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ESFI to select Indian delegate for 2022 Asian Games

The stage for the 2017 League of Legends World Championship Finals held in the Beijing National Stadium, China, tags: select indian 2022 asian - CC BY-SA

The much-anticipated National Esports Championships 2022 (NESC ’22) kicked off Monday. The competition was held by the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) to select the Indian delegation for the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

NESC ’22 will feature five popular Esports titles, namely Dota 2, Hearthstone, FIFA22, Street Fighter V, and League of Legends, as part of the Asian Esports Federation’s (AESF) “Road to Asian Games” program.

More than 200 top Indian esports athletes have registered from all over the country. Esports will be an official medal event for the first time at Asian Games, and for the third time in a multi-sport event, after the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. The top performers of NESC ’22 will be granted the opportunity to represent their country at the prestigious multi-nation event.

ESFI President and the Olympic Council of Asia’s representative, Vinod Tiwari said, “the overwhelming response and the excitement we see among our esports players to be part of the Asian Games gives us the confidence that they are aiming for something really big.

“They want to take national pride, give a tough challenge to the world and make the country proud. With their unmatched skills, Indian esports is expected to reach new heights. I wish the best for all the players for the upcoming tournament.”

Lokesh Suji, the ESFI director and AESF vice president added, “we will now proceed with the tournaments witnessing 200 top esports athletes giving cutthroat challenges in different categories to make it successfully to the Asian Games.

“It will be a gruelling event as the players will have to showcase their best strategy, skills and presence of mind, with the pressure to make the cut to be part of the Indian contingent for the Asian Games. It will be an action-packed and edge-of-the-seat thrilling tournament for sure.”

Thirteen teams will compete in DOTA 2 while four teams will compete in League of Legends. There will be veteran athletes like Jeet Rajesh Kundra, Moin Ejaz, and Samarth Trivedi participating.

Single-player titles Hearthstone, FIFA22, and Street Fighter V (SFV) will have 13, 60, and 16 athletes competing respectively. Top stars include Tirth Mehta (Hearthstone), Lokmanyu and Siddh Chandarana (FIFA22), and Aditya Verma (SFV) will be competing to secure Asian Games spots.

“I am really excited for the NESC ’22. I know all of us have been practising and preparing at our best, and I am sure that whoever goes on to represent India at the Asian Games will aim for a podium finish this time,” said Tirth Mehta, who won a bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games where Esports was part of a demonstration event.

Aditya “TheDarklord” Verma from Street Fighter V also said he was excited, saying “this is the biggest and the most important qualifier in the history of the Indian Fighting Game Community for SFV, it’s about time to give it all! Shout out to ESFI for giving us this incredible opportunity.”

How to watch NESC ’22

Due to COVID-19, the NESC ’22 will be broadcasted online. A Livestream of the National Esports Championships will be available on ESFI’s YouTube and Facebook page starting from the quarterfinal onward.