With an aim to revolutionise Esports in India, the upcoming Esports Premier League (ESPL) will be played with the franchise-based model—first-time ever in the country in Esports, to bring its excitement to the fans through the nationwide tournament. In order to give Esports ecosystem in India a complete makeover and grow Esports and gaming in the Indian market the upcoming top-notch league is geared up to roll out its inaugural season from June 16.
The tournament, which will be played over a period of two and a half months, will have initial two levels where close to hundred teams will compete in the group stage as the best eight teams will progress into third level and represent eight cities across the country including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Punjab, and Rajasthan in the grand finale. ESPL, which will be conducted virtually during its inaugural edition owing to the Covid-19 situation, will comprise of more than 700 online matches with about 300 plus hours of streaming.
While talking about the launch of Esports Premier League (ESPL) and its association with Infinix Mobile, India Today Group Vice Chairperson, Kalli Purie said: "This pandemic and the resultant lockdown have contributed to propelling the esports industry into mainstream entertainment. India Today's Gaming and Esports platform will provide a thrilling experience to its users through a wide range of games, online tournaments, and an opportunity to win exciting prizes. These are very exciting times as the smartphone usage continues to grow exponentially, and I believe partnership with Infinix Mobile will help us intensify our mission of taking Esports to the next level in India."
The league will have a total prize-pool worth Rs 25 lakhs while the winner will get Rs 12 lakhs. It has teamed up with Garena to create an exclusive gaming platform for Free Fire—the most popular battle royale game currently played by gamers and gaming enthusiasts in India. ESPL will enable players from across the country to showcase their skills on this mega national stage for the first time. The tournament wants to tap into the growing landscape of Esports in the country to help the competitive gaming community. This segment has received a significant boost in the last year as an increasing number of users are spending time on smartphones for gaming.
ESPL has partnered smartphone maker Infinix Mobile as the title sponsor for its inaugural edition. The Hong Kong-based smart phone giant, Infinix Mobile is keen on pushing the envelope by providing a unique gaming experience when it comes to the latest and greatest in technology with its upcoming, Note 10 line-up of devices.
"The Indian online gaming industry is growing at a rate of almost 27% per annum and is estimated to reach $2.8 billion by 2022. The current pandemic situation has further fuelled the growth of the gaming industry in India. At Infinix, we are part of this revolution by making devices for mid-range segment that are feature rich and enhance users gaming experience, to further amplify the gaming capability of a user our R&D has developed a technology called Darlink which optimizes and improves a devices performance on several parameters. Our partnership with India Today for the Esports Premier League is just another step towards achieving the same goal. We look forward to a fruitful association and intend to encourage budding talent in this field," Anish Kapoor, CEO of Infinix Mobile said while announcing the association.
ESPL intends to be the largest platform to discover and nurture new gaming talent across India as the India Today Group, which has forayed into Esports and gaming, as part of the effort to push Esports to the mainstream, through the ESPL, will offer all the finalist teams and their players comprehensive media coverage across various media platforms including digital, print, TV, and more. This will help upcoming Esports professionals gain fame and stardom on par with other conventional sports. The league will be streamed on multiple platforms including OTT giant Disney+ Hotstar as well as the official YouTube and Facebook channels of India Today and Aaj Tak along with their websites.