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Nazara Technologies has acquired a 55 percent stake in Indian startup Nodwin Gaming, which is trying to pioneer esports in India.

Mumbai-based Nazara wants to enable a full esports ecosystem in India, with both competitive online and offline play, localized leagues, local games, and global events.

Nodwin was started by Akshat Rathee, Gautam Virk, and Jetsynthesys in 2014. It has relationships with global gaming publishers and platforms such as ESL, Turtle Entertainment, and Valve.

Nazara said this deal will boost the creation of world class esports athletes and players emerging from the indian ecosystem.

“Through this acquisition we aim to provide Indian esports enthusiasts a robust player and community orientated esports ecosystem, in which players can thrive, improve their skills and become top competitors at an international level,” said Nazara CEO Manish Agarwal, in a statement.

Nodwin Gaming CEO Rathee said in a statement, “Esports is one of the fastest growing sports worldwide. This acquisition by Nazara Games adds to the credibility of Nodwin and opens up a wide vista of opportunities for Indian esports players to build careers domestically and internationally. It strengthens our ability to provide our key stakeholders better experiences and bigger opportunities to engage with our community.”

Nazara also has investments in mobile gaming companies like Next Wave Multi Media, Mastermind Sports, Moong Labs, and Hala Play.

The companies said the Indian esports audience is still very small, with an estimated 2 million enthusiasts and 2 million occasional viewers, but is expected to grow more than five-fold by 2021, according to market researchers Frost & Sullivan and Newzoo.

Nodwin has the exclusive long-term India rights for global partners such as ESL. Nodwin hosts and manages gaming events such as the ESL India Premiership, The Dew Arena by ESL, KO Fight Nights, The North East Championship, The Intel Extreme Masters qualifiers for India, and The Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC) India Qualifiers.

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