Hangzhou, Sep 29 (IANS): India's 15-member Esports contingent wrapped up its uneventful journey at the ongoing Asian Games as the nation’s DOTA 2 team exited the competition here on Friday.
The DOTA 2 squad led by skipper Darshan Bata (A35), and comprising Krish Gupta (Krish-), Abhishek Yadav (Abhi-), KetanGoyal (Evil-Ash), and Shubham Goli (Madness) endured a 0-1 defeat against Kyrgyzstan in their opening group game before going down 0-1 against the Philippines in the second group stage game to bow out of the competition.
“We are proud of our Esports athletes' resolute efforts and gritty performances at the Asian Games 2022. Each and every athlete from the contingent is an inspiration for India’s budding Esports community that wants to represent their country in Esports. This tournament has provided an invaluable experience and motivation for our Esports athletes to build upon and enhance their gameplay for the future,” said Lokesh Suji, Director of the Esports Federation of India and Vice-President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF).
In what was Esports’ debut as an official medal sport at the prestigious tournament, India had participated in four of the seven total titles namely: DOTA 2, League of Legends, EA Sports FC Online, and Street Fighter V: Champion Edition.
India's prolific League of Legends team, captained by Akshaj Shenoy (Kai), and comprising Samarth Arvind Trivedi (CrankO), Mihir Ranjan (Lotus), Sanindhya Malik (Deadcorp), Aakash Shandilya (Infi), Aditya Selvaraj (Krow) finished fifth at 19th Asian Games after suffering a hard-fought 0-2 defeat against Vietnam in the quarterfinals.
The country’s star EA Sports FC Online athlete, Charanjot Singh, secured the 9th place out of a total pool of 36 leading athletes from the continent in this competition. The 20-year-old began his campaign with a 0-2 defeat to China's Liu Jiacheng in the Round of 32 but bounced back strongly with three consecutive wins against AristorenasJorrel of Philippines, Alrowaihi RKM of Bahrain, andYessentayevOlzhas of Kazakhstan in the Losers Bracket Round 1, 2, and 3 respectively.
However, his campaign came to an end after enduring another 0-2 defeat against Liu Jiacheng of China in the Losers Bracket Round 4. His compatriot Karman Singh exited the competition after going down by 1-2 against Aldhafiri Meshari of Kuwait in the Losers Bracket Round 2.
“Despite the competition being fierce, our League of Legends team secured a remarkable fifth-place finish, while Charanjot Singh achieved a commendable ninth place among the continent's top EA Sports FC Online athletes. We are now eagerly anticipating the Asian Games 2026, where Esports will once again be an official medal sport, and our full-strength Indian contingent will give their all in pursuit of glory,” added Lokesh Suji.
In Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, the talented Ayan Biswas clinched a Top-16 place for India. He began his campaign on a winning note against Nguyen Khanh Hung Chau of Vietnam from the Round of 32 suffering a defeat against Alrayfal Abdulrahman Salem A of Saudi Arabia in the Winners Bracket Round 1. He then beat Vietnam's Nguyen again by 2-0 in the Losers Bracket Round 2 but fell short against Yeh Man Ho of Hong Kong in the Losers Bracket Round 3.
Ayan’s teammate, Mayank Prajapati began his tournament against Rajikhan Talal Fuad T of Saudi Arabia and fought valiantly in a fiercely contested 1-2 defeat. He then endured another loss against Al-Mannai Abdulla of Qatar by 0-2 in the Losers Bracket Round 1 and exited the tournament.
Having been featured as a demonstration event in 2018, Esports made its full-fledged debut as an official medal sport at the Asian Games 2022 where a total of 476 athletes from 30 different countries competed for gold medals in seven different titles.