An Indian contingent of esports players representing the country at the 2022 Commonwealth Esports Championship has won bronze in multiplayer online role-playing game, DotA 2. The victory marks one of India’s first triumphs on the international esports stage, as gamers from the country look to vie for championships and endorsements globally.
The titles up for competing at the Commonwealth Esports Championships 2022 were DotA 2, and sports titles Rocket League and eFootball (formerly known as Pro Evolution Soccer). The Indian team for DotA 2 featured five gamers — Abhishek Yadav, Ketan Goyal, Moin Ejaz, Shubhnam Goli and Vishal Vernekar. After losing the semi-finals to Malaysia’s DotA 2 esports team, India defeated New Zealand in two straight rounds — in a best-of-three set.
To be sure, this marks one of the first triumphs for Indian esports teams on the global stage, as a nascent gamer market builds up to vie for a share of the global gaming pie. Last year, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) formally recognised esports as a medal sport in its global events. In February, the IOA met with esports industry bodies to understand the nascent industry in the country.
An Indian contingent will represent the country at the 2022 Asian Games, which will begin on September 23 next year — after being postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the host city of Hangzhou, China.
In preparation, India held the National Esports Championships, 2022 — to select its official contingent that would represent the country in China next year. A total of 18 esports players were selected from the national championship, who will represent India in five games — DotA 2, FIFA, Hearthstone, League of Legends and Street Fighter V.
The country’s bronze medal in DotA 2 at the Commonwealth Esports Championship 2022 comes as a precursor to its participation at global esports competitions — which in turn are vying for recognition globally.
Attempts to boost recognition of esports as a sport on the global stage received a boost when French President, Emmanuel Macron, said in an interview in April this year that the upcoming Paris Olympics 2024 will seek to host esports competitions at the sporting world’s largest stage.