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The Indian DOTA 2 team produced a power-packed performance to clinch the bronze medal at the first-ever Commonwealth Esports Championship.
The Indian Dota 2 team, comprising Moin Ejaz (captain), Ketan Goyal, Abhishek Yadav, Shubham Goli, and Vishal Vernekar, defeated New Zealand by 2-0 in a best-of-three format.
Indian Esports industry is overwhelmed by this bronze medal win and bat for Esports recognition as a sport so as the players who are bringing laurels for the country gain the benefits and support any sports community and athletes would receive. Also, the community requires the brands to come forward and support the teams and athletes in a long run to reach their ultimate potential.
Not to forget that Esports is a proper medal event in Asian Games 2022 which is scheduled next year in Hangzhou from 23rd September to 8th October 2023 (earlier in 2018 it was there as a demonstration title and India had managed to secure the bronze in Hearthstone courtesy of Tirth Mehta). The esports titles in which the Indian contingent is participating are – FIFA 22, DOTA 2, League of Legends, Street Fighter V and Hearthstone. So, there are multiple medals at stake in esports at Asian Games 2022.
Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation:
This win is a historic moment for the Indian Esports ecosystem and will not only aspire many esports athletes to represent India on a global stage but will help establish India as an esporting nation. We need to build a robust & sustainable esports ecosystem for India which is inclusive and diverse (developed across multiple esports titles), leading to the shaping up of not one/two but hundreds of medal winners across multiple esports titles and gender.
For brands, they have to look at Esports as their long-term marketing strategy to develop and grow the sport and not just for their activation tools. Our athletes/teams need support and encouragement from the brands for the long run just like any other sports athlete. We hope brands will put their focus and eyes on this next-generation sport and come up with a long-term vision to grow the sport and upskill our esports talent.
Animesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO at 8bit Creatives, a leading gaming talent management agency and an ex-esports athlete himself:
After years of grinding, this victory has surely put us a step ahead in the process of recognizing esports as a sport by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). As someone who dreamt that esports and gaming will one day shine, when people were not even thinking about it, it personally means a lot to me ofcourse. But when I see the impact it is having on the industry and on our society, I realize its true impact. We have the potential and we can surely nurture many athletes for such upcoming events.
Apart from that, it should be inspiring for many of us as we won one in Asian Games 2018 and now this one makes it clear that we can do a lot more if given the desired chances. We hope that this win will result in more tournaments around all Esports titles and a tally of investments and sponsorship for the teams and athletes in India. The more support for gaming flourishes, the more gamers can help good brands and products reach the right audience.
Mr Sagar Nair, Co-Founder & CEO, Qlan, The Gamer’s Social Network:
The win at the Commonwealth Games 2022 by the Indian Dota 2 team will go down as a landmark moment for Indian esports on multiple levels. I’m confident that this victory will pave a path for esports in India to be put in the bracket alongside any other mainstream sport in the country. The fogged perception and narrative around esports in India will witness a much-needed change in the right direction where every esports title will be backed by the stakeholders of the ecosystem. You never know what title will lead India to its next medal.
Looking at it from a marketing perspective, this opens up doors for brands to get into team sponsorships, athlete endorsements, product integrations and any other form of brand partnership that brands have been engaging with other sports and athletes. Also, as esports is a proper medal event at the next Asian Games, this can potentially open the floodgates for brands to reach out to a massive GenZ consumer base.
Rohit Agarwal, Founder & Director, Alpha Zegus, the next-gen marketing agency specializing in the domains of gaming & lifestyle:
It’s a very big moment for the entire gaming community. Seeing our Indian team being a part of CWG was a matter of pride in itself, but our victory added immense confidence in everyone about the direction in which Indian Gaming Space is going. Not only is this a confidence booster for players, parents, and other stakeholders, even brands will take notice of such achievements. They would definitely want to associate with current (or potential) names that put India on a global roadmap, similar to sports like Cricket.
We might even see brands recognize players from games apart from the mainstream games, and give a certain monetization boost to a new segment of gaming altogether.