In the fast-paced arena of Indian esports, 2023 emerged as a defining chapter, steering the industry into new heights of recognition and growth. Following its debut at the Asian Games 2022, where India’s League of Legends team achieved a commendable fifth position, the stage was set for a year marked by triumphs, strategic collaborations, and innovative marketing maneuvers.

As Animesh Agarwal, the founder and CEO of 8Bit Creatives and co-founder of S8UL, anticipates a surge in India-specific games, such as the culturally rich Indus Battle Royale, the esports landscape is poised for exciting transformations. From participating in tournaments and securing victories in international championships, to aligning with brands, devising marketing strategies and engaging in initiatives to bolster fan communities, the achievements of Indian esports organisations in 2023 were nothing short of remarkable.

AnimationXpress delved into the stories of these teams and talent management companies, documenting their accomplishments, marketing strategies, and insights gained throughout the dynamic journey of the past year.

India’s League of Legends team for Asian-Games 2022

Victories and accomplishments

The year 2023 was dotted with numerous victories in home tournaments, and participation at major international championships.

Revenant Esports became the first Indian esports team to qualify for Brawl Stars World Finals 2023, which took place in Sweden. Team True Gravity emerged victorious in Pokémon Unite India Open 2023 organised by Skyesports. Blind Esports won the Skyesports Championship 5.0 BGMI (Battlegrounds Mobile India) tournament which was held in Bengaluru.

Revenant Esports – Brawl Stars 2023

Godlike Esports represented India for Stage 5 of CODM World Championship in Atlanta, USA and were runners up of the tournament. The organisaion’s Charanjot Singh represented India at Asian Games 2022 for FIFA Online 4, and Jonathan Gaming was signed as by Red Bull as an official Red Bull player.

S8UL won Content Creator of the Year award at the Esports Awards which took place in Las Vegas, USA, becoming the first Indian organisation to win this award twice. The organisation also won the Global Impact on Mobile Gaming award at Mobies (short for Mobile Gaming Awards).

Partnerships and collaborations with brands

Esports organisations signed significant partnerships and engaged in collaborations to support their gaming teams and talent.

With esports’ surging popularity, brands are recognising the immense marketing potential this sector offers. And that is a win-win for both the brands and the esports organisations. “The gaming ecosystems offer a large consumer demographic data for brands to develop effective marketing strategies,” elaborated Chandgude. And “the influx of non-endemic brands brings both financial support and broader visibility to gaming creators, organisations, tournaments, and other esports events,” added Agarwal.

S8UL recently onboarded consumer electronics company IQOO as its title sponsor. “This partnership extends beyond a tournament,” said Agarwal. Additionally, the organisation collaborated with Velocity Gaming in early 2023 for creating a star-studded roleplay server in GTA V. “This collaboration facilitated a surge in viewership and engagement for our creators.”

Animesh Agarwal and IQOO CEO Nipun Marya

Godlike’s major collaborations were with companies like Red Bull, Samsung, One Plus, Dell and IQOO. “Our creator Deepanshi Rawat aka Dobby starred in a Dove advertisement while Jonathan Amaral became a Red Bull Athlete. Our other creators Neyoo, Sharkshe, Mizo, Lolz and Guru endorsed multiple brands like IQOO, One Plus and Set Wet. Our creator, Crow collaborated with ICC and Meta during the Cricket World Cup to create some viral reels and IG posts,” shared Godlike Esports founder Chetan “Kronten” Chandgude.

Revenant Esports partnered with multiple companies like ViewSonic (as official Monitor Partner), Kreo (as peripherals partner) and Gigabyte | Aorus. Gods Reign roped in Times OOH as its Title Sponsor for the Battlegrounds Master Series (BGMS) 2023. Global Esports brought in Number, a maker of gaming earbuds, as the Title Sponsor for its BGMI roster, and partnered with Vancouver based esports wellness company Adamas. Orangutan Esports partnered with Puma India and real estate company Raiaskaran.

“We see that brands who have been invested in gaming for a long time have now deepened their commitment, in the shape of more long-term and close to business collaborations,” said S8UL co-founder Naman Mathur aka Mortal. “An example is MG’s Comet, a car launched for gamers earlier in the year, where I was personally involved in the launch.”

Marketing and team branding strategies

“Collaborating with Red Bull, Samsung, Dell, One Plus and more companies helped in the personal branding of influencers along with the team,” Chandgude said.

S8UL encourages its esports athletes to diversify their skills and create content to forge multiple revenue streams. “This unique approach has not only built their brand but has also provided a roadmap for their professional growth,” explained Agarwal.

The organisation looked at gaining a deep understanding of gamers’ needs and preferences to integrate them into their campaigns. “We successfully gamified campaigns through immersive scripting and aligned brand requirements with the gaming experience,” he said. “This approach has resonated well with brands, resulting in massive engagement among the passionate gaming audience.”

Here are some strategies that Godlike applied:

  • Engaging with fans and community across social media handles
  • Personal branding of esports athletes as well as content creators to elevate team visibility
  • Participating in tournaments (BGMI, Valorant, CODM, New State Mobile, FIFA etc) to build a greater and a loyal audience.

Community-driven initiatives

S8UL organised a two-day S8UL Gaming Fest in Bengaluru, which comprised tournaments, cosplay and gaming tech experiences. “This initiative strengthened our connection with fans, creating a vibrant and supportive community,” revealed Agarwal.

Godlike started a community driven talk show called Lit Talks in which the gaming community asked all the questions. In Takeover Tuesday which it conducted on its Instagram page, a creator answered all the questions asked by the community and fans. “All the creators from Godlike visited Dreamhack arena in Hyderabad to interact with the fans. We also promoted multiple new games like Xenna and Farcana to grow our community,” said Chandgude.

Coaching and well-being of teams

For the training and well-being of its players, Godlike has a coach, analyst, gym, meditation room and a counsellor. “We ensure that we improve the team’s chemistry, understanding and bonding,” said Chandgude. “All members of the organisation get to connect and resolve issues with the senior management.”

S8UL’s Agarwal shared, “Our gaming house in Mumbai serves as a hub for creators who stay together, share experiences, and create content for brands. To further support our talents, S8UL’s experienced creators and the entire team, including myself, are always available to provide guidance and support. By fostering an environment that encourages both personal and professional development, we aim to create a space where our players and talent can thrive in all aspects of their careers.”


The year 2023 marked a transformative journey for esports teams which has not only enhanced the visibility of individual teams but has also set the stage for their continued success and evolution in 2024.

In the second part of this yearender, our focus will shift towards understanding the evolution in Indian consumers’ perception specifically towards esports teams. Delving into the challenges faced by these teams throughout the year will shed light on the hurdles they overcame and the valuable lessons they learned.

By recognising their challenges, victories, and innovative approaches, we aim to contribute to the ongoing narrative of growth and development within the dynamic world of Indian esports teams.