In recent years, global interest in esports has surged exponentially, and Pakistanis are following suit by all means and measures. A rising number of young individuals are participating in the e-gaming trend; some have even made their mark on the international arena, securing laurels for Pakistan. Yet, questions arise about the sport’s economy and its financial drivers. How does the industry sustain itself at the initial/ local stage, and how do youngsters secure funds to fuel their passion?
Pakistan has notably excelled in esports despite infrastructural challenges, particularly within the e-fighting game community. The Pakistani youngsters stand as significant players in the PUBG and Tekken competitions worldwide, boasting a national competition that feeds into the broader South Asia and, eventually, the global circuit.
E-sports have been gaining popularity in Pakistan, with a growing number of players, teams, and tournaments. This trend is expected to continue as younger people embrace competitive gaming as a legitimate career option and source of entertainment. They make a considerable amount of money on the international front; however, what garners curiosity is how this ‘industry’ survives and rather thrives at the local level in Pakistan.
Building a strong esports community is crucial for long-term growth. This involves creating forums, events, and online platforms where gamers can connect, learn, and compete.
We gathered some insight into how youngsters are making money to keep their e-gaming dreams afloat.
Esports players in Pakistan are participating in local and international tournaments and competitions. Prize money from winning these tournaments contributes to a significant source of income for skilled players. Major international tournaments often offer substantial prize pools, which could significantly boost a player’s earnings.
Recently, Pakistan’s eGaming sensation Tekken star Arslan ‘Ash’ Siddique became a four-time EVO champion after winning the title in Las Vegas. Notably, Arslan stands alone as the sole player in the world to win the prestigious Tekken 7 event four times.
The 27-year-old impressed one and all with his skills and tracks and defeated Japan’s AO 3-0 in the grand finale.
Sponsorships And Endorsements
As the popularity of esports is growing, brands and companies are taking a keen interest in sponsoring individual players or teams. These sponsorships could include financial support, gaming equipment, and, in some cases, endorsement deals.
Streaming and Content Creation
Many esports players are also content creators who live-stream their gameplay on platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming. Revenue is also being generated through ads, subscriptions, donations from viewers, and collaborations with brands.
Coaching and Training
Experienced players often provide coaching services to less experienced players who are looking to improve their skills. They could charge a fee for individual or group coaching sessions.
Successful players will also be able to monetize their celebrity identity by selling merchandise such as gaming-related clothing, accessories, and other products.
Players who are part of established esports organizations or teams are likely to receive regular salaries or stipends, along with benefits such as travel and accommodation expenses for tournaments. Pakistan has a young and tech-savvy population, which is an ideal demographic for esports growth. As more young gamers enter the scene and hone their skills, Pakistan may produce more competitive esports players who can compete on the international stage.
Streaming Platforms and Esports Organizations
Certain streaming platforms, tech companies, and esports organizations are investing in the development of the esports scene in Pakistan. They provide financial support, and prize money to players to help them grow their careers.
Local eSports Leagues
Pakistan is witnessing the rise of local esports leagues and competitions. These events offer players the opportunity to earn money by competing in a structured league format.
The establishment of esports academies and training programs can help nurture talent from a young age and provide a structured path for aspiring esports professionals.
Got to know about a very interesting form of investment in esports. At the local level, some people invest money in youngsters to enable them to pursue their e-gaming dreams and garner skills. As ROI, they demand a certain percentage of the money they earn in terms of prize money or sponsorship. This is more like sharing equity with a venture capitalist who identifies a sellable product and invests in it.
One of the key factors driving the growth of esports is investment from various stakeholders, including gaming companies, sponsors, and celebrities. If this trend continues in Pakistan, it can lead to the development of better infrastructure, tournaments, and player talent.
The growth of esports mainly relies on the development of infrastructure such as gaming cafes, esports arenas, and training facilities. If there’s increased investment in such infrastructure, it can help elevate the esports scene in Pakistan.
Recently, Google launched its first Gaming Growth Lab to assist startups that are already producing gaming applications for Android phones and organizing competitions with support from local and international sponsors inside Pakistan.
This will further help in enhancing the esports infrastructure in the country and provide more avenues to make money from the e-gaming spectrum.