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Paytm First Games reveals two-tournament India esports launch

Paytm First Games (PFG) has switched attention to the Indian esports market after launching separate online tournaments in partnership with the Esports Players League (ESPL) and Garena Partners.

The dual announcement comes at a time when online gaming is picking up as a form of stay-at-home entertainment. The Indian public are currently living under government-imposed lockdown measures until 3 May in the fight against COVID-19.

The first ‘season’ of esports tournaments with ESPL will take place from May to November. PFG, a joint venture between One97 Communications and AGTech Holdings, will oversee the rollout of the ESPL amateur esports platform in the country, execute tournaments, acquire users and secure local sponsorship, as well as create local media content. 

Meanwhile, ESPL – a tournament platform provider headquartered in Singapore – will provide the tech solution, global sponsorships, media deals and a wider esports strategy.

As reported by VentureBeat, ESPL wants to give amateur gamers a path to becoming professional. It will eventually cover all platforms for esports, but its initial focus is on mobile.

The organisation’s CEO Michael Broda said in a recent statement for the publication that India has more than 1.2 mobile gamers and will roll out 5G connectivity in 2020, making the country a key target for ESPL’s amateur esports tournaments.

At least six other tournament platforms are currently operating in the Indian esports industry, according to the Esports Observer, including the Sequoia, Times Internet, WinZO Games and the GoVentures-backed Mobile Premier League.

Meanwhile, PFG’s partnership with Garena Partners will deliver the first ever Free Fire India Solos (FFIS) 2020 tournament, giving every player in the country the chance to become the best solo player in one of the world’s most popular mobile games.

Taking place in May and June, the FFIS will see casual players compete against professional gamers on equal terms over two legs – Masters and Streamer Showdown.

Harold Teo, Free Fire Producer at Garena, told Sportskeeda: ”Games foster a sense of community and positivity, while promoting healthy competition.”

“We are excited to partner with Paytm First Games to allow players – both casual and professional – to compete to be the best solo Free Fire player in India. We want to showcase the power of the Indian esports community.”

In an article for Business Insider India, PFG said it now has more than half a million daily active players, spending on average up to 45 minutes per session. It added the platform has witnessed 200% growth in the last month, with over 75,000 new users joining every day.

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