The National Esports Championships (NESC) 2022 to select India’s gaming contingent for Asian Games 2022 will start on April 18, the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) has announced.
Esports will be debuting at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China this year, with 24 medals being awarded in eight gaming titles.
All Indian gamers, male and female, can take part in the national championships for DOTA 2, Hearthstone, FIFA22, Street Fighter V and League of Legends.
However, there is uncertainty over Arena of Valor and PUBG Mobile (PUBGM) since both games are banned in India.
Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) is the equivalent of PUBGM in India.
ESFI will take a decision on these two titles once they get clarification from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
Moreover, qualifiers have not been announced for Dream Three Kingdoms 2 due to its unavailability in India.
All events at the NESC 22 will be conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will end on April 24. More than 200 esports registered for the nationals from across India.
The selected teams and players of all countries will then compete in the Road to Asian Games Regionals between April and July to determine their seeding at the main event in September.
DOTA 2 and League of Legends will see participation of 13 and four teams respectively with veteran athletes like Jeet Rajesh Kundra, Moin Ejaz and Samarth Trivedi set to compete.
Single-player titles Hearthstone, FIFA22, Street Fighter V will have 13, 60 and 16 athletes respectively as top stars including Tirth Mehta (Hearthstone), Siddh Chandarana and Lokmanyu (FIFA22) and Aditya Verma (SFV) will look to seal themselves Asian Games berth.
Esports was a demonstration event at the Asian Games 2018, where India’s Tirth Mehta won a bronze medal in Hearthstone.
The Commonwealth esports championships will also be held this year alongside the Commonwealth Games 2022. It will not be a CWG medal event.