India must implement a policy framework around data protection for esports: FEAI

India must implement a policy framework around data protection and data sovereignty when it comes to esports to ensure a sustained growth for the sector and for India to become a global e-gaming hub, said speakers at the national summit organized by the Federation of Esports Association of India (FEAI).

Speaking at the inaugural function, Vaibhav Dange, Founding Director, FEAI & President, Maratha Esports Association said that the association is involved with all stakeholders to put together a draft policy which highlights the right definition of esports, how it is differentiated from online gaming, what is the regulatory framework that is needed and how athletes need to be ranked and protected in the long term.

“As the immediate three-point agenda, we must firstly work towards maintaining the centrality of players and consolidating a talent pool in the country under a professional structure,” said Rajani Navani, Founder, JetSynthesys.

“Secondly, we must face the challenges of data sovereignty and implement a policy framework around data protection and data sovereignty; and thirdly, we must work towards making Indian esports and indigenous titles truly global. We must endeavour to create a sustainable economy around esports that aids job production and enables revenue generation,” he added.

Esports in India has gained a massive growth in India in the last few years. Today, India has 150,000 players and approximately 60,000 teams. This number is estimated to reach over 1.5 million by FY25.

Esports currently is at that precipice, with its ability to transform the way that fans engage with sports, said Harsh Jain, Founder, Dream Sports Inc.

“We aim to bring about a cultural shift in the awareness around the acceptance of esports as a wholesome pursuit that is not differentiated from pursuing conventional sports,” Dibyojyoti Mainak, Director, Nereus Sports said.

As a global player in this space, MPL is working towards conducting large scale tournaments in esports which can bring players from all around the world to compete under one umbrella, preferably in indigenous titles conceptualized and made in India.

FEAI endeavours to create a policy led narrative and welcomes industry feedback both at the Centre & State level through its 26 state associations. FEAI will be formulating a policy knowledge paper to take the dialogue forward.