Esports has exploded in popularity over the last few years in India. Esports (Electronic sports) is a competitive sport where esports athletes use their physical and mental abilities to compete in certain genres of video games in a virtual, electronic environment. Recently, the Indian DOTA 2 team produced a power-packed performance to clinch the bronze medal at the first-ever Commonwealth Esports Championship. The Indian Dota 2 team, comprising Moin Ejaz, Ketan Goyal, Abhishek Yadav, Shubham Goli, and Vishal Vernekar, defeated New Zealand by 2-0 in a best-of-three format in Birmingham.
As esports is going to make its debut at the Asian Games 2022, earlier in 2018 it was there as a demonstration title when our esports athlete Tirth Mehta won a bronze medal (Hearthstone). The Asian Games 2022, originally scheduled for September this year, will now be held from September 23 to October 8, 2023. With the conclusion of the ESFI’s National Esports Championships in April 2022, India’s 18-member esports contingent for the Asian Games 2022 was finalised.
Charanjot Singh and Karman Singh Tikka for FIFA22, Mayank Prajapati and Ayan Biswas for Street Fighter V, Shikhar Choudhary and Karthik Varma for Hearthstone, Akshaj Shenoy, Samarth Arvind Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya and Sanindhya Malik for League of Legends, and Moin Ejaz, Krish, Abhishek Yadav, Ketan Goyal, Darshan and Shubham Goli for DOTA 2.
“After winning the medal at the Commonwealth Esports championship in Birmingham, it’s high time that esports should be recognised as a sport. Esports athletes need their due recognition and support from our government and help us in providing better facilities, coaches, health physios and all other things which other sports athletes get as getting a medal for the country need proper support.” said Indian DOTA 2 team captain Moin Ejaz.
“With the medal wins at Asian Games 2018 & now at Commonwealth Esports Championship, the time has come to recognize esports as a sport. The potential of Indian esports and our athletes cannot be ignored and its recognition becomes more critical before the Asian Games 2022 (scheduled next year), this will open up doors for investments & opportunities which will lead to training & skill development of our athletes. It is encouraging to see our Hon’ble Sports Minister Shri Anurag Thakur ji launching a mobile video game “Azadi Quest: Heroes of Bharat & Match3” in line with India’s celebration of Azadi Ka Amritmahotsav, following should be recognition of esports as a sport” said Mr Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF).
“Recognising esports as a sport will help a lot. This can lead to esports having a proper framework, facilities and opportunities for everyone. This will automatically lead to the growth of the Esports industry as well. More athletes would want to join in and want to represent the country at global stages,” said FIFA 22 athlete Charanjot Singh.