The Acer Predator League 2018: Indian Qualifiers just concluded, and it seems like it was over in the blink of an eye. The WESG 2018 South Asian finals ended a mere few days before the Acer Predator League 2018: Indian Qualifiers. Add to this, the ongoing ESL India Premiership matches and it’s not difficult to see why many Indian esports fans and probably at least a few players are feeling a little burnt out.
It is no secret that pro players have to follow a hectic schedule in order to maintain their positions at the top of the Indian scene, whilst simultaneously trying to climb the SEA ranks. Bari “ZeDisBuGG” Anwar had to endure a gruelling Kidney stone infection while playing at the Dew Arena 3.0. Travelling for weeks, messed up sleep schedules, and no proper nutrition can certainly take its toll on players. Support staff such as team managers, have quite a hectic schedule too - making arrangements for travel, food, laundry, scrims, tournament slots, and more either weeks in advance or sometimes on even shorter notice. This is sure to take the wind out of their sails.
Just last week, Team Wipeout had to forfeit a match in the Acer Predator League 2018: Indian Qualifiers as they had a match to play in the ESL India Premiership 2018. Neither match could be postponed, and hence the team had to choose which tournament they wanted to pursue. They chose the latter, thus effectively missing out on an opportunity to gain some much needed international experience.
Even when a tournament is run perfectly, the lack of a centralized competition schedule means that sometimes the top teams in the country will be competing in overlapping grand finals.
This begs the question - is it time for a neutral, non-profit, Indian esports body that among other things coordinates tournament schedules?
For fans, adjusting schedules or religiously watching Indian matches in different time zones, whilst also keeping up with the International scene isn’t sustainable for more than a few days.
A significant portion of the Indian esports audience consists of students or working professionals who simply do not have enough time to watch as much as they would like to. Real-life commitments force us to choose between catching a tournament or missing it altogether as daily highlights of Indian esports matches are simply not uploaded by any channel.
It is clear that an intervention appears overdue, but its effect remains uncertain. Currently, in the Indian esports scene, all of the major esports events are centred around the final quarter of the year. From October - December 2018, a number of events including the ROG Onslaught, ESL India Premiership 2018 - Fall Season Finale, Dew Arena 3.0, Taiwan Excellence Cup 2018, Acer Predator League: Indian Qualifiers, WESG 2018: South Asian Qualifiers, and the Dreamhack India Invitational have been scheduled.
The rest of 2018, only saw a single premier LAN event occur: The ESL India Premiership 2018 - Summer LAN Finale. Ideally, this concentration of events towards the end of the season can be spread out throughout the course of the year to reduce tournament fatigue and not overwhelm the Indian esports fanbase with an umpteen amount of matches to spectate.
But will that happen? We’ll have to wait to find out.