Young­sters make a liv­ing at these unique gam­ing houses

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Anesha Ge­orge­[email protected]­dus­tan­

They spend all day gam­ing, sip­ping on en­ergy drinks, dis­cussing vir­tual bat­tle strate­gies. And that’s their job.

It’s an un­usual kind of life in­side In­dia’s fledg­ling gam­ing houses. There are two in Mum­bai, and one each in Ban­ga­lore, Hy­der­abad and Thane. Here, spon­sors pay the rent and foot all ex­penses.

All the hand-picked play­ers have to do is play — of­ten the same bat­tle over and over, watch­ing play­back on spe­cial mon­i­tors to help per­fect their game.

This kind of spon­sor­ship is still new to In­dia, but as prize money grows — there is a to­tal booty of about Rs 77 lakh up for grabs across 40 e-sports tour­na­ments in In­dia this year — the kinds of houses ded­i­cated to gam­ing in coun­tries like South Korea, and, in­creas­ingly, hy­per­com­pet­i­tive China are also crop­ping up in In­dian cities.

Some of these houses are ba­sic — a sin­gle room with mat­tresses, a fridge and high­tech mon­i­tors.

Some are plush three­bed­room pads with comfy couches and bean bags. Most gam­ing houses come with a house­keeper, to do the wash­ing and clean­ing — be­cause the play­ers of­ten prac­tice 15 hours a day. There are two gam­ing houses in Mum­bai, and one each in Ban­ga­lore, Hy­der­abad (in pic) and Thane.

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