The Nine-member Indian esports athletes squad have qualified for the main demonstration event in Jakarta after winning the South Asian Regional Qualifiers for Asian Games 2018 in game titles including Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), Hearthstone, Clash Royale and Arena of Valor.
The athletes include Navaneetha Anand and Ankur Diwakar (Pro Evolution Soccer), Tirth Mehta (HearthStone), Karan Manganani (Clash Royale) and Arena of Valor (AOV) Team consists of Tanmay Kumar, Abhineel Bajoria, Giridhar K Sajeev, Harsh Maan and Vishwajeet Singh Tomar.
According to Esports Federation of India (ESFI), India has the second highest number of teams who had qualified for the main event post the Regional Qualifiers along with Hong Kong after Vietnam.
Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India, said, “It’s a Big Milestone which has been achieved. History was made when OCA had announced the inclusion of Esports in Asian Games and we (as Indian Esports Community) are proud that India is part of this historic moment.”
“India’s participation in Esports at Asian Games 2018, paves out bigger and more opportunities for Indian esports athletes. Our athletes created a mark by winning South Asian Regional Qualifiers and we are confident that we will win a couple of medals at Asian Games.”
AOV Esports Athlete Harsh Maan said, “I am feeling proud and honoured to be able to participate in Asian games esports event. It’s like dream come true. We as a team will get a chance to interact with many more like-minded people those who play esports with full devotion and dedication. looking forward to make my country proud. I also hope that the next Asian games will see esports as a medal event.”
Hearthstone player Tirth Mehta said, “Every athlete would feel proud of representing their nation in the Asian Games/ Olympics, and I feel the same. I have been practising really hard and hoping that it pays off at the main event.”
PES athlete Navaneetha Krishnan said, “You will never get such a tremendous moment in life than representing India in Asian games for the Esport”
“I don’t want to just represent India, I am going there to WIN a medal for India, I want the world to know that India is a force to reckon with when it comes to esports. This is the first time that something like this is happening and I am glad that India has made it through to the main stage,” Said PES athlete Ankur Diwakar.
The AOV team members added further:
“Feeling ecstatic to represent India in Asian games” – Abhineel Bajoria.
“I feel happy and much more proud to be able to represent India on an International platform. A dream come true. Hope I can do justice by those who believe in me and the whole team” – Giridhar k Sajeev.