ESports Premier League (ESPL), the nationwide franchise-based esports tournament from India has announced a hold on Season 2 in light of the government’s decision to ban BGMI under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The Battlegrounds Mobile India, an Indian custom version of the popular battle royale game PUBG has been removed from Google Play Store and Apple App Store on 28th July 2022.
Today Gaming, the gaming and esports division of the India Today Group is the organiser of ESPL Season 2. India Today Gaming has signed up Tecno Mobile as the presenting sponsor and also partnered with video game publishing giant Krafton to bring Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) esports tournament to the gamers in ESports Premier League Season 2. In addition, ESPL 2022 also features a massive prize pool of Rs. 1 Crore along with an offline LAN scheduled towards the end.
“We are therefore constrained to put the ESPL Season 2, on hold, in light of the government’s directions and the prevailing circumstances. This is an unfortunate situation for all esports enthusiasts, and also a huge setback for India Today Gaming, at this stage of the tournament. However, upon closure of the matter favourably, we intend to renew the ESPL from the stage where we are leaving it now, which means that the selected finalist teams will be invited again to take the tournament forward for the Finals,” India Today group said in a statement.
The Battlegrounds Mobile India is one of the most significant mobile game launches in history, with over 50 million downloads within a month. The news of the ban comes at a time, the esports championships will be held on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, UK, this August 6-7. It will be a non-medal event at CWG. Asian Games 2022 will feature eSports as a medal event.