Team Wicked Gaming including Tekken7 star Hitesh Khorwal and Ritesh Sarda secured their place in the Indian squad as the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) announced a strong 11-member contingent for the 14th World Esports Championships (WEC), to be held in Bali from November 27 to December 7.
Khorwal aka rcool and a five-member Team Wicked Gaming, comprising skipper Sarda, Hrishikesh Shenoy, Anshul Ajay Adarkar, Shuvajyoti Chakraborty and Ninad Ramesh Sonare, sealed WEC berths after winning the Tekken7 and CS:GO titles respectively at the National Esports Championships, which saw a thrilling battle with the top athletes from across the country virtually.
The upcoming World Esports Championship — organised by the International Esports Federation (IESF) — will boast a massive prize pool of USD 500,000 (Rs 4 crore approximately).
Besides Tekken7 and CS:GO, WEC will also have DOTA2 and PES2022 titles. A DOTA2 team, which qualified for the 2022 Asian Games, has been selected to represent India at the WEC as well. The team will consist of veteran athletes including Moin Ejaz, Shubham Goli, Ketan Goyal, Abhishek Yadav and Vishal Verenakar, who is included in place of Krish.
As the PES/eFOOTBALL still does not have an option to hold an online championship, ESFI has been evaluating to organise an offline event that may be held in Delhi or Mumbai and the dates and venue for the qualifiers will be announced soon.
“The NESC ’22 was a stupendous success in every possible way, there were many impressive results. This Indian contingent will be a tough one to beat and I’m certain that they will not only put up a strong fight but also strive for a podium finish. It’s great to see an immense interest among the Indian youth towards Esports,” said Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation.
A two-day National Esports Championships saw the participation of 16 top teams from across the country in a multiplayer first-person shooter esports title CS:GO. The defending champions Wicked Gaming put up a brilliant show and remained undefeated throughout the qualifiers. In the nail-biting final, they defeated Kingpins, an underdog team that gave a tough fight.
“We played really well during our qualifiers and defended our national title. All our hard work and preparation before the event paid off. We have been grinding more since we got to know about the national qualifiers and the whole team put in extra hours for the qualifiers. There will be many good teams across our regional qualifiers and we are prepared to give them a tough fight and make our country proud,” said an elated Sarda, skipper of Team Wicked.
On the other hand, in the single-player fighting game Tekken7, Khorwal also successfully defended his title after he brilliantly ended the sensational run of Kashmir’s Arsalan Nabi Wani aka KMR in the final with a 2-0 win. Arsalan had topped the winner brackets while Khorwal entered the final after leading the lower brackets as 36 athletes took part in Tekken7.
“NESC is always an arduous task for Tekken participants since our scene has progressed tremendously well and reached a new zenith. So, it’s a moment to cherish for me. It creates a perfect scenery of success for me after putting my blood and sweat into this game. I am also delighted to see the fresh faces in the scene who are already masters of the trade. This ultimately shows how far we have come as a community. This time I am more devised for the regional finals,” said Tekken7 star Hitesh Khorwal aka rcool.
The Indian contingent will now take part in the World Esports Championships Regional Qualifiers, for which the dates will be announced soon by the IESF. For CS:GO & Tekken 7, Regional Qualifiers will be played but irrespective of the results, they will participate in the Global Finals to be held in Bali.