ESFI Announces National Esports Championships to Select Indian squad for Asian Games
Registrations are open for League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, FIFA and Street Fighter V
The Esports Federation of India (ESFI) has announced that it will be conducting the National Esports Championships 2022 (NESC2022), under the “AESF (Asian Esports Federation) Road to Asian Games” program to select the Indian esports contingent for the upcoming Asian Games. This tournament which is slated to start on 4th April will be conducted over a period of 15-20 days, as per a press release.
Esports is included as a medal event for the first time at the 2022 Asian Games. The Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, China between 10th-25th September and the registrations for the NESC 2022 are now open with the last date for registration being 1st April, as per the press release.
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the national qualifiers will be held virtually as top athletes from across the country will compete and showcase their skills and strategies in different esports titles.
The ESFI stated, “The winners of NESC 2022 will participate in the AESF’s Road to Asian Games – Regional Qualifiers (June-July, 2022), which are being held for seeding at the main event in China. Irrespective of the outcome of the Regional Qualifiers, all players will compete at the Main event at Asian Games, China.”
Titles that are part of the National Championships
The ESFI announced that popular esports titles like Dota 2, Hearthstone, FIFA22, Street Fighter V, and League of Legends will be a part of the national championships. The ESFI added that the registrations are open for professional esports athletes and enthusiasts from across the country and it is open for all with no bar on gender. “For titles like AOV [Arena of Valor] (Asian Games Version) and PUBG Mobile (Asian Games Version), ESFI is waiting for clarity/permissions from the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) as both titles are banned in India as well as in many other Asian countries,” the federation stated.
Vinod Tiwari, President, Esports Federation of India & Director, Olympic Council of Asia – NOC & International Relations said that they were extremely thrilled and excited to announce the NESC for selection of the Indian esports squad for the upcoming Asian Games.
“We urge all esports athletes to participate in large numbers and become a part of this historical event where esports is making its debut as a medal event in Asian Games. As esports is now included in Commonwealth Championships, IESF World Championships and expected to be included in Olympics in the near future, we are committed to develop, support and grow the esports ecosystem in India,” added Mr. Lokesh Suji, Director ESFI & VP-Asian Esports Federation.
Asian Esports Federation Director General Sebastian Lau extended his best wishes for the Indian esports talent. He said, “This is an incredible beginning and milestone for India’s esports program and I look forward to seeing the best Indian esports talents in our RDAG [Road to Asian Games] Regionals and Final in Hangzhou this September. I wish the best of luck to all participants."
Looking back at the last Asian Games in 2018, when esports was included as a demonstration event, India’s Tirth Mehta won the bronze medal in Hearthstone.
The NESC 2022 will be streamed live from the quarterfinals on ESFI’s official & channels as well as on its page. According to the release, the ESFI is also in talks with other streaming partners which will be announced once they are finalized.
Subscribe to AFK Gaming's Newsletter
Get a weekly recap of all the latest developments in the global esports industry with our esports business insights newsletter: AFK Weekly
Subscribe for free to receive insights, analysis and opinions on the biggest developments in esports business, provided by our team of experienced journalists in collaboration with thought leaders across the industry.