Hearthstone athletes Shikhar Choudhary, Karthik Varma and Team Temple of Kings produced staggering performances to secure themselves berth for the 2022 Asian Games by qualifying in titles at the Esports Federation of India’s (ESFI) National Esports Championships 2022 (NESC ’22).
While Shikhar outperformed Karthik Varma Vegesna 3-1 and 3-2 in the best-of-three final clash of Hearthstone, India’s one of the most popular League of Legends team, Temple of Kings, comprising of captain Akshaj Shenoy, Samarth Arvind Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya and Sanindhya Malik, thrashed Team Coco Cats 3-0 comfortably in the best-of-five grand finals.
Shikhar showcased impressive skills and gameplay throughout the competition which also includes him causing the biggest upset of the tournament when he upstaged India’s only Asian Games medallist Tirth Mehta in the semi-finals, enroute to his title. Tirth had won the bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games, where Esports was played as a demonstration event.
“This moment gives me a sense of accomplishment and honor that my diligence and commitment finally paid off. NESC’22 was an apex event of Hearthstone since it showcased all the titans of India. NESC’22 as I envisioned, was a tough grind, and winning it was a momentous achievement for me. Asian Games 2022 is going to be a huge test of my ability as all of my competitors are masters of their trade. Tirth got us the first medal in this title in the 2018 Asiad; I am going to put every ounce of energy this time into getting the gold medal for my country and continuing the medal run. I also want to acknowledge the Hearthstone India community for their support, and I believe that the road ahead will be a cumulative effort from the community. The Asiad will be a portentous evaluation of my skill but I have a firm belief in my zeal and hard work. And finally, thanks to ESFI for organizing the qualifiers efficiently” said Shikhar Chaudhary after securing his debut berth for the Asian Games 2022,
In popular multiplayer online battle arena video game League of Legends, which witnessed participation of four top pro Indian teams, Akshaj-led Temple of kings lived up to the expectations and remained unbeaten before clinching the title.
“We are really happy that we made it out of really competitive national qualifiers for the tournament. It’s an honour to be part of Team India at a global level and represent India at the prestigious Asian Games. It’s a dream come true for all of us and the full credit for this feat goes to all my team members. A special note of thanks to ESFI for handling the qualifiers with such ease and providing the Indian MOBA community with such an amazing opportunity. Representing one’s country is not what everyone gets to do quite often, It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity; we look forward to getting a medal and making India proud,” Team India League of Legends captain Akshaj expressed his excitement ahead of the 2022 Asian Games.
ESFI is selecting the Team via the NESC ’22 to represent India at the 2022 Asian Games, scheduled in Hangzhou, China from September 10-25, as the Esports has been included as the medal sport for the first-time ever at the prestigious continental event. The second-placed athletes of FIFA, Street Fighter-V & Hearthstone will also be included in the Indian contingent. The on-going NESC ’22 has been played virtually, owing to the pandemic situation.
The winners of NESC ’22 will participate in the AESF’s Road to Asian Games – Regional Qualifiers (June-July, 2022), which are being held for seeding at the main event in China. ESFI continued its partnership with Artsmith- Concepts & Visions which will extend its support as the communication partner. ESFI has been streaming the thrilling action of the NESC ’22 live on its official YouTube channel.
In DOTA 2, Team Whoops and Team Avengers will look to secure their Asian Games spot when they lock horns in the final today at 5 PM.
Following impressive title-winning triumphs at the National Esports Championship (NESC) 2022, below esports athletes/teams will represent India at the Asian Games 2022:
- FIFA22 – Charanjot Singh and Karman Singh Tikka
- Street Fighter V – Mayank Prajapati and Ayan Biswas
- Hearthstone – Shikhar Choudhary and Karthik Varma
- League of Legends – Team Temple of kings, comprising of captain Akshaj Shenoy, Samarth Arvind Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya and Sanindhya Malik
- DOTA 2 – The grand finals will be played today between Team Whoops and Team Avengers to secure their Asian Games berth