National Esports Championships to select Asian Games squad kicks off

Tirth Mehta, who won a bronze medal when Esports was held as a demonstration sport in Asian Game 2018, begins as the top contender in single-player titles in the National Esports Championships 2022 that started on Monday.

The National Championship will act as the qualifying event for the 2022 Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China later this year.

The Esports Federation of India (ESFI) will be selecting the Indian contingent for the upcoming 2022 Asian Games at the end of the National Championship.

Under the ‘AESF Road to Asian Games programme, the National Esports Championship 2022 (NESC) will be conducted for five popular Esports titles – DOTA 2, Hearthstone, FIFA22, Street Fighter V, and League of Legends. More than 200 top esports athletes registered from all over India and the tournament will go on till April 24.

Mehta will be hoping to make the team for his second successive Asian Games, to be held from September 10 to 25, as Esports makes its debut as a medal sport. However, Mehta will have to contend with 13 athletes in Hearthstone. There will be 60 participants in FIFA22 and 16 in Street Fighter V. Apart from Tirth Mehta (Hearthstone), the other stars in the fray are Siddh Chandarana and Lokmanyu (FIFA22) and Aditya Verma (SFV), who will look to seal themselves an Asian Games berth, the Electronic

“I am really excited for the NESC ’22. I know all of us have been practicing and preparing at our best, and I am sure that whoever goes on to represent India at the Asian Games will aim for a podium finish this time,” said Tirth Mehta.

Esports has been added as a medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games for the first time as the best performers of the NESC ’22 will get the opportunity to represent the country at the prestigious multi-nation event.

“The overwhelming response and the excitement we see among our esports players to be part of the Asian Games gives us the confidence that they are aiming for something really big. They want to take national pride, give a tough challenge to the world and make the country proud. With their unmatched skills, Indian esports is expected to reach new heights. I wish the best for all the players for the upcoming tournament,” said Vinod Tiwari, President, Esports Federation of India & Director, Olympic Council of Asia – NOC & International Relations.

The NESC ’22 will be conducted online, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the top athletes from across the country competing and showcasing their skills and strategies.

“We will now proceed with the tournaments witnessing 200 top esports athletes giving cutthroat challenges in different categories to make it successfully to the Asian Games. It will be a gruelling event as the players will have to showcase their best to be the Indian contingent for Asian Games. It will be an action-packed and edge-of-the-seat thrilling tournament for sure,” added Lokesh Suji, Director ESFI & VP-Asian Esports Federation.

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