Jet Skyesports, the premier esports tournament organiser in South Asia, has announced the Skyesports Masters, India’s largest PC gaming tournament to date.
The tournament will run for three months, culminating in a LAN event in Mumbai with a live audience. Eight franchise teams will compete in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) for a share of the 2 Crore INR prize pool.
According to Skyesports CEO and founder Shiva Nandy, the Skyesports Masters will completely change the face of esports in India. Eight companies have joined the franchised system for the first season of the league.
The league’s goal is to construct a sustainable ecosystem for esports organisations, providing them with new ways to generate income. This is crucial because many Indian esports organisations are now experiencing severe financial difficulties.
The Skyesports Masters will begin with the on-ground café qualifiers taking place in 20 cities across India. Skyesports has partnered with local gaming cafés in all major cities of the country to scout for the best Counter-Strike talent and usher in a revival of the title.
The cities for the café qualifiers include Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and more.
The franchised teams have the option of picking up this talent in addition to their rosters consisting of popular Indian and international Counter-Strike pros. Once the rosters have been finalised, the eight teams will battle it out in Mumbai to become the ultimate masters.
The LAN event will be split into the league stage and the playoffs and will be open to a live audience. The exact venue and ticketing information will be announced at a later date.
The teams’ travel costs, as well as their players’ living expenses and food, will be paid for by Skyesports.
Nandy on his Twitter released a statement in which he brought attention to the heavy financial burden that travelling teams face when participating in competitions. This move by Skyesports, at least in India, comes at a time when esports groups around the world are experiencing economic insecurity.
During the Skyesports Champions Series, Skyesports were phenomenal in extending their hospitality gesture to the teams and their players who did participate.
The event organiser made sure the players received the authentic regional treatment by welcoming the said players to the event in true local fashion through garlands and cultural dance etiquettes.
Greeting players with a slice of tradition is one of major trademarks of our nation and it is heartwarming to see Skyesports showcase the same. Skyesports currently field headquarters in Chennai and it truly felt like someone welcoming the players into their homes, in this case, their home city.
As we witnessed further, popular teams like Orangutan were spotted practising from their personal Villas, which goes to show how helpful the arrangements have been for the team.
The cherry on top was the billboards filled with players’ faces bustling with confidence. Everyone involved in the esports scene has long been waiting for the industry to go mainstream and while it has to a great extent, this serves as a good validation of the same for the PC esports industry that has always felt like a second child in the last few years.
With a total prize pool of INR 2 Crore and tournaments spread out over the course of three months, the Skyesports Masters is poised to make history as India’s first franchised esports league.