The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Sports Ministry will decide the fate of Indian esports athletes preparing to compete in PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor at the upcoming Asian Games 2022. The preliminary qualifiers for other events are reportedly starting around 15th March.
Asian Games 2022 will be a historic event for the esports industry. The esports segment is introduced alongside traditional sports for the first time and a total of eight titles are added as medal events. This prestigious event will take place in Hangzhou, China in September 2022.
According to a report by New Indian Express, MeitY and Sports ministry will decide if Indian athletes can participate in two games namely PUBG Mobile (Asian Games version) and Arena of Valor (Asian Games version) or not. This is due to the fact that both of these mobile titles were initially banned by MeitY under Section A of the IT Act in 2020.
PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor were banned in India in 2020 as they posed a threat to user data privacy. The popular battle royale made a comeback in the form of Battlegrounds Mobile India and is a thriving esports title in India.
The Esports Federation of India (ESFI) seeks Indian Govt.’s clarity before hosting the preliminary qualifiers for PUBGM or Arena of Valor. The preliminary qualifier round of the rest will start around 15th March.
ESFI planned to start the preliminary rounds by 10th March but they were postponed by a few days. The qualifiers will work in two phases with the first one being completely online and there are chances of second stage being hosted in an offline format.
Around eight to sixteen teams or individuals will be selected for the grand finals of each event. The best team/individual in each game will represent India at the Asian Games 2022. ESFI will also prepare a substitute team in case of urgency.
A total of 20 players will be travelling to Hangzhou, China to represent India at the first ever recognized esports medal event in the world.