The Indian Dota 2 team produced a strong performance to clinch the bronze medal at the first-ever Commonwealth Esports Championship on August 7, 2022.
The Indian Dota 2 team, comprising Moin Ejaz (captain), Ketan Goyal, Abhishek Yadav, Shubhnam Goli, and Vishal Vernekar, defeated New Zealand by 2-0 in a best-of-three format. Despite the early pressure from New Zealand, India kept a cool head and won the first two rounds with their intense gameplay and strategies.
Moin Ejaz, captain, Indian Dota 2 team, commented:
“This win symbolises the amount of hard work the team has put in over the years and we dedicate this win to our country. Winning a medal at the Commonwealth was a dream for us and we’re super proud as a team. We were very much aware before leaving for Birmingham that the tournament was going to be tough. Keeping in mind the intensity and level of the game on such an international platform, each and every team member gave their best shot during the practice sessions. We have invested a lot of time in preparing the strategies and improving our gameplay, which finally culminated in this win.
“We would like to thank the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) and Lokesh Suji Sir for their continuous support, motivation & encouragement. We hope that this win will encourage more tournaments around DOTA 2 and other esports titles, which will help the ecosystem as a whole to grow in our country.“
Earlier in their Dota 2 campaign, India came away with a convincing victory against Wales, got a bye against Trinidad & Tobago, but lost to England. They went on to the semi-finals, but couldn’t go past Malaysia’s team and ended with a bronze-medal match with New Zealand, which they went on to win convincingly.
Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation, stated:
“This is a historic win. The team DOTA has made the entire country proud by winning the bronze medal in the first-ever Commonwealth Esports Championship 2022. Moreover, it’s a dream come true for the Indian Esports Ecosystem as we have won the bronze medal at the Asian Games 2018 as well.
“The entire esports community is overwhelmed with this win and will fuel many esports athletes to represent India on a global stage in coming years. Our next stop will be Asian Games 2022, where Esports is a proper medal event, and our focus is to excel in the tournament with multiple podiums finishes and bringing the laurels for our country. The esports community wants and requires esports to be recognised by the government as a sport in India to gain the benefits and support any sports community and athletes would receive. We want our esports industry to grow, develop and be nurtured just like any other sports in India.“
The Indian team in the Rocket League, which Hargun Singh led with Sandeep Sahani and Rushil Reddy, were not able to make it through after losing out to Canada by 3-0 in the best-of-five series in their first group stage match. The team faced similar defeats against Wales and England, which resulted in their exit from the Commonwealth Esports Championship early in the group stage.
Although this is a historic moment for Team India, esports is only a demonstration event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, hence the bronze medal will not be counted in India’s official medals count.