When it comes to developing a region’s esports scene from the grassroots level, tournament hosts and organizers indeed play a big part.
The Indian Gaming League’s (IGL) story in the nation’s esports landscape has been quite intriguing. From starting with a three-person team, they have grown exponentially to 25 in less than a year and have hosted tournaments in a plethora of esports titles.
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda Esports’ Abhishek Mallick, Yash Pariani, the CEO of Indian Gaming League, opens up about the organizations’ struggles and his dreams and aspirations moving forward.
Here is an excerpt of the conversation.
Q1. Yash, before we start, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and what led you to conceive the very idea of the Indian Gaming League and bring it to fruition?
Yash: So I’ve always been a gamer. I’ve grown up in several countries, but I’ve settled in Mumbai for the last 15 years, and I’ve witnessed the phenomenon that is esports grow from its nascency to the behemoth that it is today.
About a few years ago, I went to the US and saw the size of the conventions and tournaments that occurred for esports. I realized its potential, especially in India, a country with a population almost four times the US, which should have a higher gaming population.
I came back to Mumbai and started researching, and there was no structure or platform. Even those that happened were labeled as a scam.
Gaming was extremely poorly perceived here, and that’s when we decided to formulate the platform and start hosting legitimate tournaments and changing the perception of gaming. That was how IGL was born.
IGL was one of the first in the scene. We researched and held offline tournaments along with a few online. Back then, we realized that India still hadn’t adapted to online as much as the west; hence, we would host more offline tournaments.
Once demonetization happened in 2016 and India embraced the digital age, things looked like they would be ideal for an online scenario.