New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) The Indian DOTA 2 put up scintillating performances to conquer Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal in the South Asian qualifiers and secured their berth at the Asian Championships LAN Finals that are set to be contested in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from July 10-17.
The star-studded outfit comprising skipper Manav Kunte (mnz), Vishal Vernekar (HBK), Abhishek Yadav (Abhi-), Shahbaz Hussain (PinkMaN), Krish Gupta (Krish-), and substitute Jaikishan Malik (KaEL) got off to the best possible start after effortlessly defeating Pakistan 54-12 and Sri Lanka 39-14 on the opening day.
The team further extended its domination to beat Nepal 47-24 and Bangladesh by 40-16 on Day 2 in the best-of-one matches.
Going up against Nepal in the best-of-three finals, Team India was at the top of their game and secured comprehensive victories in the first two rounds 34-27 and 36-34 to emerge as the champions of South Asian qualifiers and become the only team from the region to qualify for Asian qualifiers.
Expressing his feelings after securing the qualification, team captain Manav Kunte stated, “We came into the South Asian qualifiers with the goal of proving ourselves in the region and we are proud to have achieved that.
“Defeating all the teams from the region with stunning performances and securing our spot in the Asian Championship is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and unity of our team. We are now ready to face the best teams in Asia, and earn the spot to represent India at the 15th World Esports Championships.”
The team qualified for the South Asian qualifiers by defeating Team Mob in the finals of the National Esports Championships (NESC) 2023, conducted by the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) earlier this year.
The squad’s prominent players Vishal and Abhishek were also part of the historic DOTA 2 team that won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Esports Championships in 2022.
They will now be competing against the leading DOTA 2 teams Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Mongolia, Australia, Jordan, Myanmar, and Saudi Arabia to qualify for the 15th World Esports Championships (WEC) in Iasi from August 24-September 4, 2023.
“We are immensely proud of our Indian DOTA 2 team for its exceptional performance in the qualifiers, where they conquered all South Asian teams to secure their spot in the prestigious Asian Championship. Their victory not only showcases their talent and skill but also represents the dedication and hard work they have put into excelling as a unit,” said Vinod Tiwari, President, Esports Federation of India.
“All of the Indian teams progressing through to the Asian qualifiers is a reflection of the immense potential our country possesses in the gaming industry. Everyone at ESFIs congratulates the team on their qualification and are looking forward to witnessing their amazing performances in the Asia LAN finals in Riyadh,” he said.
Following the DOTA 2 team’s qualification, India ensured a flawless performance at the South Asian regionals with the country’s CS:GO male and female teams also making their way to the Asian Championship with stellar displays.
The country’s well-renowned Tekken 7 professional Abhinav Tejan and eFootball athlete Ibrahim Gulrez have already secured their qualification at the 15th WEC that has a whopping prize pool of $500,000 (INR 4.12 crore) and is set to be the largest edition of the tournament to date with at least 130 countries participating in eFootball, DOTA 2, Tekken7, Mobile Legends, PUBG: Mobile and CS:GO.