A report released by Esports Players Welfare Association (EPWA) revealed the growing trend of gaming emerging as a career option in India. Based on the study, 83 per cent of the respondents consider gaming a primary or secondary source of income, highlighting the paradigm shift towards gaming as a viable option that can be pursued professionally out of which, 39 per cent consider gaming as a primary source and 44 per cent as a secondary source of income.The new gaming segment, paid competitive gaming (PCG), is set to be one of the fastest-growing segments and is expected to reach $16 billion by 2024, according to a recent report by Newzoo and MPL.As per the study, the popular mobile games played by Indians range across puzzle, board games and adventure sports as the top choices across demographics and levels of engagement. While AAA games are the preferred choice for gamers aged 16-25, seasoned players gravitate towards Poker, Rummy, Carrom and Puzzles.The study has been conducted by EPWA in collaboration with the Centre for Justice through Technology (CJT), Vinayaka Missions Law School, and Research Foundation-DU Chennai. The qualitative study includes in-depth interviews with casual and professional gamers, including online fantasy sports players, and esports professionals, including poker from across the country.Contrary to the negative behavioural attributes commonly associated with gaming, the study highlights how online gaming focuses on dedication and commitment. The gamers spend 10-20 hours per week actively. Interestingly, 77 per cent of those who push the boundaries and achieve maximum gaming hours fall within the age range of 16-25. Success in online gaming also demands a set of skills like analytical skills (97 per cent), concentration (87 per cent), and creativity (69 per cent).Family and social support prove to be landscapes within the gaming community. While 71 per cent of respondents initially encountered low family support, 17 per cent experienced moderate backing, and only 12 per cent experienced familial encouragement when venturing into online gaming. Bringing out insights on the earning potential of professional gamers, the study shows how they rely on a diverse array of income sources ranging from gamer contracts (51 per cent), sponsorships (14 per cent), streaming (5 per cent), content creation (9 per cent), and coaching (21 per cent). Moreover, the study showcases concerns raised by the gamers highlighting how 89 per cent feel tax through GST and TDS has increased the cost of playing while forcing the gamers to seek a remedy through alternate platforms if GST is increased. The criminalisation of players by state governments and the absence of uniform regulations has also been reported as a critical concern, with 62 per cent of the gamers being affected by the approach taken by many state governments like Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Assam.The study also stated the social aspects and the resultant impact on online gamers. Lack of clarity on games of skill and games of chance has led to misconceptions and social stigma, especially for those who play professionally. 71 per cent of the pool have reported low family support.