Nazara Games is investing the equivalent of $20 million in a five-year plan to develop an eSports ecosystem in India.
The Indian publisher described the initiative as "the first project of its genre and scale" in the country. In a statement released today, managing director Nitish Mittersain placed India in the context of the Asia Pacific region, which represents 44% of the global eSports audience.
"Given improving internet connectivity in India today, launching an eSports league seemed the perfect way to reach out to the large group of eSports enthusiasts in India," he said. Nazara will invest $20 million over the next five years, with all operations handled by a 100% owned subsidiary company.
"Focusing on content, it will work around three major pillars," said Nazara Games CEO Manish Argawal. "An online content platform dedicated to the eSports community; a professional league; and a network of pro-teams entirely supported by the company.
"The league will provide Indian eSports fans with live WebTV content, guides, forums, online tournaments and, of course, extensive and professional coverage of the eSports scene."
There will be two seasons per calendar year, featuring six teams chosen from free online qualification tournaments. Nazara has confirmed that players will compete in Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: GO, with other games to be announced in due course.
In the fiscal year ended in 2016, Nazara Games earned around $33 million in revenue, making eSports a substantial investment for the company. To read more about Nazara's long-term strategy, read our interview with CEO Manish Argawal from Nasscom GDC in 2015.