Deepak Gupta, ZOTAC Country Manager, Southeast Asia
PC games like Valorant have large esports communities around the world. However, the accessibility of mobile games has actually helped form the bedrock of the Indian esports scene as it stands today.
While many believe that the wearable platform is an essential part of the industry ecosystem and its future, others believe that it is one of the stepping stones that will allow the market to move to a more advanced platform, the PC.
Deepak Gupta, ZOTAC Country Manager for Southeast Asia, is one of the voices who believe mobile esports will eventually pave the way for PC. In an exclusive interaction with Sportskeeda Esports’ Abhishek Mallick, he talks about ZOTAC’s future in the region and how free-to-play games like Valorant are helping the PC esports scene grow tremendously over the years.
Here is an excerpt from the conversation.
Deepak Gupta on the future of ZOTAC in South Asia and the importance of Valorant in Indian esports on PC
Q. As a stakeholder and industry leader, how about the growth of India’s esports and gaming scene over the past two years? Where do you see him in the next 5?
Deepak Gupta: India is at the center of global esports growth with markets like China. Due to government lockdown orders and social distancing, gaming has proven to be the most convenient way to spend time indoors.
This has led to a massive increase in the number of hours people spend playing games, like Free Fire and Valorant. While mobile is certainly one of the biggest driving factors in the industry, PC gaming and esports are starting to grow thanks to Valorant.
Q. What do you think were the main factors that led to the massive rise in viewership and community participation in esports in India? Tell us about some of the roles that mobile and PC titles, like Valorant, have played in helping the industry reach the next level.
Deepak Gupta: As the game grows and grows in popularity and acceptance, it’s only natural that esports viewership and participation will grow with it. Mobile plays a crucial role in the ecosystem as it is the first introduction to gaming for most gamers here today.
From there, we see them slowly transitioning to a more advanced platform like PC, where free-to-play titles like Valorant help bring them into the PC esports fold.
Q. When it comes to gaming platforms, mobile is by far the most popular device in a region like South Asia. But with the advent of Valorant, esports on PC has indeed seen a significant increase in popularity. Do you see the bridge between these two platforms closing in the near future, or will mobile reign supreme?
Deepak Gupta: Absoutely. We believe PC esports will definitely continue to grow; however, India will most likely remain a mobile-focused market due to the low barrier to entry.
Q. What factors do you think can contribute to the growth of PC popularity in India in terms of viewership and community participation?
Deepak Gupta: Market forces of supply and demand will always play a role, however, PC gaming is becoming more and more accessible. Big free games like Valorant play an important role in this process as they are an important way for new players to get started.
Q. You’ve always been quite vocal about the importance of a region’s homegrown talent being integral to the development of the esports scene. Tell us about some of the steps ZOTAC has taken over the years that have helped struggling talent gain exposure.
Deepak Gupta: ZOTAC has always supported grassroots initiatives through offline events, esports partnerships, and even tournament sponsorships. We work closely with our partners to ensure that we invest in and support the right initiatives, and this edition of the ZOTAC CUP is a big step on our side to help ensure teams get significant international exposure as well.
Q. Tell us about the vision and expectations that went into creating the ZOTAC Cup. What have been the ups and downs the franchise has faced over its 15-year history?
Deepak Gupta: The ZOTAC Cup is a big part of our vision to help activate and connect with gaming communities around the world. The aim is to provide opportunities for different games and their fans around the world with several amateur-level tournaments. While the ZOTAC Cup is massive across North America, Europe and Southeast Asia, this is the first time we’ve held something of this scale in South Asia.
Q. The upcoming $15,000 Valorant ZOTAC Cup in partnership with The Esports Club is a big step for South Asian teams to compete against some of the best the SEA region has to offer. Tell us about some of the expectations behind this event and the opportunities it seems to bring for the future of South Asia.
Deepak Gupta: We believe that for esports in South Asia to really grow, there needs to be a lot of exposure and opportunities to play outside of South Asia. The Esports Club ZOTAC Cup offers just that opportunity, allowing the winners of the Valorant ZOTAC Cup South Asia to face the winners of the Southeast Asian Open in the main event.
Q. What are ZOTAC’s plans for South Asia in the next two years? What can the PC gaming community expect?
Deepak Gupta: As the market leader in GPUs, we will continue to solidify our position and give back to the community through esports opportunities and other exciting campaigns. ZOTAC believes that being at the forefront of innovation is the key to sustainability.
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