"Up to last year, the World Health Organisation wasn’t particularly encouraging towards online gaming, citing a host of deterrents like excessive time spent by kids on screens, gratuitous violence in games," says Sidharth Kedia, Group CEO of NODWIN Gaming that recently opened registration for the summer season of ESL India Premiership 2020 – one of India’s largest gaming tournaments.
Interestingly, the tournament is being played under the aegis of a global campaign, #PlayApartTogether that is encouraging the world to stay at home, practice social distancing, and indulge in sports. Guess WHO started the campaign.
Having already successfully completed four editions of the tournament, NODWIN Gaming is upping the ante this year, with changes like the addition of playoffs in between the sub-leagues, seeding cups for the new games and exclusion of Challengers Cup.
PUBG MOBILE, FIFA 20 and Clash of Clans are new additions to the line-up of tournament games, while the evergreen First Person Shooter game Counter Strike: GO has been retained. The online phase of the tournament will have two sub leagues – Starter Cups and Master’s League. The broadcast of Masters League will begin on June 1.
While it’s hard to limit the gamesmanship in India to a particular geography, Kedia broadly defines three categories of games and gamers: a game like FIFA, which requires the investment of a console, is mostly played and dominated by players from metropolitans, even as PC games like Counter-Strike are dominated by players from metros as well as Tier-II cities. Mobile games like PUBG and Clash of Clans are excelled in by players of any stripe, with participants from Tier-II and Tier-III often dominating the format.
“Our motto has always been that anybody can become a somebody, and that’s what this platform has been geared towards,” says Kedia. While previously, the initial rounds were played remotely by players in their own homes, with the progressive winners finally meeting up to play together in a shared arena, 2020, aka the year of social distancing, will see the tournament held remotely from start to finish. This is the new normal, folks.
“The Premiership comes in as an ideal getaway for gamers in lockdown. New games and a new format are in place to kick start the season. PUBG-Mobile and Clash of Clans are certainly two of the biggest communities out there and with FIFA 20 we have made our first step towards making console games an integral part of the Premiership,” says Kedia, while adding, “The lockdown has pulled the shutter on all forms of sports competitions for the rest of the year, leaving Esports as the only spectator sport being broadcasted live on a major OTT platform like Disney Hotstar Plus. I believe that the current scenario is a perfect springboard to mass consumption of Esports entertainment.”
The registration is free of cost and requires only an ESL play account to be created by the user for the games CS:GO, FIFA20 and Clash of Clans, while PUBG Mobile participants can register through the SoStronk platform. Gamers above age 16 can register for PUBG Mobile and CS:GO while the age limit for registration of Clash of Clans and FIFA20 is 13 years and above.
Summer season of ESL India Premiership 2020
NODWIN Gaming is upping the ante this year. PUBG MOBILE, FIFA 20 and Clash of Clans are new additions to the line-up of tournament games, while the evergreen First Person Shooter game
Counter Strike: GO has been retained.
The registration link is:esl.gg/india