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Indian LAN Gaming esports tournament to commence across 20 cities

Competitive esports tournament, Indian LAN Gaming, has announced the commencement of its fourth edition in the country. While dates, prize pool and titles are yet to be announced, the tournament’s organizers, League of Extraordinary Gamers (LXG), has confirmed that the tournament will be played out over the upcoming year, and include over 30 gaming ‘cafes’ in over 20 cities all across India.

The tournament will focus only on Local Area Network (LAN) games, ie players sitting within a ‘cafe’ will only compete with one another. Players competing in the tournament will face off against each other in an Esports Arena League, and winners of the latter will be offered a chance to play in bigger esports tournaments going forward, LXG said in a media statement.

Shravanth Reddy, managing director of LXG, said in a statement that the company will “bring back competitive LAN environments for both gaming enthusiasts and cafes, from where we left off in 2020, prior to the pandemic.”

“We believe that ILG Cup Season 4 will again strengthen the existing ‘cafe LAN culture’ for budding grass-root-level players, who want to make their name in the community where they also get a chance to face off against professional esports players and rise through the ranks,” he added.

Prior to the announcement, LXG organized sponsored gaming tournaments at eight cities across India, including ‘Let’s Go LAN’ and ‘Weekend Brawls’. The tournaments drew over 2,700 participants, the organizers said in a release. LXG has offered over 2.75 crore in total prize money, and attracted over 40,000 gamers to play across 13 competitive esports titles, according to data from the company’s own website.

The tournament comes at a tumultuous period for online gaming tournaments in India, which received taxation clarifications and revisions at Union Budget 2023 on Wednesday. Under the latest regime, winnings from online gaming will be taxed at 30% as tax deducted at source (TDS), when a gamer withdraws their winnings from a platform. The earnings will also need to be declared under ‘income from other sources’ during annual income tax return filings.

However, clarifications remain to be sought in terms of how taxation will differ between esports and real-money gaming. Industry experts said that the new taxation regime will largely apply on the latter, since esports do not require users to deposit money into a prize pool and withdraw winnings later.

Esports, meanwhile, has been recognized as a ‘multi-sports event’ under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, starting 2023.

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