The Esports Premier League is turning out to be quite an incredible affair, with an aim to develop the grassroots of the Indian mobile esports scene.
Free Fire enthusiasts from all across the nation have signed up for the competition. The org has also brought renowned Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff on board as brand ambassador to improve engagement with the community.
In a conversation with Sportskeeda Esports’ Abhishek Mallick, Vishwalok Nath, director at Esports Premier League, opened up about some of the vision behind the making of the event and what he expects from the competition in the coming months.
Here is an excerpt of the conversation.
Q. The Esports Premier League is quite an ambitious project, which will indeed be enabling players and Free Fire enthusiasts from across the country to showcase their skills on the national stage. Can you talk us through some of the ideas and vision that went behind dreaming up this project?
Vishwalok Nath: The idea behind Esports Premier League is quite simple. We want to serve the gaming community in India by offering them a national stage to exhibit their talent.
This will push gaming to the mainstream and on par with some of the other competitive sports. India has lots of untapped potential in the esports arena, and we want to help discover and nurture this under-utilized reserve of talent.
Talking about the vision, ESPL 2021 is just the start of the journey for us. In the first year, we are working with Garena to bring Free Fire to the national stage to find the best teams in the popular smartphone battle royale game.
We will expand future iterations to include PC and console games and make the ESPL more inclusive. Our goal is to make esports a viable and lucrative option for Indians so that even parents can encourage their kids to follow the route of becoming an esports star.
Q. Why was Free Fire has specifically chosen for the Esports Premier League, even when there were some other mobile titles as exciting as Garena’s battle royale?
Vishwalok Nath: Free Fire is the most downloaded mobile game as per analytic firm App Annie. We believe this popularity will help the ESPL engage with a much larger audience in the country.
Future iterations of the tournament can include more games across multiple platforms.
Q. What will be the most exciting aspect of the Esports Premier League that will stand out? Are there going to be some unique features in the competition that fans and players can look forward to?
Vishwalok Nath: I think the most exciting part of ESPL 2021 is that it is open to all. Anyone and everyone can team up with their friends and family to register and create a team to get started.
We believe that our ability to push this tournament to the mainstream is what makes it unique. We will ensure that the top eight teams enjoy the kind of attention and care missing from most esports events in India.
The ESPL offers the opportunity for any team to be the hero and enjoy the limelight that can unlock the doors for a brighter future.
Q. Can you shed some light on the thoughts behind introducing an IPL style of the format in the Esports Premier League?
Vishwalok Nath: We introduced a city-based franchise system to engage gamers from the grassroots level. The ESPL will allow the public to connect with the gaming community and get a deeper understanding of the industry.
With time and exposure, the general public can understand that besides being a leisure activity, gaming is also a serious profession and a business.
Q. How will ESPL be the game-changer for the Indian esports industry? Also, who are the sponsors and streaming partners for the same, and can you shed some light on its future?
Vishwalok Nath: As I mentioned previously, we hope that ESPL can make esports a widely accepted industry for a majority of the Indian population. We also aim to make it as popular as some other sports in the country with government recognition and backing via ESPL’s success.
That should take care of things such as infrastructure and funding for emerging esports talent in India.
We have partnered with Infinix Mobile as the presenting sponsor for ESPL 2021. Besides this, we also have Disney+, HotStar, and Rooter as streaming partners. Ishq FM will serve as our radio partner, while we have also teamed up with Esports XO to help as the influencer partner.
We hope to expand the ESPL to include more titles across different gaming platforms in the future. However, it is too early to share the specifics around these plans at the moment.
Q. ESPL recently signed Tiger Shroff as the face of the Esports Premier League. Any particular reason regarding the same?
Vishwalok Nath: One of the major goals for the ESPL has been to reach out to every millennial and gamer in the country. Our purpose of having Tiger Shroff on board has been to create a much deeper connection and grow the gaming community.
We hope this association will also further our initiative to intensify the mission of taking esports to the next level in India.
With most of the 1.4 billion Indian population being youth, the Bollywood sensation, also known for his passion for sports and Mixed Martial Arts, will connect eEsports to the mainstream. The inaugural edition of the league promises to bring the excitement of esports through its nationwide tournament.
This power-packed collaboration aims to nurture an ecosystem that the Indian esports industry has never seen before. The league will leverage Tiger’s popularity and strong influence on the dynamic millennials and Gen-Z.