Asian Games 2022: India’s 18-member esports team identified

The National Esports Championships served as trials for the Hangzhou Games in September.

3 min By Utathya Nag
(Picture by Getty Images)

With the conclusion of the National Esports Championships on Monday, India’s 18-member esports contingent for the Asian Games 2022 was finalised.

The national championships (NESC 22), held virtually due to COVID-19, served as the trials to select the Indian gamers for the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, where esports will debut as a medal sport.

Over 200 esports athletes from across the country participated in the qualifiers.

A total of eight esports titles will be contested at the Hangzhou Asian Games, which will be held from September 10 to 25. At the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, esports made an appearance as a demonstration sport.

The Indian qualifiers, however, were only held for five titles - DOTA 2, Hearthstone, FIFA22, Street Fighter V and League of Legends.

India’s contingent for FIFA 2022 and Street Fighter V was confirmed on Saturday, with the winners and runners ups in each of these two single-player events making the cut.

On Sunday, Shikhar Choudhary and Karthik Varma joined the group after finishing as the top two in the Hearthstone event.

Shikhar upset favourite Tirth Mehta, a bronze medallist from the Hearthstone demonstration event at Asian Games 2018, in the semi-finals. He then beat Karthik Varma 3-1 and 3-2 in the best-of-three final to claim the top spot.

“Asian Games 2022 is going to be a huge test of my ability as all of my competitors are masters of their trade. Tirth got us the first medal in this title in the 2018 Asiad; I am going to put every ounce of energy this time into getting the gold medal for my country and continuing the medal run,” Shikhar Choudhary said.

Team Temple of Kings, comprising captain Akshaj Shenoy, Samarth Arvind Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya and Sanindhya Malik, will represent India in League of Legends. Team Temple of Kings beat Team Coco Cats 3-0 in the best-of-five grand finals to earn their spot at the Asian Games.

On Sunday, India’s team for DOTA 2 was confirmed with Team Whoops, Moin Ejaz (captain), Krish, Abhishek, Ketan, Darshan and Shubham, beating Team Avengers 3-0 in the final to secure their spot.

“I have been playing DOTA since my childhood days and now it’s a great honour for me to lead the Indian team in its maiden appearance at the Asian Games in this game. We will give our best to bring glory to the country in the Asiad,” Moin said.

The Indian esports team will next participate in the Asian Electronic Sports Federation’s (AESF) Road to Asian Games-Regional Qualifiers in June-July, which will be conducted to decide seeding for the main event in China.

Indian esports team for Asian Games 2022

FIFA22 - Charanjot Singh and Karman Singh Tikka

Street Fighter V - Mayank Prajapati and Ayan Biswas

Hearthstone - Shikhar Choudhary and Karthik Varma

League of Legends - Team Temple of Kings [Akshaj Shenoy (captain), Samarth Arvind Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya and Sanindhya Malik]

DOTA 2 – Team Whoops [Moin Ejaz (captain), Krish, Abhishek, Ketan, Darshan and Shubham]

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