In the late 1970s and ’80s, when the concept of internet bandwidth was unknown, the word ‘cloud’ had nothing to do with storage or computation and the first personal computer was making a tentative entry on Indian desktops, the universe of sports and entertainment saw a unique entrant. There arrived machines that sparkled with colourful lights, reverberated with weird sounds and promised to satisfy every childhood fantasy. Coming at the back of the first Star Wars movie in 1977, video games made a booming entry into the sporting arena. Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983) only helped whet the appetite of a generation that was fast getting addicted to playing Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Grand Prix and Digger. No amusement arcade was complete without a video game parlour.
Over four decades, video gaming has seen a dramatic transformation. Technology and telecommunication have played a significant part in its evolution and electronic sports, or Esports, has found a foothold in India where the internet and the smartphone have radically changed the way sports and entertainment is being consumed. Corporate support and the ability of Esports to grow online gaming communities facilitated its growth. Social networks and social media are two parts of the ecosystem that have majorly changed the gaming landscape.