In a first, Indian state governments are now recognizing Esports

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Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has unveiled the second team of Esports Premier League (ESPL) 2021. The Delhi-based franchise has been named Delhi Dukes.

Earlier ESPL had announced the first franchise side Hyderabad Hydras. 

Sisodia also launched the official jersey of the team, which will be representing the national capital in the country’s first-ever franchise-based Esports league. “I congratulate India Today Group for their efforts to grow Esports in the country. I hope the Delhi team wins the tournament,” Deputy CM of Delhi, Sisodia tweeted after the launch. 

Apart from Delhi and Hyderabad, an eight-team league will see other teams representing Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and states Punjab and Rajasthan competing in the final stage of the event.

“It’s an honor for us to reveal the team’s name and official jersey by the state’s Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Manish Sisodia. Delhi’s fans have now got a chance to stand by the team through their journey and cheer for them, so it is imperative for us to make them feel special.  It’s also a very proud moment for all of us at ESPL to see the logo of the first franchise-based Esports league on the arm. We cannot wait for the final phase of the league where all eight state teams will battle it out to get the crown. I wish the team all the very best,” said Vishwalok Nath, Director of ESPL, who was also present during the launch in a closed event at the Delhi Chief Minister’s Residence.

ESPL 2021, which crossed a massive one million mark during the registration phase, was kicked off on June 16 and has been hosted virtually due to the ongoing pandemic. The ongoing second phase of the competition has been witnessing strong competition between 96 teams, as eight will progress into the final stage. The league, which has Infinix Smartphone as its presenting sponsor, aims to give Esports ecosystem a complete makeover in the country and also grow Esports in the Indian market.

In order to take thrilling action of the league to Esports enthusiasts from every corner of the country, it has been streamed live on OTT giant Disney+ Hotstar, Free Fire official streaming platform Booyah and Malayalam OTT platform Koode alongside official YouTube and Facebook channels of India Today and Aaj Tak and its websites.

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