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Route Mobile set to launch USD 300,000 e-sports league in India

Indian esports is going from small scale tournaments to massive prize pool events 
Suromitro Basu
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Last month, two major players – USports and Nazara Games – ventured into the relatively small Indian e-sports market and invested big. Ronnie Screwvala backed UCypher decided to pump in Rs. 100 crore over a 10-year span, whereas popular mobile game developer/publisher Nazara promised a Rs. 130 crore investment over the same time period.

Now, yet another major player has joined the ever-growing e-sports bandwagon. Route Mobile Founder Rajdip Gupta has announced that the country will host COBX Gaming, a major online tourmanent, which will attract international teams and pave the way for a consistent domestic league.

According to sources, the goal is to create an Indian e-sports outfit, which can compete against the best in the world by 2018. Gupta said, “I’m aware of the competitors in the space, but I firmly believe that we have something new to offer. Our goal is to get one Indian team to participate regularly at the international level. The prize money for the first edition is Rs. 10 lakh, but it will only increase later.

“The domestic league will culminate in a LAN final, where we are planning on calling international teams. The LAN finals will have international teams from 16 different countries, and we will target a prize pool of $300,000 – $500,000, which will send a signal to the foreign competitors of how serious we are with our involvement.”

He added, “If you see our talent in games such as CS GO and Dota 2, they are not bad, the major problem is that they don’t get that exposure. Our goal is to make India a fixed destination on the international e-sports calendar. So young teams are exposed to experienced players, that is the only way we can have teams playing at majors and high level tournaments across the world.”

The domestic online league will be launched by April, with two categories – Open and Invites. The invited teams will automatically qualify for the final rounds, but the Open tournament will be a qualifier of sorts for the finals. It will basically pitch the best professional teams in the country against the up and coming semi-professional ones.

One of the teams likely to be invited to the tournament is Team Brutality. Captain Ankit Panth told Sportskeeda, “I am feeling like I am dreaming. This all is happening so quickly. We now have another 65 crores being added to Indian e-sports. What is different apart from money in the route mobile league is that we will be able to compete against international teams and that's what was missing I feel.

“Finally I can say that the missing puzzles are being joined slowly. We have UCypher which will take e-sports to the masses by broadcasting it on television followed by Nazara, another big league happening and now we have Route Mobile who have a vision to make a team in India who can represent us in the Majors and also get International players to the country to prove that there is a thing called e-sports here as well.”

He added, “Due to the Indian Gaming Carnival scam few years back I feel our country was being avoided, but now if this thing goes per plan and we do see international teams flying to India by the end of this year to play a tournament, I am sure that we are going to explode as a community by 2018.”

With multiple companies investing in the fledgling Indian e-sports market, 2017 is surely going to be a landmark year for competitive video gaming in India.


Edited by Staff Editor
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