With the growth of popular online games such as DotA, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Hearthstone making their way into the daily schedule of the average teenager in India, it thus comes as no surprise with subsequent offers and tournaments that follow suit to provide budding ‘cyber-athletes’ (yes, it is a term), to prove their mettle and make it their career. It can be argued that the India eSports scene, unstable and filled with numerous potholes ranging from community issues to scam events, has been tainted in front of the eyes of the world (owing to the disastrous Indian Gaming Carnival) as well as aspiring players considering the beaten road due to the same. However, ESL India has arrived with a bang and is all set to change the very outlook of the Indian eSports scene.
Featuring a staggering sum of USD 64,000, which translates to INR 42 lakhs, the ‘ESL India Premiership‘, as it is touted, is going to be India’s first annual tournament series. Divided in three types of tournaments, this mega-tourney is going to have the following features:
1. Starter Cups: These are online cups that happen every month and form the base of the Premiership. Each Starter Cup hosts three game titles – DOTA 2, CS:GO & HEARTHSTONE and runs for 24 days with the finals for all 3 games happening on the 24th day.
The First & Second place winners in a Starter Cup qualify for the Premiership along with taking home pre-decided prizes.
Out of the 8 teams in a Challenger tournament, 6 teams qualify from Starter Cups. There are a total of 6 Starter Cups in Season 1 of ESL India Premiership.
2. Challenger Cups: These are LAN events that happen at the end of every 3 Starter Cups. Top 2 from each of the 3 Starter Cups qualify for the Challenger tournament which will have a total of 8 participants for every game title except Just Dance. The last 2 participants are decided by Open qualifiers happening 3 days before the main event in the same city.
Top 8 of Challenger tournament win cash prizes and the Top 3 additionally qualify for next big stage event, The Masters. There are two Challenger tournaments in Season 1 of ESL Premiership.
3. Masters Cup: A LAN event hosted like never before, Masters Cup is the LAN finale tournament of the ESL India Premiership where the most elite participants fight for the title of ESL India Premiership at the end of the year. – Season 1 Champions on a massive stage in front of a huge audience.
Masters will host 8 participants for each game title in which 6 participants qualify from 2 the Challengers and last 2 participants will be invitations.
Speaking about the event, we have Ralf Reichert, Managing Director of ESL, who stated, “ESL mission is to increase the popularity of esports across the globe. We are excited to help building up the esports community in India with Nodwin. The country’s diverse communities, along with the fact that India embraces technology like no other place, makes it a perfect candidate. We are very excited to get started with the ESL India Premiership, and I can’t wait to experience it live, as I’m sure the crowd will be fantastic. In the meantime, we will ensure that we can deliver a world-class experience – both online and offline – to the local and international fans, and hope this tournament series helps foster growth in the region.”
Adding on to the subject at hand, Gautam ‘virkaholic’ Virk ,Director of NODWIN Gaming said, “Esports athletes are treated as celebrities worldwide and they earn millions of dollars every year by opting to embrace electronic sports as a career. This is unfortunately not yet the case in India. – But we hope to change this. The ESL India Premiership is the next big esports revolution in our country. We feel proud to state that our continuous efforts for the last three years have led to the establishment of such a fruitful brand for our community and for our country, and it’s only just getting started. Join us and play your way up to the top of the ESL India Premiership. Meet the stars and young talents. Action and excitement are guaranteed, it’s the biggest showdown in India to date.”
Registrations for the most happening tournament in the Indian eSports scene is up right here. As of this moment, registrations for the First Starter Cup are open which is set to commence on the 16th of this May. Registrations for other cups shall open as each cup nears. And the icing on the cake? The registrations are free!
Production and the broadcasting of this mega galore has a twitch channel which you can find right here. The stream for the advent of a revolution in gaming is set to go live on May 16th! Till then, register your teams and get fragging!