ESFI Organized Send-off Ceremony for Indian E Sports Contingent
Esports Federation of India (ESFI) hosted a grand send-off ceremony for the Indian contingent participating at the first-ever Commonwealth Esports Championship on Sunday. The inaugural multi-nation esports tournament is organized by Commonwealth Games & Global Esports Federation; scheduled in Birmingham from August 6-7.
The members of the DOTA 2 and Rocket League, who will be representing the country at the prestigious event, were present on the occasion alongside Lokesh Suji, Director ESFI & VP- Asian Esports Federation, Satinder Sikri (VP-Haryana Esports Association) and Yash Bhalawala (Gen Sec-Esports Association of Gujrat) at INOX Insignia in Ardee Mall, Gurgaon.
ESFI also unveiled the Indian team’s official kits for the Commonwealth Esports Championships during the event.
“Esports is like every other sport and we wanted to make sure that we bid farewell to our Indian contingent in the best way possible ahead of the big event. We are grateful to INOX for helping us organize this wonderful send-off ceremony. The rise of Esports in India in the last few years has truly been remarkable and the participation of two teams on behalf of the nation on the global stage is a result of that. We, at ESFI, wish the best of luck to the Indian contingent and we are confident that they will make the nation proud,” said Lokesh Suji, Director ESFI & VP- Asian Esports Federation.
“We are honoured and super excited to be part of this inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championship and there is a high probability that esports will be a medal sport in the next Commonwealth Games scheduled in 2026” Suji added.
The Indian team in the Rocket League will be led by Hargun Singh (Hargun <2) with Sandeep Sahani and Rushil Reddy being the other two members. Team Dota 2, on the other hand, comprises captain Moin Ejaz, Ketan Goyal, Abhishek Yadav, Shubham Goli and Vishal Vernekar.
Both the teams have already proved their mettle by clinching impressive wins in the tournament’s South Asian Regional Qualifiers last month.
“I am really excited about esports being included in a Commonwealth event as this will really change how esports is perceived among people around the world. As a player, it’s a huge opportunity being given to us and we are really going to do our best to represent India as best as we can. All of us are putting in extra effort to maximise everyone’s potential and work together as a team,” Hargun said on the sidelines of the event.
“The entire team is looking forward to playing against the best teams in the world and proves our mettle. We have been paying a lot of attention to our strategies and practicing a lot in the hopes of a podium finish. Getting the chance to represent the nation in the very first Commonwealth Esports Championship is a very sweet reward to show for all of the efforts we have taken in playing this game at the highest level. A big thank you to ESFI for today’s send-off ceremony and especially for the sports psychology session that taught us a lot of valuable things,” DOTA 2 skipper Moin Ejaz added.
The players also took part in an enlightening sports psychology session “Building High-Performance Mindset” by Mitesh Jain (Founder & Chief Sports Psychologist – Mandeha). It included mental exercises and activities to improve focus, mental skills, self-confidence, motivation and communication skills for the players.
It was followed by a special movie screening for the players as they enjoyed and relaxed ahead of their long journey. The Indian contingent left for Birmingham early in the morning on Monday (1st Aug, 2022).
One of the country’s top sports and Esports specialised communication firms, Artsmith – Concepts & Visions, will continue its support for the championships as ESFI’s official communication partner.
The 2022 Commonwealth Esports Championships will be conducted at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham with the presence of the world’s top Esports teams. Alongside DOTA2 and Rocket League, PES2022 will also be part of the tournament.
Amazon Relaunches Prime Gaming in India for Prime Members
Amazon.in relaunches Prime Gaming in India, a benefit especially curated for gaming enthusiasts. Prime members in India can now unlock instant access to monthly free games and exclusive in-game content like power-ups, skins, collectibles and more from https://gaming.amazon.com/ across their favorite titles. Prime Gaming comes with a host of new perks, as compared to the earlier version which was limited to only FREE access to in-game content on mobile games. Prime is designed to make your life better every single day with enormous convenience, entertainment and savings that comes with a Prime membership and the rebranded launch of Prime Gaming reiterates these core values of a Prime membership.
To claim any in-game content, Prime members can sign in to their Amazon account on https://gaming.amazon.com/. Post that, Prime members can search for their favorite games and claim the available in-game content. Claims can happen in two ways – members can link their Prime Gaming account with the game app as a onetime effort, post which the claimed content will be automatically available or by redeeming the promo code on their gaming account manually. For customers without Prime membership, they will be requested to sign up for Prime membership and follow the same steps as above.
“With the rebranded launch of Prime Gaming, we continue to make Amazon Prime more valuable for members in India. Gaming has become widely popular, and we recognize the need to provide a robust selection of games and content to enhance playing experience of our Prime members. The new and refreshed Prime Gaming, comes with a great accessibility to the latest games and we will continue to add new in-game content for other popular games, with frequent content refreshes.” said Akshay Sahi – Director, Prime and Delivery Experience, Amazon India
Prime Gaming is available to all Desktop, Mobile browser and Android app of Amazon.in customers starting today and will be available to iOS app customers in January 2023. The launch supports English as a default option and additional IN specific languages will be available in 2023.
Indian CS:GO team to Fight Tajikistan in Opener Match at 14th World eSports Championship
The Indian CS:GO team will be leading the country’s charge at the IESF’s 14th World Esports Championship as they take on Tajikistan in their opener on December 2.
A team, comprising of skipper Ritesh Sarda (Defaulter), Shuvajyoti Chakraborty (Mcg1LLzZz), Anshul Adarkar (KiiLSwitCh), Hrishikesh Shenoy (Crazy_Gamer) and Harsh Jain (lynX) has been placed in the Group C along with Tajikistan, Team IESF and Chile. After their eighth-place finish in the last edition of the tournament held in Eilat, Israel, the team will be determined to clinch a podium finish this time around.
Team India CS:GO captain Ritesh Sarda said “It’s been a great honour to represent India back-to-back in the WEC. We as a team are excited and prepared to play in the upcoming WEC starting next week in Bali. The world finals is going to be a huge spectacle. With the right mentality and proper grind, we have high hopes for the tournament and will try to bring the laurels to the country.”
Organised by International Esports Federation (IESF), the upcoming 14th World Esports Championship will witness the participation of top athletes from over 120 countries, competing in six different Esports titles—CS:GO, Dota 2, Tekken 7, eFootball as well as debutants PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Bang. With a massive prize pool of USD 500K (INR 4 crores approximately) up for grabs, the tournament will be conducted in Bali from December 1 to 12. Team India consists of the same athletes which represented India at the last World Esports Championship in Eilat and had won the National Qualifiers (NESC2022).
Besides CS:GO, India will also participate in the Tekken 7 and eFootball titles.
“This is another great opportunity post the Commonwealth Esports Championship for India’s esports athletes to prove their metal. With Olympics also announcing “Olympic Esports Week”, esports is inching towards its Woodstock moment; and medals in events like CEC, WEC will help in establishing India as a dominant-esports powerhouse’ globally. This set of our athletes have great potential and we are confident that they will give a tough challenge to the world’s best and emerge victorious and make our glorious nation proud. I wish them all the very best and look forward to see them triumph in their respective titles” said Yugal Kishore Sharma, Director of Esports Federation of India.
Hitesh Khorwal (Rcool) and Hemanth Kommu (Peshemak7) will represent India in the Tekken 7 and eFootball titles respectively.
Khorwal will battle it out against athletes from Pakistan, Bahamas, Venezuela and Palestine in the Group E and will be beginning his challenge against Lucius Antoine of the Bahamas on December 3.
The Indian’s clash against Arslan Siddique of Pakistan on the same day following his opening game will be one to watch out for. Arslan has won the VSFighting X, Dreamhack 2022 and Combo Breaker 2022 titles earlier this year.
“I am really glad that I will be representing India in WEC this year, this feeling is adorable and I can’t explain my emotions. WEC is always an arduous task for Tekken participants since our scene has progressed tremendously well and reached a new zenith. So it’s a moment to cherish for me. It creates a perfect scenery of success for me after putting my blood and sweat into this game. This time I am more devised for the WEC. As a mountain to climb it already is, I feel confident as well as prepared for this. It’s a great opportunity to prove my mettle against the literal virtuosos of the title and my body, soul and mind, is ready for it. Bring it on, Bali!” Hitesh expressed his excitement ahead of the World Championship Finals.
Kommu, on the other hand, will be competing against athletes from Kazakhstan, Armenia and Guinea in Group P. He will play his first match against Cheick Conde of Guinea on December 3.
“It’s an amazing feeling and honour to represent our country at the 14th WEC. It’s a huge opportunity for me to play at such a big event with the top players from different countries competing. I’m confident with my grind and will try my best to get the best results in the tournament and want to bring some glory from it back home.” Hemanth said while expressing his thoughts on getting the opportunity to represent India in the world finals.
The group stage games for Tekken 7 will be contested in the best-of-three format and for CS:GO it will be in the best-of-one.
Following the conclusion of the group stage, the Top-2 teams from each group will progress into the next round in the CS:GO and Tekken 7 titles while for eFootball only the top team of the group will qualify for the next stage.
MPL Poker Achieves The Milestone of 25 Poker Players
The poker arm of mobile esports and skill gaming platform Mobile Premier League has surpassed 25 lakh poker players in India, making it the biggest poker platform in the country.
The app has a diverse set of users from varied socio-economic backgrounds, hailing from major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and others. Over the years, it has also seen rapid adoption from tier 2 and 3 markets. Places like Thane, Nagpur, Jodhpur, Kanpur etc have registered the fastest growth. Presently, over 60% of users are from tier 2 and 3 cities where the company has built a strong presence. The mobile gaming app is already available in 5,200 towns and cities and is steadily expanding to more places, thanks to the proliferation of affordable smartphones and increased internet access. Notably, about a third of the poker players are women, and MPL said the share is rapidly growing as women make their mark in this typically male-dominated sport. The platform also has celebrity players like Sharkshe S (Shakshi Shetty) on its roster of women players.
Globally, there are over 10 crore poker players and it has taken off in a big way in India over the last few years, attracting a lot of new players as well as big-ticket tournaments by brands. Some reports put the number of active poker players in the country at 30 lakh.
“The growth we have seen on our platform attests to the fact that poker is gaining prominence among users in India not just as a hobby, but as a mind sport,” said Namratha Swamy, Country Head – India, MPL. As recognised by the International Mind Sports Association, Poker, together with Bridge, Chess and Scrabble, is part of the Mind Sports Olympiad, the global event for games of mental skill. And for good reason: Poker encourages players to use their mental skills and logical thinking while crafting every move; and just like traditional sports, it takes strategy and practice to become a better player.
But more importantly, it has evolved into a serious profession for many in the country. Swamy said, “Poker, as we know it today, is not just another card game played in a social setting. There are numerous Indian players who are engaging with the sport and making a living from playing poker.”
Poker owes its meteoric rise to advancements in tech and security too. Safety, transparency and fair play are important considerations for users, especially when taking part in games with a monetary component. Swamy concurs, “In the current day and age, it is paramount to focus on the processes that make platforms safe and secure for the users. Which is why at MPL, we have implemented industry-best security protocols that can protect our users from fraud and preserve the top-notch gameplay that we want to offer them.”
Poker, part of the burgeoning gaming industry, is growing at a rate of 35-40% a year. The gaming industry on the whole is set to cross the $5B+ mark by 2025 with a CAGR of 25%.
To promote poker further, MPL had earlier launched its Poker Academy working in concert with professional players to help users at all levels to get familiar with the various nuances of poker, and hone their skills and strategies. So far, over 85% of poker players on the platform have benefited from this.