INOX joins hands with Esports Federation of India to popularize esports in India through big-screen video gaming experience in cinemas
As an exclusive Cinema Partner, INOX will host and promote ESFI tournaments across the country
Indian Esports ecosystem to benefit from this partnership ahead of Asian Games, Commonwealth Championships and IESF World Championships
India’s leading multiplex chain, INOX Leisure Ltd (INOX) and the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) on Monday announced a first-of-its-kind partnership that will witness INOX providing a never-seen-before community viewing experience of Esports tournaments, that too on the big screens, for the fans, and provide the required exposure to take the game to the next level across the country. As an exclusive Cinema Partner, INOX will host and promote ESFI tournaments across the country, which should help in building awareness and popularizing esports, besides offering world class cinemas as esports & video gaming venues in cities all over India.
INOX has been intrinsically supporting Indian sports through various collaborations, with the most notable being with their longstanding partnership with the Indian Olympic Association. Now, with a goal to revolutionize Esports landscape in India, INOX & ESFI together aims to take esports to masses using INOX cinemas as venues for hosting esports tournaments, streaming of live tournaments, provide training opportunities and offer a talent scouting platform for future global events . More importantly, the partnership would introduce esports enthusiasts to the thrill of a live stadium amidst cheers and applause, while they compete in esports events professionally.
Commenting on this association, Alok Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, INOX Leisure Limited, said, “We are thrilled to bring the action of sports to the cinemas of INOX in collaboration with the Esports Federation of India who has been working relentlessly to grow Indian esports and together, make esports, a mainstream sporting activity in India. Our cinemas are present at highly urban and youth-centric locations servicing the entertainment needs of a predominantly young population in an unmatched ambience equipped with advanced cinema technology. We believe, this advantage, coupled with all our marketing capabilities, will help us popularize esports at a much faster pace in our country. With sports gaining global significance, there cannot be a better time for us to fulfill this responsibility. With this association, we will build more esports IPs and who knows with our initiatives we can unearth a Neeraj Chopra or Abhinav Bindra in esports for our country. ”
Alongside Alok Tandon, Vinod Tiwari, President, Esports Federation of India & Director Olympic Council of Asia – NOC & International Relations and Mr Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF) were present at the event along with India’s first & only Esports medalists at the previous Asian Games 2018, Hearthstone player Tirth Mehta, who joined virtually from Bhuj.
|INOX and ESFI Partnership|
For any sport, the experience of watching esports tournaments on the big screen is enthralling and engaging. This is an opportunity that will help our esports teams and athletes to build and expand their fan base and create scope for more conversations around esports. ESFI is excited about this partnership, as this will also be a concrete step towards taking esports to grassroots, inspire people and give them a platform to showcase their talent.
As per the E&Y Report titled Esports In India, published in June 2021, India currently has more than 1,50,000 professional esports players that has generated a viewership of 17 million people across 14 broadcast platforms, and the forecast is to have 1.5 million professional players with 85 million viewership from 20+ broadcasters by FY2025.
Tirth Mehta, India’s first & only esports medalist at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta said, “I believe every sport needs to have good training facilities, awareness, popularity, and support to make it prosper, and ESFI’s partnership with INOX is a progressive step towards a brighter future. I am also confident that such partnerships will happen in the future too. I hope this partnership will inspire many sports athletes who have been working hard to represent India and win medals for the country. ”
The association will enable INOX to engage and offer an enticing content proposition to the age bracket of 15-24 years by promoting this new age sport that has the potential to garner a huge fan base and is expected to reach INR 11 billion by FY2025 as per industry data. With a growing scope for alternate content, INOX has been one of the pioneers in movie business to propagate the screening of sporting content, major ones being the ICC World Cup events of 2019 and 2021. Through this partnership, INOX and ESFI will be jointly hosting city tournaments and build various esports IPs in order to intensify its growth, not just at elite, but also at the grass root level. The objective will be to introduce the charm of gamers and gaming enthusiasts, across the country, to take part in online as well as in-cinema tournaments.
About INOX Leisure Limited:
INOX Leisure Limited (INOX) is amongst India’s largest multiplex chains with 159 multiplexes and 670 screens in 71 cities. INOX has redefined movie experiences in India making it truly a 7-star experience.
About Esports Federation of India (ESFI):
The Esports Federation of India (ESFI) is a full member of the International Esports Federation (IESF), the Global Esports Federation (GEF) and the Asian Esports Federation (AESF). ESFI participated in the Asian Games 2018, where Tirth Mehta got India’s first bronze in sports (demonstration title).
To promote, encourage, organize, educate, train and control Esports in India and to provide facilities for training in Esports, build and sustain the Esports eco-system in India, not limiting to providing, conceptualizing, opening, managing, running, developing, facilitating, and promoting all areas of Esports and to provide all other possible and related forms of Esports.