Corporate social responsibility stature is high in the electronic sports and digital gaming industry in India as everyone is posting as ‘game-changer’ and ‘industry-introducer’. What more exciting is the participation of players, and the people connected within these. Today, I talk about UCypher, which I initially covered through TalkEsport and got them their well-deserved exposure.
There were speculations about it. Confusions. And what not. As UCypher and its team call themselves “a company which will change the perspective of esports in India,” they surely are on their way to do so. I vouch for it. But not in a way they posted, if in a way they chose to disrupt the settled diligence of years.
Yesterday, we came across a news everywhere about UCypher’s announcement of their first league with unstructured teams, strong prize money and a fancy idea of broadcasting the games live on MTV. The first league will begin in June. Other than the news, we also came across photographs on their page about a “top-gamers” meet in Mumbai with none other than Ronnie Screwvalla himself with the CEO of USports. The get-together of pro-players ironically, from which I could derive from the photographs had no one from the top teams in India, D2D / Entity Esports.
I am, however, unsure if they were not invited or they chose not to be a part of this unwillingly.
The structure – UCypher will begin their first season with six chosen captains with a managerial responsibility to form a complete roster of CS:GO & DotA 2 squad, regardless of the leader’s background. So far so good, the list of potential captains will be made public in the first week of April and it will be shortlisted by the management of UCypher. The shortlisting process will be by performance and achievements of the captain.
The master thereafter will prepare his squad of twelve athletes. Which technically means, it benefits the players who were either freelancers or team leaders. This structure is not for what we always stood for, and continue to stand. This not only impairs the past achievements of a roster as a team but also gives inappropriate power to event organizers to restructure an organization’s operations as they wish. Even if they call this to be mutually exclusive, it is pragmatically not. We can not expect to have two players playing on the same team and facing each other in the next month or so, since this is a game of strategy.
The skepticism also lies in the selection process and the list of invitees as we could spot most of the gamers to be from Mumbai and Pune, only. And if this remarks that the pro-gamers are only from Maharastra region. it is unfair to say so.
And it is also an injustice for groups like Brutality, Entity, and D2D, who took this as a profession with a team and spent years and years to mold themselves to perfection.
To counter my point, you can ask me to refer to IPL’s format, but then the Indian Cricket team was formed 106 years ago, and it took a long time for people to recognize and resemble the origin of players, other than IPL. A captain also has to be a community-driven gentleman who is experienced all verticals of this industry. Because everyone is not as cool as Ankit ‘V3nom’ Panth.
The good thing about UCypher is that they will be airing the whole event on television, the league will be broadcasted on youth channel MTV, which hosts famous shows such as Splitzvilla and Roadies. The games will follow the traditional daily-soap composition, wherein, the games will not be available on the internet until aired it on TV. Which also means, you will not be able to watch the games live. At least for the first phase of the season.
UCypher also seems to be cooperative with the players and doesn’t restrict players to participate in other teams as long as it doesn’t clash with their schedule. The first league will feature a prize pool of over Rs. 50 lakhs, which also attracts lots of new companies and audiences other than the participants.
The teams, players, and the crew goes for production and shoot in the month of April and the show will be on air in the month of June. The leverage and the amount of experience Mr. Ronnie Screwvalla holds, it is excellent for us as an industry who are a part of this. The future ahead seems to be bright only if the management of UCypher chose to be community-oriented rather trying to create a new spectrum. USports’s the company behind UCypher has more than enough reasons to tap a new industry and make it big, in a way it similarly did with Kabaddi Pro League.
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I personally feel it’s a bittersweet moment for every Esport fan in the country. I was quite elated when I first heard about USports joining the fold. I’m still excited with what’s in store but kinda disappointed with the proposed format and it being limited to only Maharashtra. Are we really that desperate to experiment with “reality television gaming” with what esports is globally in the world?
Just thinking, but Splitzvilla and Roadies have their “moments”. I hope this doesn’t end up putting the community in a bad light.