A peek into Kashmir’s Esports arena
Post by Insha Latief Khan on Sunday, January 1, 2023
With every passing day, online gaming is getting popular and more gamers are joining the gaming arena. Plunging into desktops and smartphones, the e-gamers are not just taking it as a mere video game, and playing is not just confined to entertainment but it can fetch a good income too.
A popular local game streamer, Jasiya from Srinagar started gaming long ago and currently she has almost 50k subscribers on her YouTube channel.
She said the coming years can bring good opportunities in the thriving gaming world. The accessibility of mobile phones has overtaken PC and consoles and so has caused the shift in the gaming pattern.
“Now games are not only limited to entertaining purposes. There are gaming tournaments and competitions which one can attend, win and earn a good amount. Also with good online presence, one can earn a huge popularity across the globe,” she said.
She said the streaming world is altogether different and offers a whole new experience to a gamer. “It’s an exciting experience and I hope I can make a mark in the streaming world,” she added.
Since childhood, she used to play games and during the huge craze of PubG games in the year 2018, she would play with her friends everyday. Soon she came to know about well-known streamers and decided to give it a try.
“I came to know about various youtubers like Dynamo, Jonathan so I thought of having my own YouTube channel and till then there was no Kashmiri girl whose gaming presence was on YouTube,” she said.
Being the first Kashmiri female streamer, she garnered a good number of subscribers but soon the internet was snapped in 2019 which gave her a huge setback. For any gamer, she said consistency is very important.
“The gamer girls were very few across India who used to stream and when I restarted, there was still no girl streamer from Kashmir but the number was increasing in the country. Then I worked on my channel,” she added.
In a gaming arena, the gamers play with an intention to win and the platform doesn’t stereotype anyone by their gender. As she was receiving the support from the gaming community, some local people abused her and her family.
She said, “My presence on the internet was not liked by narrow minded people. There were people who demotivated me and unfortunately in Kashmir such people are good in number. I realized that I have to be prepared for all this. Now nothing matters to me. I have set a goal and I am playing for it.”
Just recently, good news was announced for game enthusiasts that the Government of India has officially recognized Electronic Sports as a part of Multi-sports events. E-Sports will be taken care of by the Department of Sports under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Meanwhile, Online Gaming will be under Ministry of Electronics and Technology (MEITY).
Adnan Farooq, a gaming content creator, likes to be a part of the gaming community. Currently in 12th standard, his one reason for gaming is to socialize.
He started YouTube 5 years ago and played professionally when the internet was restored after the 2019 shutdown.
“The shutdown followed by covid lockdown turned many people into gaming because it was a good time pass and a good escape from the boredom,” he added.
He initially started making content with games like Clash of Clans, PUBG and finally turned himself to Free Fire based on the response of people.
“Many people are in the gaming scene and everybody wants to make good content on Youtube with new tactics. Making content related to games is not child’s play. The content should be in vogue and attractive so that it can entertain your viewers,” he said.
Having subscribers and viewers across India, he said that Esport in India is one of the fast-growing industries and has become a well-paid job for youth.
The pandemic further led to its boosts and the gaming platforms organize online competitions with huge rewards to earn, allowing everyone from casual to a professional gamer to try their luck and skills.
“The trend is picking up in Kashmir. For content creation, it’s not easy to make the space in the domain because of the high competition. I have many friends who are gamers but only few can make content and very few can get the attention,” he said.
Another gamer, Tahir is from Srinagar and has been playing Esports for more than 2 years and is also creating content relevant to it.
“Its like any other sport. The Esports leagues are organized by third parties or by the gaming platform themselves. The official tournaments award good prizes and rewards but they are highly competitive,” he said.
Calling it a good earning of bucks, he said that there are gaming companies that can select the best player to represent their brand and give them the gadgets to play with as well.
“The best part of it is it doesn’t matter from where you are. You play like a team and all you need is a smartphone,” he added.
For any gamer, he said that gaming skills are developed with time. “It’s easy and everyone can play Esports. On my YouTube channel, people watch gaming videos and get inspired. They want to play it like that,” he said, adding his YouTube channel has more than 4K subscribers and most of his videos get views in lakhs.
Referring to the recent announcement about the recognition of Esports, he said that the industry can open doors to many opportunities for the games. "In the coming time, there can be many leagues, so it's time to grind away for virtual off," he added.
“Parents scold us for being with the game but they don’t know much about it as it’s a new rogue among youth. One has to do the gaming in the spare time or after studies so that other things don’t get compromised,” he said.