The Esports Federation of India (ESFI) has announced a strong 18-member Indian contingent for the 2022 Asian Games where the sport will be making its debut as a medal sport. The team was picked after eight days of competition in the National Esports Championship.
Shikhar Choudhary and Team Temple of Kings qualified for the Asiad by winning their respective titles in Hearthstone. Charanjot Singh and Karman Singh Tikka sealed their spots for FIFA 22 while Mayank Prajapati and Ayan Biswas qualified for Street Fighter V. In DOTA 2, Team Whoops emerged champions on the final day after beating Team Avengers to secure their Asian Games spot
Winners from National Esports Championship
Chaudhary outperformed Karthik Varma Vegesna 3-1 and 3-2 in Hearthstone's best-of-three final clash, while Temple of Kings, comprising of captain Akshaj Shenoy, Samarth Arvind Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya and Sanindhya Malik, comfortably beat Team Coco Cats 3-0 in the best-of-five grand finals.
Chaudhary showcased impressive skills and gameplay throughout the competition, which also included him 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 Chaudhary.
League of Legends witnessed the participation of four top pro Indian teams, with Akshaj-led Temple of Kings living up to expectations and remaining unbeaten before clinching the title.
"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.
The squad will now participate in the Road to Asian Games - Regional Qualifiers (June-July, 2022), which are being held for seeding at the main event 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.
FIFA22 - Charanjot Singh and Karman Singh Tikka.
Street Fighter V - Mayank Prajapati and Ayan Biswas.
Hearthstone - Shikhar Choudhary and Karthik Varma.
League of Legends - Team Temple of kings (captain Akshaj Shenoy, Samarth Arvind Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya and Sanindhya Malik).
DOTA 2 - Team Whoops (captain Moin Ejaz, Krish, Abhishek, Ketan, Darshan and Shubham).