AFK Weekly: A Promising TV Debut for BGMI Masters Series 2022
Hello everyone! This week we finally saw esports return to Indian television with the BGMI Masters Series 2022 (BGMS 2022) broadcast on Star Sports 2. While there have been previous attempts to broadcast esports on Indian TV, they’ve failed for one reason or another. For instance, Indian entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala’s UCypher–which was broadcast on MTV India–was one of the first attempts to bring Indian esports to television.
Unfortunately, it flopped and shut down after just one season. The problem was that the games broadcast on MTV were heavily edited with the show focusing on the reality-TV aspects of the tournament instead of the actual gameplay. It also crammed hour-long games into five-minute segments, causing the target audience, esports fans, to tune out of the event. NODWIN’s previous endeavor–which saw it broadcast its ESL India Premiership 2017 CS:GO matches on DSport–was also short-lived. The laggy, low-quality broadcast and the niche nature of the television channel proved to be its undoing.
When I tuned into the BGMS 2022 this week, I had pretty low expectations, but the tournament has managed to surprise me so far, with production and broadcasts being very smooth and easy to follow. The casters managed to simplify complex BGMI/esports terms for a first-time gaming audience concisely, with elements from production also enabling them to easily keep track of the event.
Of course, there are still some flaws that need to be ironed out. For instance, the picture-in-picture mode for advertisements is very jarring. But it does seem like the event is off to a good start, production-wise. But can BGMS 2022 maintain this quality for three weeks and has this translated to an expanded audience for esports? When the tournament concludes on July 26, we will hopefully have answers to those key questions. Until then, strap on!
— Vignesh Raghuram, Supervising Editor, AFK Gaming