"One key factor that still prevents the sector's progress is a lack of adequate regulation"

FanClash participates in each stage of gamers' eSport fandom journey.


Mumbai: Asian Esports fantasy platform FanClash provides a forum for the fans to not just enjoy the game as a viewer but also empowers them to monetise their knowledge of esports. Users can create their fantasy teams from every tournament and earn rewards based on the real-life performance of the teams. This is like monetising the knowledge of cricket or football via other fantasy platforms. The platform enables users to play fantasy on all leading global tournaments across top eSports such as FreeFire, BGMI, COD Mobile, COD PC, Valorant, CS: GO, League of Legends, DOTA 2, etc.

Indiantelevision.com caught up with FanClash co-founder Rishabh Bhansali to find out more on the company’s plans.

Edited Excerpts:

On the market gap that FanClash saw when it launched

FanClash’s aim is to get the esports community under one roof to create deeper impact and engagement opportunities in the industry. We saw the first-mover advantage in the esports fantasy segment and went all in for it. 

On its USP in a very competitive space

FanClash participates in each stage of gamers' esport fandom journeys, covering everything from fantasy leagues and tournaments to the most recent gaming news. By offering exciting, equitable, and approachable gameplay, we are dedicated to transforming the esports industry. We develop products for esports enthusiasts at all levels using the most recent technology and a data-driven mindset. 

On the past two years what was the traction on esports 

Despite the tremendous economic losses brought on by the coronavirus, the esports sector is thriving. Because social distance reduces consumer and business activity to a minimum, gaming offers an appealing distraction for people looking for social involvement while at home. Millions of mobile users were able to spend more time playing games on their phones because of covid, which in turn increased demand. There is no going back for the esports Jin; he is obviously out of the bottle in many ways.

On how whether esports is increasingly being looked at as a professional career

A vast network of opportunities and professional paths have been created by esports. In India, the gaming sector employs roughly 40,000 people nationwide, according to a report. This figure is anticipated to grow significantly because the esports industry is always expanding. This sector has tremendous potential and will experience unstoppable progress in the years to come. “Playing video games is just a time pass,” is a phrase we were all accustomed to, and now look at these so-called time-passing things that are turning people’s lives around.

A career in esports used to be a distant possibility, but it is now one of the most talked-about professions in the nation. There is no denying the potential of this sector, especially as tech-savvy millennials and members of generation Z turn what was once just their hobbies into successful careers. New opportunities frequently arise in this industry. 

On the game plan to become a household name in the global gaming community

According to Ficci-EY, there were nearly 65 million online gamers in 2019, with that number expected to rise to 440 million by 2022. The potential in this industry is undeniable, especially with the tech-savvy millennial and generation Z populations changing what were once hobbies into lucrative careers. Before we dive into the various esports career paths, it's important to understand that esports is more than just players and games. This sector generates a plethora of new opportunities. 

On trends being seen in the esports industry

The availability of fast internet and smartphones at reasonable prices have contributed to a major rise in the popularity of gaming across the country. Because it enables players to play whenever and whenever they choose, mobile gaming promotes freedom. PC gamers cannot do this, which increases the accessibility of mobile gaming. As we have witnessed, esports has recently been added as a medal sport in the Asian Games. Two mobile Esports games—PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor—have been included in addition to PC games displaying the outstanding quality of mobile gaming. This year, a number of online platforms started to accept cryptocurrency, which will continue to dominate the esports industry. Due to its secrecy and anonymity, many users even prefer using these transfers to make deposits, withdrawals, and wagers using Bitcoin and other currencies.

On raising $40 million in a difficult funding environment for startups and what the investor's expectations are

Every year, millions of Indians create virtual sports teams in the hopes that the players they select would succeed in actual competitions. If the forecasts are correct, users gain. FanClash made an effort to integrate esports into the fantasy sports market, including sleeper hits like COD, DOTA 2, and PUBG Mobile. Investors had committed an extra $40 million in the business expecting the FanClash team and this concept to deliver.

On the importance of being innovative in marketing like wiping out the company's social media pages

It has been a tremendous journey forming partnerships with the biggest names in the business and assuming leadership as one of the top esports organisations in the gaming industry. The rebranding signalled the start of another venture aimed at giving fans immersive interactive experiences. Since no other esports industry had ever done this before, it turned out to be an exciting challenge. The objective was to generate mystery surrounding FanClash's removal from all social media platforms. This kept the tension building until the very end. The outcome met expectations and ultimately proved to be enjoyable and interesting.

On the inspiration behind the company's cyber-punk-inspired mascot Ne.0N  

When the brand entirely erased its presence from social media accounts, esports fans and veterans began to wonder what was next and were extremely curious. Then, in a thrilling live stream moderated by well-known casters like 8bit Thug and K18, FanClash unveiled its new logo, mascot Ne.0N, which was inspired by cyberpunk and updated the user interface and website. FanClan, a group of influencers with whom FanClash has teamed up to produce interesting content and fan engagement opportunities, was also announced by the company.

On the direction that regulation should take

One key factor that still prevents the sector's progress is a lack of adequate regulation. India's gaming business is expanding in terms of revenue collection, in contrast to other countries like the UK which have strict regulatory agencies and gaming laws. Due to its association with online gambling in some regions, skill gaming can occasionally be negatively viewed. No matter if they are skill-based or chance-based, as long as they are played online on websites housed abroad, anyone can play them. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 is the only national gambling law in India, having been passed before online bookies or even the internet. The responsibility for upholding gaming regulations inside its borders has fallen on each state. However, only Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have lately made this change.

On how advances in smartphone tech are giving the esports industry a leg up

As a mobile-first country, mobile gamers outnumber PC gamers. According to Newzoo's 2022 Esports report, mobile Esports titles are dominant in emerging markets such as India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. PC Esports titles are flourishing more than mobile Esports titles in developed nations such as South Korea, North America, China, Europe, and Japan. Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG New State, Free Fire, Fortnite, and many more are among the popular mobile Esports titles. Gaming has grown in popularity across the country as a result of the affordability and availability of smartphones, as well as high-speed internet access. There is the freedom that comes with mobile gaming; one can play whenever and wherever one want, which PC gamers do not have.

On how the ban on PUGB impacted the industry and the way forward

BGMI, formerly known as PUBG Mobile India, is the Indian version of PUBG Mobile. In the month of July 2022, the Indian government outlawed the BGMI. Battlegrounds Mobile India had been a hot topic among gamers in India since the popular game was removed from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Gamers have expressed concern about the ban's potential negative impact on the BGMI Esports scene in India. The BGMI community has gone through many ups and downs in the last few years. After more than three months of waiting, they can breathe a sigh of relief as the publisher of Battlegrounds Mobile India clarifies the situation. The company stated that they are working on bringing the title back. While fans wait for its usual return, this statement certainly adds some cheer to the community.

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