The Esports Federation of India (ESFI) has announced a strong 18-member Indian contingent for the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, where Esports will be making its debut as a medal sport. The team was finalized after eight days of competition at the National Esports Championship 2022.
Shikhar Choudhary and Team Temple of Kings qualified by winning their respective titles in Hearthstone and League of Legends. Charanjot Singh and Karman Singh Tikka sealed their spots for FIFA, while Mayank Prajapati and Ayan Biswas qualified for Street Fighter V. In DOTA 2, Team Whoops emerged champions on the final day to secure their Asian Games spot.
National Esports Championship 2022 Winners
Charanjot Singh edged out Karman Tikka with a score of 4-1 and 6-5 in a nail-biting FIFA22 grand final. Charanjot, who made headlines last year after winning the AIFF eFootball Challenge 2021, made his mark in the national qualifiers by entering the finals from the loser bracket before he defeated a strong opponent, Karman, who made it into the finals from the winner bracket.
“I’m really happy and proud of myself for winning the NESC Fifa Qualifiers. It’s a great feeling to represent India in FIFA. Sheer dedication and hard work resulted in getting the spot in the Asian Games 2022 and it allows me a chance to bring laurels to the country, ” Charanjot said after securing his spot in the Asiad.
Meanwhile in the grand finals of Street Fighter V, Mayank “MiKeYROG” Prajipati defeated Ayan Biswas 3-0. Showcasing his incredible skill, Mayank remained undefeated throughout the tournament.
“It’s a dream come true moment for me. I’m super excited for Asian Games 2022. This is really huge and it will definitely put the Indian FGC’s (fighting game community) name on the global map. This is a lifetime opportunity and I’m going to put every ounce of energy into getting the gold medal for my country,” said an elated Mayank Prajapati.
In HearthStone, Shikhar Choudhary outperformed Karthik Varma Vegesna 3-1 and 3-2 in a best-of-three final clash. Choudhary showcased impressive skill and gameplay throughout the competition, including causing the biggest upset of the tournament – when he upstaged India’s only Asian Games Esports medalist, Tirth Mehta, in the semi-finals. Tirth had won the bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games, where Esports was played as a demonstration event.
“Asian Games 2022 is going to be a huge test of my ability as all of my competitors are masters of their trade. Tirth got us the first medal in this title in the 2018 Asiad. I am going to put every ounce of energy this time into getting the gold medal for my country and continuing the medal run,” says Choudhary.
League of Legends witnessed the participation of four top pro Indian teams, with Temple of Kings – comprised of Akshaj Shenoy (Captain), Samarth Arvind Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya and Sanindhya Malik – living up to expectations and remaining unbeaten before clinching the title with a 3-0 win over Team Coco Cats in the best-of-five grand finals.
“We are really happy that we made it out of really competitive national qualifiers for the tournament. Representing one’s country is not what everyone gets to do quite often, It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Team India League of Legends captain Akshaj.
On the final day of the championships, Team Whoops emerged victorious in DOTA2 and made the cut into the Indian contingent for the Asiad. A team, comprising veteran athletes like Moin Ejaz (Captain), Krish, Abhishek, Ketan, Darshan and Shubham, notched an impressive 3-0 win against Team Avengers in the best-of-five final.
“I have been playing DOTA since my childhood days and now it’s a great honour for me to lead the Indian team in its maiden appearance at the Asian Games in this game. I would like to thank the Indian federation [ESFI], who has been very supportive and professional. We will give our best to bring glory for the country in the Asiad” said elated Moin, skipper of Team Whoops.
The squad will now participate in the Road to Asian Games – Regional Qualifiers, which will determine the seeding at the Esports Final in Hangzhou, China.
The second-placed athletes of FIFA, Street Fighter V and Hearthstone in the national championships have also been included in the Indian contingent.
Indian Esports Contingent
- DOTA 2: Team Whoops (Moin Ejaz, Krish, Abhishek, Ketan, Darshan and Shubham)
- FIFA Branded Soccer Games: Charanjot Singh and Karman Tikka
- HearthStone: Shikhar Choudhary and Karthik Varma
- League of Legends: Team Temple of Kings (Akshaj Shenoy, Samarth Arvind Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya and Sanindhya Malik)
- Street Fighter V: Mayank Prajapati and Ayan Biswas