Indian Esports Start-up MPL’s International Ambitions

Mobile Premier League’s freshly infused series-D funding will be utilised to foray into the US markets as well as be the next gaming unicorn.


With lower out-of-home consumption during the pandemic, the new means of recreation has found its place in an individual’s laptop or PC. Esports has witnessed an increase in customer base. Here, the key factor is a visible shift in user psychology – a switch from playing casual games to professional video gaming.

The immense popularity of esports can be well understood from the numbers reflected in the joint report of  FICCI-EY titled ‘Ready. Set. Game On!’ which says that the industry is worth Rs 3 billion in FY2021 and expects to touch Rs 11 billion by FY2025.

Esports companies that earlier were limited to their independently organised world championships have received a never seen before inclusion in the world’s most coveted sporting event – Tokyo Olympics 2021. The International Olympic Committee has launched the virtual Olympic series in five disciplines of physical sports: 

  • Motorsport
  • Cycling
  • Baseball
  • Sailing
  • Rowing

Though currently a non-medalled event in the Olympics, it will soon be recognised as a legitimate sport.

Speaking of Esports gaining a global status, we cannot deny the popularity of Indian gaming and Esports platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) which enjoys a user base of 60 million and 5 million in India and Indonesia respectively. The gaming platform is looking to foray into the international markets as well as gain international status. 

Mobile Premier League: The International dream 

After gaining a firm foothold in the Indonesian market since mid-2019 with more than 5 million registered users in the country, it is planning to step into the US market that is the world’s largest mobile market. 

Mobile Premier League, in the US, wants to gain standalone status in the gaming market by becoming a ‘super app’. It will roll out new game formats such as synchronous gaming for the American populace in games like baseball, solitaire, bowling, various puzzles, etc. 

Knowing that competitive gaming or Esports is already validated in the country, tapping the US market will benefit the company as there is no other equivalent platform offering a similar value proposition, currently operating there.

Mobile Premier League is inching closer to building its international presence with the recent sponsorship deal worth Rs 8 Crore with the Indian Olympic Association till the end of 2022 covering the major events in the period. 

This deal will make Mobile Premier League come onboard as the principal sponsor for the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Olympics, 2022 Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. 

The recent Series D funding of $95 million in Feb 2021 from Composite Capital and Moore Strategic Ventures has increased Mobile Premier League’s valuation to $945 million, soon to gain the unicorn status after Dream 11. The funds collected will be utilised to expand its business overseas and grow its Esports portfolio by conducting tournaments at national and international level.

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According to the joint report of FICCI and EY, the emergence of Esports gaming platforms is estimated to generate more than 11000 jobs and add Rs 100 billion to the economic value of India in investments, in-app purchases, winnings, taxes and related consumption. 

How Will Esports Platforms Benefit Indians? 

According to the joint report of FICCI and EY, the emergence of Esports gaming platforms is estimated to generate more than 11000 jobs and add Rs 100 billion to the economic value of India in investments, in-app purchases, winnings, taxes and related consumption. 

New income streams will emerge in event management, ethical and legislative laws, game design, Esports marketing and league management. It will open a new career path for the Indian developers who will develop games suitable for world Esports tournaments. 

Learnings for New Start-ups in Esports Space

Esports is a booming sector in India with smartphones becoming ubiquitous. According to an EY India survey on smartphone users, out of every eight people, one user participates in Esports tournaments for every six people who play social games. This makes the space lucrative. 

Capitalising during IPL

Mobile Premier League striking sponsorship deals – T20 league and IPL 2020 – helped gain maximum reach that resulted in daily app installations up by 100 percent and increased the number of fantasy gamers by 7 times. 

It engaged more users in the IPL season by organising new in-app features, sign-up bonuses, virtual meet-and-greet sessions with cricketers and contests. 

Acquire local gaming platforms

On acquiring Delhi-based Esports gaming platform GamingMonk, Mobile Premier League has not only gained its 1.3 million users but has brought key national, regional and global tournament IPs ( intellectual property) and has developed a full suite of Esports and broadcasting capabilities.

Shalmoli Sarkar
Shalmoli Sarkar
An MBA in marketing and a BTech in chemical engineering, Shalmoli writes on marketing strategies and business technology for new and aspiring entrepreneurs.

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