IGL is co founded by Krish Galani, Yash Pariani and Shraey Gupta. We interviewed Krish and Yash to better understand the league structure, its backers and the road ahead.
Hi Guys. Please introduce yourselves for our readers and tell us a little bit about what prompted you to set up IGL.
Krish : Hi I’m Krish. Esports has basically been my life for the past few years. I own a few teams in the U.S – one team in Halo, one team in a female pro CoD league, one team in a SMITE pro league and a few teams that have competed in the MLG Pro League. These teams that I’ve owned have competed in ESL, MLG and other premiere tournaments and leagues. It’s a huge field here, nothing that I’ve ever seen anywhere else and India definitely does not have that platform yet and it’s something that me and Yash felt that India really needed – proper infrastructure to help build Indian eSports to a level that I am currently competing in over here.
Yash : Just after graduating I’ve been doing events and DJ-ing. This summer, when I went to America me and Krish met and I saw the whole eSports scene over there and wondered why India doesn’t have an infrastructure like this. We saw some events and said that we have to create something like this in India. To do this, we realized that we would need to add elements to attract the Indian audience which is why we are getting celebrities involved similar to how the India Premiere League (IPL) has done it.
What Motivated you guys to look at India in particular and not move further into the U.S market?
Krish : The eSports scene in India has so much potential. The smartphone industry itself is such a growing field, just recently they announced a four dollar smartphone! That’s something where everyone is able to compete. You’ll see people playing on the side of the street or anywhere.
Yash : Gaming is everywhere in India. The only thing is that there was no platform to let gamers to do this for a living. We knew we had to build that. That’s the only way we could take gaming into the eSports segment and that’s what we are trying to achieve with IGL – to change the perspective that people have that gaming is taboo and that it’s a waste of time. All of that is going to change. The rest of the world has already seen it and it’s only a matter of time before India realizes it as well. Infact it has already begun.
Moving on to the IGL, could you give us a detailed explanation of how the league works?
Yash : We are starting the league with three games – FIFA, Dota2 and CS:GO. People will play on our website (iglnetwork.com) and through that they will obtain ‘pro points’. At the end of a certain period, let’s say six months for example, the players with the most pro points will be invited to take part in the qualifiers for the league.
Krish : The pro points will give players and teams a ranking that will enable us to determine who in India are the best players in their respective games that are capable of competing at the top level or even an international level. Using these pro points, players and teams will be able to participate in qualifiers. Through this qualifier, the top 8 teams will be invited to be a part of our league. So far we have sold one FIFA team from Chennai to an investor / buyer.
Yash : Infact, day after is our first offline event at Hoppipola, Khar. Do drop by if you can!
Does the league have divisions (pro, semi pro etc.)? If yes, how do teams get promoted / relegated?
Krish : There will be a pro league and an amateur league. At the end of a season, the top two teams from the amateur league will play a qualifier with the bottom two teams from the pro league. Winners will make it to the pro league while the losers will be relegated to the amateur league for the next season.
Yash : The bottom few from the pro league could slip back into a lower division which is why they will have to perform consistently.
Moving on to sponsors, your press release mentions the likes of Major League Gaming, Red Bull, Sony and PayTM. Are all of these confirmed backers of the IGL?
Krish : Playstation (Sony) and PayTM are confirmed. Red Bull is a beverage partner. We have the full media / stream package with MLG to help each other out in growing and giving awareness to the Indian field.
Yash : We are in talks with a few others such as a T-Shirt company and a snack company and are on the verge of closing deals with them. We’ll make a formal announcement and will definitely let you know when things are confirmed!
What prize pools can gamers look forward to for online and offline tournaments?
Yash : The prize money for the FIFA event we are doing at Hopipolla ranges upto INR 10,000. The future ones will increase to even higher prize pools. We are set to have daily online tournaments from the first of March onwards and the smallest amount of prize money for those can range from INR 1,750 upto INR 15,000 – INR 20,000 as well.
Sounds great guys. Here's wishing you all the best with your Indian eSports endeavours. Anything you would like to say to our readers before we wrap this up?
Krish : We just want everyone to know that we are here to stay and we want the Indian eSports scene to grow as a whole. I hope we come in with a warm welcome.
Yash : We hope to change the game. Do check out our website.
To know more, visit www.iglnetwork.com