSports business by owning and managing a team which participated in multiple gaming tournaments across the country. He also holds the distinction of starting the first all-women professional Call of Duty league.
“A lot of parents don’t see the potential in gaming, and don’t approve of their children pursuing gaming professionally” says Yash, who previously dabbled in event management before collaborating with Krish to create IGL. So just how big a fortune can one stand to make? “The most profitable team at the moment would be Team Fanatic, who have an estimated value of 42 million dollars.” According to their website, winning a gaming tournament at the moment can earn you up to Rs 3500 straight off the mark. Participants also earn ‘pro points’ or XP for participation. How does this work? It essentially separates the more experienced players from the plebes. The teams which possess the maximum XP get to participate in qualifier rounds, which then determine the top 8 teams in the country. Yash and Krish have also tied up with top gaming publishers like Activision, which will allow the selected teams to participate in international tournaments, whose top prizes range up to 20 million dollars.
Yash and Krish’s combined experience with the world of gaming has allowed them to offer a wide range of in-game services. Sure, you could just set up a multiplayer match with your friends, but IGL offers to monitor and play referee during large scale multiplayer tournaments, to ensure that no foul play is involved. “We have an online admin team that is there to monitor and assess the situation as well as to ensure continuation and equality in matches”, Yash confirms, showing yet another benefit of going pro. With the arrival of virtual reality headsets, the world of gaming is only going to expand. If you want to be a part of it, head over to the Indian Gaming League website and get started.