Almost two years after Chinese-owned games ‘PUBG Mobile’ and ‘Arena of Valor’ were banned by the Indian government, the esports community is set to approach the sports ministry to seek clarity on whether Indians can compete in these two titles at this year’s Asian Games in China reported the Indian Express.
Esports have been included as medal events for the first time in the upcoming edition of the Asian Games with a total of 24 medals in eight titles. The list of titles announced in September includes the names of FIFA, Dota 2, and League of Legends.
PUBG and Arena of Valor were banned in 2020 amidst border tensions between India and China in eastern Ladakh, the government banned more than 100 applications owned by Chinese companies, including the two games, citing a threat to the country’s ‘sovereignty and integrity’. In the latest batch on February 14 this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs has recommended a ban of 54 Chinese mobile Apps, that include the hugely popular battle royale game, Garena Free Fire.
On Wednesday, officials from the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) are likely to meet sports secretary Sujata Chaturvedi to seek permission from the government for the participation of Indian gamers in these two games, which are medal events at the Hangzhou Asiad. “We have to get permission from the government to participate in these events,” ESFI president Vinod Kumar Tiwari was quoted by Indian Express.
“Can we hold a qualifier for it and go for it? We are speaking to the ministry and we will try to explain. If they give us the go-ahead, we will compete in all sports else we will compete in six.”
An inaugural Commonwealth esports championship will be held during the next edition of the Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in Birmingham this summer. The event will take place at the International Convention Centre between 6-7 August. Common Wealth Games is the second-largest multi-sporting event after Olympics.
Krafton, the makers of Battlegrounds Mobile India, the Indian version of the popular game PUBG, in November announced that Indian players will be able to qualify for the official e-sports program of the 2022 Asian Games from Battlegrounds Mobile India.