Poker Sports League (PSL) is India’s first poker league. The raging pandemic caused the league to be hosted virtually for the first time. Co-Founder of Mind Sports League (the company that organizes the tournament) Amit Burman, talked about how they have adapted themselves and how the league has transformed from being played live to moving online.
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Talking about the PSL’s progress during the pandemic, Amit Burman said that,
“Due to the pandemic, it was an unfortunate situation that we couldn’t go ahead with season 3 this year. With the digital media growing, with respect to Poker Sports League – Virtual Season 3 (PSL-V), we are glad to bring back the season in a new format. This new format has revolutionized the way poker tournaments are looked at. This game enables the viewers to witness the euphoria of a live game virtually. This year, the league was supposed to take place between six teams, but due to the overwhelming response from online qualifiers and exhibition tournaments, Virtual Poker League(VPL) will have two more teams. The potential growth of online gaming in India has been the reason for increased participation. We have signed a contract with six team owners for the upcoming five years and 10 seasons.”
There have been a lot of reports saying that PSL is in talks with OTT platforms for live streaming the PSL! Burman said,
“For us, having a tie-up with an OTT platform is very crucial, our existing and potential audiences belong to gen-next. They are technology-friendly, and will help us grow. Once we tie-up with an OTT platform, the sponsors will see the opportunities on the branding side.”
According to a recent statistics report by EY-FICCI Frames, in 2019, transaction-based skill games grew by 50%, whereas mind games like poker grew by 30%. The next goal for operators and poker enthusiasts is to make poker more recognizable and gain audiences in the country. It’s likely to take a considerable amount of time but it can be done because the industry is on the right path.