Professional Tekken 7 player Hitesh Khorwal and CS:GO’s Ritesh Sarda-led Team Wicked Gaming secured their places in the Indian squad as the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) announced an eleven-member contingent for the 14th edition of the World Esports Championships (WEC), which is set to be held in Bali from November 27 to December 7.
Khorwal aka rcool and a five-member Team Wicked Gaming comprising of skipper Sarda, Hrishikesh Shenoy, Anshul Ajay Adarkar, Shuvajyoti Chakraborty and Ninad Ramesh Sonare sealed WEC berths after winning the Tekken 7 and CS:GO titles respectively at the National Esports Championships, which saw a thrilling competition with the participation of top athletes from across the country.
The upcoming World Esports Championship, organised by the International Esports Federation (IESF), will boast a massive prize pool of US$500,000.
Besides Tekken 7 and CS:GO, WEC will also have Dota 2 and eFootball 2022. A Dota 2 team, which qualified for the 2022 Asian Games, has been selected to represent India at the WEC as well. The team will consist of veteran athletes, including Moin Ejaz, Shubham Goli, Ketan Goyal, Abhishek Yadav and Vishal Verenakar, who is included in place of Krish.
Given eFootball still does not have an option to hold online championships, the ESFI has been evaluating to organise an offline event that may be held in New Delhi or Mumbai. The dates and venue for the qualifiers will be announced soon.
Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation, commented:
“The NESC ’22 was a stupendous success in every possible way, there were many impressive results. This Indian contingent will be a tough one to beat and I’m certain that they will not only put up a strong fight but also strive for a podium finish. It’s great to see an immense interest among the Indian youth towards Esports. On behalf of the Esports Federation of India, I wish the entire squad best luck for the regional qualifiers.”
A two-day National Esports Championships saw participation of sixteen top teams from across the country in a multiplayer first-person shooter esports title CS:GO. The defending champions Wicked Gaming put up a brilliant show and remained undefeated throughout the qualifiers. In the nail-biting final, they defeated Kingpins, an underdog team who gave a tough fight.
Ritesh Sarda, skipper of Team Wicked, stated:
“We played really well during our qualifiers and defended our national title. All our hard work and preparation before the event paid off. We have been grinding more since we got to know about the national qualifiers and the whole team put in extra hours for the qualifiers.
“There will be many good teams across our regional qualifiers and we are prepared to give them a tough fight and make our country proud.”
On the other hand, in singleplayer fighting game Tekken 7, Khorwal successfully defended his title after he brilliantly ended the sensational run of Kashmir’s Arsalan Nabi Wani aka KMR in the final with a 2-0 win. Arsalan had topped the winner brackets while Khorwal entered the final after leading the lower brackets as 36 athletes took part in Tekken 7.
Hitesh Khorwal aka rcool, Tekken 7 star, added:
“NESC is always an arduous task for Tekken participants since our scene has progressed tremendously well and reached a new zenith. So, it’s a moment to cherish for me. It creates a perfect scenery of success for me after putting my blood and sweat into this game. I am also delighted to see the fresh faces in the scene who are already masters of the trade.
“This ultimately shows how far we have come as a community. This time I am more devised for the regional finals. As a mountain to climb it already is, I feel confident as well as prepared for this. It’s a great opportunity to prove my mettle against the literal virtuosos of the title and my body, soul and mind, are ready for it. Bring it on, Bali!”
The Indian contingent will now take part in the World Esports Championships Regional Qualifiers, for which the dates will be announced soon by the IESF.
For CS:GO and Tekken 7, Regional Qualifiers will be played, but irrespective of the results, they will participate in the Global Finals to be held in Bali.