Demands for the recognition of Esports in India gains traction ahead of the 2022 Asian Games

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The Indian Esports contingent clinched the bronze medal at the inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championships in Birmingham, England, alongside the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The win arrives as a substantial boost for the sport in India as until the last couple of years, it was regarded as a mere leisure activity.

Esports has emerged as a significant skill-based sector, where players can earn money by not only participating in events but also by streaming on various digital platforms. And the 2022 Asian Games will follow suit to the CWG games by hosting the Epsort tournament for the first time in this year’s quadrennial event. 

India’s 18-member esports contingent for the Asian Games 2022 was finalized after the conclusion of the ESFI’s National Esports Championships in April 2022. The squad includes players participating in five different games in the upcoming tournament.

1. FIFA22 – Charanjot Singh and Karman Singh Tikka

2. Street Fighter V – Mayank Prajapati and Ayan Biswas

3. Hearthstone – Shikhar Choudhary and Karthik Varma

4. League of Legends – Captain Akshaj Shenoy, Samarth Arvind Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya, and Sanindhya Malik

5. DOTA 2 – Captain Moin Ejaz, Krish, Abhishek Yadav, Ketan Goyal, Darshan, and Shubham Goli

The Indian Dota 2 team’s skipper Moin Ejaz, who led the team to a podium finish in the 2022 CWG, has urged the Indian government to recognize it as a sport and lend a hand of support for its growth by providing optimum facilities as they do for the growth of other medal yielding sport in the country.

After winning the medal at the Commonwealth Esports championship in Birmingham, it is high time that esports should be recognised as a sport. Esports athletes need their due recognition and support from our government and help us in providing better facilities, coaches, health physios and all other things which other sports athletes get as getting a medal for the country need proper support.” said Indian DOTA 2 team captain Moin Ejaz 

It is not just the athletes who are demanding the recognization of Esports in the country; Lokesh Suji, the Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF), also batted for the same and even lauded Indian Sports Minister Anurag Thakur for launching a mobile game, celebrating ‘Azadi Ka Amritmahotsav.’

The potential of Indian esports and our athletes cannot be ignored, and its recognition becomes more critical before the Asian Games 2022 (scheduled next year), this will open up doors for investments & opportunities which will lead to training & skill development of our athletes. It is encouraging to see our Hon’ble Sports Minister Shri Anurag Thakur ji launching a mobile video game “Azadi Quest: Heroes of Bharat & Match3,” in line with India’s celebration of Azadi Ka Amritmahotsav, following should be recognition of esports as a sport” stated Lokesh Suji.