Team India put up scintillating performances to conquer Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal in the South Asian qualifiers and secured their berth at the Asian Championships LAN Finals that are set to be contested in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from July 10 to July 17, 2023.
The star-studded outfit comprising skipper Manav Kunte (mnz), Vishal Vernekar (HBK), Abhishek Yadav (Abhi-), Shahbaz Hussain (PinkMaN), Krish Gupta (Krish`), and substitute Jaikishan Malik (KaEL) got off to the best possible start after effortlessly defeating Pakistan by 54-12 and Sri Lanka by 39-14 on the opening day.
The team further extended their dominance by beating Nepal by 47-24 and Bangladesh by 40-16 on Day 2 in the best-of-one matches. Going up against Nepal in the best-of-three finals, Team India was at the top of its game and secured comprehensive victories in the first two rounds by 34-27 and 36-34 to emerge as the champions of South Asian qualifiers and become the only team from the region to qualify for Asian qualifiers.
The team qualified for the South Asian qualifiers by defeating Team Mob in the finals of the National Esports Championships (NESC) 2023, conducted by the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) earlier this year. The squad’s prominent players, Vishal and Abhishek, were also part of the historic DOTA 2 team that won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Esports Championships in 2022.
They will now be competing against the leading DOTA 2 teams in Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Mongolia, Australia, Jordan, Myanmar, and Saudi Arabia to qualify for the 15th World Esports Championships (WEC) in Iasi from August 24–September 4, 2023.
Following the DOTA 2 team’s qualification, India ensured a flawless performance at the South Asian regionals, with the country’s CS:GO male and female teams also making their way to the Asian Championship with stellar displays.
The country’s well-renowned Tekken 7 professional Abhinav Tejan and eFootball athlete Ibrahim Gulrez have already secured their qualification at the 15th WEC, which has a whopping prize pool of $500,000 (INR 4.12 crore) and is set to be the largest edition of the tournament to date with at least 130 countries participating in eFootball, DOTA 2, Tekken 7, Mobile Legends, PUBG: Mobile, and CS:GO.