The community often regards the Skyesports leagues and championships as some of the best formats that help develop Indian esports’ grassroots scene.
Not only do these tournaments cater to their regional audiences, but the franchise league system significantly improves community engagement by providing a fresh, new format to the games.
In a special interaction with Abhishek Mallick of Sportskeeda Esports, Shiva Nandy, Founder/CEO at Skyesports, opened up about some ideas behind each of the Skyesports events.
He also talked about the upcoming mobile titles of Battlegrounds Mobile India and Valorant Mobile and how they will significantly impact the nation’s esports scene as it stands today.
Here is an excerpt of the conversation.
Q. The Skyesports Valorant League 2021 was incredibly successful in terms of both viewership and community participation. Can you talk us through some of the challenges that you had to face during production?
Shiva: Yes, it was highly successful in terms of both viewership and community participation, but as with any event, there were challenges that we faced along the way.
Since this was a large-scale competition involving the professional players and top content creators, maintaining the schedules and getting everyone to join the game by the clock was one of the hardest things to pull off.
We always wanted to showcase a flawless and interactive broadcast for our audience. So when Tamil Nadu was in complete lockdown due to the pandemic, we kept our studio active in a kind of a bio bubble. All our staff members, along with the cooks, were there in the building for the entire period.
We faced many challenges, and I want to thank my entire in-house team, including the casters, family, cooks, and house help because we wouldn’t have been successful without them.
Q. Hosting and broadcasting games for 52 days at a stretch is no easy feat. What inspired you to take on this idea and create such a format? How much of it would you say was successful, and how much of it was not?
Shiva: Our tournament model is more in line with an already available fan base that city-based franchise leagues already enjoy in this country.
We did not want to reinvent the wheel. However, we wanted to ensure we create an IP that is unique both to the country and the many available esports titles.
There will be many other organizers who will be doing franchise leagues. But looking back at esports history, we would still be the pioneers in India or more so in South Asia. This fact is something that we are immensely proud of, it was a longtime dream, and I am happy we were able to execute our dream project..
Hosting the games for 52 days at a stretch was definitely not easy. However, it was the excitement of getting up every day and preparing for the matches that got kept us going.
And while we believe that the tournament was highly successful and exceeded expectations, we will continue to innovate and make our matches even more exciting for our audiences in the upcoming leagues.
Q. Another unique aspect of the competition was broadcasting the games in multiple languages, including the regional ones. In which way would you say this improved viewership and player participation when compared to your previous events?
Shiva: The regional aspect of the tournament is Skyesports’ USP, and we will continue to be the flagbearer for regional content/broadcast in Indian esports. India is a land of multiple languages, and how can we do an event without catering to our audience in their languages?
Since it’s a league with eight cities, we have tried our best to include those languages, and fans have loved it so far. We will continue to find talent in various regions to have a more extensive range of broadcasts.
Q. With the announcement of Skyesports Championship 3.0, fans are pretty excited to see the kind of tournament format that you come up with this time around. Is there anything you have in store for the upcoming event?
Shiva: Skyesports championship is our annual flagship event. It’s a destination where many popular gamers have found an opportunity to go pro and evolve into champions.
Scout, Anto, Kratos & many PUBG Mobile superstars came down to Chennai for our first season, hosted even before the PMCO Fall Spilt LAN tournament in 2019
After two successful seasons, we are planning to take the 3rd edition full scale. 3.0 will be a South Asia region tournament that will run for four months with a massive prize pool of ₹55,00,000 and a LAN finals.
This will be 20x growth from our previous editions, and we have many interesting things lined up without compromising the basic grassroots.
Q. What are some of the games that you will be hosting a tournament on in Skyesports Championship 3.0?
Shiva: Every season, we add more titles to cater to larger audiences and include titles that people actually want and play. This season, you will see some new titles added to our Skyesports Championship 3.0, which will be revealed soon.
Q. The Valorant Conquerors Championship is the first step in putting India on the map for the shooter’s global esports scene. What are some of your thoughts regarding the opportunities that this competition brings?
Shiva: It is a good opportunity for Indian Valorant teams to make it big, and they are capable of making a massive impact. We wish all the teams good luck.
Q. How well do you feel Indian Valorant teams will fare against some of the best during the APAC Last Chance Qualifiers?
Shiva: Going by the trend, Indian Valorant teams are outstanding, and they are on par with some of the top teams globally. We have sides like Velocity, GE, GodLike, etc., who will use this opportunity to make it big.
Q. With Valorant Mobile and Battlegrounds Mobile India on the horizon, what plans does Skyesports have for the upcoming titles?
Once the games are available for esports in India, you can expect many grassroots-level tournaments from Skyesports, as that’s what we are known for.