FSDL and NODWIN Gaming announce the launch of esports platform eISL.
Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) and leading esports company NODWIN Gaming have announced the launch of the eISL, which will see the Indian Super League become the country’s first major sports league to step into competitive gaming.
Collaborating with EA Sports, the eISL is set to give the football fans a platform to showcase their skills and given the rise of online gaming in the country, the launch comes at a perfect time.
The first edition of the eISL will get underway with the 2021-22 ISL season, which starts from November 20, while the qualifiers will be held from November 1 to 3, 2021. The finals will be held on March 20, 2022, with a prize pool of Rs 74 lakh, while the Season MVP alone will be getting Rs 4 lakh.
The 11 ISL teams will be represented by 22 esports athletes, 11 male and 11 female. The inaugural edition will have a total of 117 games and the league will also be the official league qualifying event for the EA Sports FIFA 22 Global Series. Athletes who wish to participate will need to compete in a total of 11 online qualifiers, with each qualifier determining the representative of each club.
Each club will have two athletes, one male and one female. The tournament will have online qualifiers, regular season and grand finals. All clubs will participate in round-robin matches along with the inaugural eISL season and a leaderboard will be put in place accordingly.
Given the current situation worldwide, player security will be most crucial, with bio-bubbles being set up for players in Haryana, Gurugram for the eISL season.
Martin Bain, Chief Executive Officer, FSDL, stated:
“Fan engagement is one of the key factors to building a sport and expanding its footprint. The growing online gaming landscape in India provides a great opportunity to engage with the next generation of fans in the country. The esports experience is vital to the future of football and we continue to evolve towards its growth.”
Akshat Rathee, MD & Co-Founder, NODWIN Gaming, added:
“eISL is an exciting platform and we are confident that it will lead the evolution of fan engagement and contribute significantly to boost the sport’s popularity in the country.
“NODWIN Gaming along with Indian Super League and EA SPORTS TM aims to select the best FIFA players through EA SPORTS TM FIFA Global Series India Qualifiers. The strong equity of ISL in India, coupled with the vibrancy of FIFA 22 is sure to spark the intrigue of viewers and players alike. This is sure to bring joy to the millions of esports fans in India.”
Players can register for the qualifiers on the ESL Play website and from the Events section on PlayStation. Players will be required to create an ESL Play ID and the minimum age to enter the tournament is 16.