Ketan ‘K18’ Patel tells us what he thinks about the five most popular competitive titles and the five most popular casual games on mobile phones.
Internationally, publishers like Activision, Blizzard and EA are already switching gears to ensure they cater to the mobile market. In India, mobile gamers patiently wait for the likes of Diablo and Apex Legends to release on the mobile. However, casual and competitive gamers across the country already have personal favourites that they just can’t put down.
Here’s a look at the top five competitive titles and the top five casual mobile gaming titles in India, with caster and streamer Ketan ‘K18’ Patel sharing thoughts on what makes each game worth playing.
5. Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans
© Super Cell
If you own a good Android or iOS phone and have any interest in mobile gaming, then there is a very good chance that between 2013 and now, you’ve tried Clash of Clans at some point. Many people might not think of this title as a conventional esport (a competitive video game), but it is.
“What makes Clash of Clans an interesting esport is how you have massive 50v50 wars between two clans,” says K18.
There have been a few Clash of Clans tournaments in India over the years. The game has a global competitive circuit, and India even has a qualifier for the Clash of Clans World Championship featuring a massive prize pool of 1 million US dollars.
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4. Clash Royale
A gamer competes in Clash Royale during Red Bull M.E.O.
© Focus Sports | Red Bull Content Pool
Another game from Supercell, Clash Royale made its mark as a better competitive game than Clash of Clans, which was its predecessor. This “freemium” real-time strategy also has tower defense gameplay, making for a light and satisfying competitive mobile game.
“I like Clash Royale as a casual as well as competitive game because of how quick yet engaging each game is. Not to forget the many patterns and techniques each deck creates that adds to the [excitement in the] game,” adds K18.
Indian players like Karan ‘Jin Kazama’ Manganani and Mukul ‘8bit Mukul’ Anchal have gone on to make their mark in this game internationally.
3. Call of Duty: Mobile
Call of Duty: Mobile
Call of Duty: Mobile
© Call of Duty: Mobile
The top competitive mobile games in India are definitely the Battle Royale titles. While Call of Duty: Mobile never hit the heights of similar titles, it did carve out a niche for itself in the Indian mobile gaming community.
“I think what makes CODM stand out is its variety of multiplayer options that add a lot of spice to competitions,” says K18.
Top Indian esports organisations like GodLike Esports and SynerGE have CODM squads in their ranks. The announcement of Call of Duty Mobile: World Championship 2021 featuring a qualifier in India was hailed as a big milestone for Indian mobile gaming.
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2. Free Fire
Garena Free Fire is immensely popular with one of India’s biggest followings for a single title.
“PUBG Mobile needs pretty expensive phones to compete at top-tier levels but Free Fire’s massive plus point is how low-end devices support the game exceedingly well too,” says K18.
The game’s esport scene picked up massively in the second half of 2020, and it captured a huge amount of online viewership as well. A number of the most popular YouTube channels in the country are from Free Fire enthusiasts or pros. Free Fire may not have the same reach that PUBG Mobile had at its prime, but it still makes for a great game and an esport on its own.
1. PUBG Mobile
A gamer competes in PUBG Mobile at Red Bull M.E.O.
© 1207 Studios | Red Bull Content Pool
The mobile game that quickly became a household name throughout the country. PUBG Mobile truly brought the entire Indian esports scene into its golden years. While the country’s competitive circuit struggled to ever register close to 600-700 concurrent viewers for a tournament, PUBG Mobile’s tournaments would effortlessly rake in tens of thousands of viewers. Their top tournaments during its prime years had nearly 80,000 viewers watching it live.
“I think PUBG Mobile’s size and detail for a battle royale on a mobile really made it stand out in India,” says K18.
The game faced an exile from India in 2020 but the core elements of the game were retained in a replacement title under the name ‘Battlegrounds Mobile India’.