The first Esports Championship held with support from the Indian Government saw India finish in 2nd spot in the Nations Cup Esports, being narrowly beaten by Kyrgyzstan in the finals, which was held at historical Palace Grounds in Bengaluru last month.
The 8 team tournament comprised of Asian teams mainly from the subcontinent- including Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Azerbaijan, who did not attend the event.
The tournament was for popular football game PES 2020, with 1 player per nation in a single-elimination knockout format. Team India, represented by Moinuddin Amdani, reached the finals of the event with a semi-finals victory over the Maldives by winning in extra time, after being tied at 2 goals apiece.
However, the Amdani could not take India over the line, with a loss against Sanjar Usmanov from Team Uzbekistan. The first match ended in favour of the Uzbek with a 2-0 victory, while the next match ended in a 2-2 draw. This led to the final match being a nail-biting decider, where the Indians took a 2-0 lead before Usmanov scored 2 in the last 10 minutes to ensure a photo finish, which ultimately proved to be disheartening for the Indian fans in the crowd as the Uzbek won the game in extra time.
“We thank SEPC for their relentless support in making this happen and giving us an opportunity to present esports and its various opportunities at such a grand scale,” said Mr Prabhat Kumar, Director of the Esports Federation of India.
While a victory was not to be, this was the formal recognition of esports by government officials, with dignitaries like Siddharth Nath Singh (Cabinet Minister in UP), Piyush Goyal (Union Minister for Railways and Commerce and Industry) being in attendance. The 5th edition of GES was a success, with participation from 74 countries in an area encompassing over 19000 square meters.