COBX Gaming announced in early 2017 that they would be investing 10 million USD into Indian esports and while they did do a 10 lakh INR online tournament last year, this is their grand entry into the esport domain. Also interesting to note, COBX is the parent organization behind India’s top Dota 2 organization, Signify.
COBX Gaming seems to have a long-term plan in mind, spanning across the next few years at the very least and this tournament is their way of telling the community that they are indeed here to stay and try and make a difference.
"COBX Masters 2018 is going to set new records in viewership for any SEA tournament" - Mujahid Rupani, CEO Cobx Gaming
The COBX Masters will be a 2 phase tournament featuring teams from India and SEA. The two titles that the tournament will focus on are Dota 2 and CS:GO. The first phase will be for Indian teams only and has a prize pool of 10 lakh INR. The prize pool will be split evenly in different cities with 10 cities chosen.
The 10 cities are as follows:
Each city will have its own online qualifiers and the top 4 teams will progress to a LAN final which will be held at a local gaming café. The winning team will receive INR 50,000 in prize money with a total of INR 1 lakh per city (INR 50,000 each for Dota 2 and CS:GO). The winning teams will also be moving on to phase 2.
Phase 2 features a LAN event where these 10 teams will be competing with teams from the SEA region. The details and format for this phase haven’t been decided but it’s likely that there will be qualifiers to decide which teams from SEA are to come to the main event. As far as we know the final LAN will be held in India and some combination of these 10 teams plus SEA teams will be playing there. The prize pool here is 45 lakh INR for each discipline ie a grand total of 1 Cr.
According to Cobx, "In the next phase (phase 2), Cobx Masters will host a SEA tournament which will be held in India with the biggest prizepool for any Dota 2 or CSGO tournament in India ever.
With a unique format and teams from different countries, this is going to put India on the SEA pro circuit map.
The tentative dates for Phase 1 are as follows:
Online Playoffs: 9th April – 29th April
City finals (to be held at a local café): 9th May – 10th June
Let’s hope that this is the first in a long list of tournaments and initiatives that COBX Gaming has planned for India.
In 2017, the total announced prize money in Indian esports was around INR 2 crore. Between COBX Gaming and NODWIN Gaming, this number has already been blown out of the water in 2018.
With this and more tournaments in the pipeline, the prize money for 2018 is certainly going to be a record one for Indian esports. It remains to be seen whether teams are indeed prepared for this and if they can lock down stable rosters which are able to challenge regularly and make the scene competitive.