Esports Premier League or ESPL has already kicked off on June 16th powered by Infinix smartphone as the presenting sponsor. Not only have they signed the B-Town heart-throb Tiger Shroff as the brand ambassador for India’s first-ever franchise-based Esports league.
Obviously, this league is the first of its kind to partner with Bollywood to bring wider popularity and acceptance to Esports. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Season 1 will be held virtually over two and a half months, also ESPL has a a prize pool worth Rs. 25 lakhs where the winner takes home a sum of Rs. 12 lakhs while second and third-placed teams will take home Rs. 6 lakhs and Rs. 3 lakhs, respectively.
Now, we got the priviledge to speak with Mr Vishwalok Nath, Director, ESPL and get to know his thoughts on ESPL 2021, Indian gaming community, BGMI and lot more. Here are the questions he answered to us:
ESPL 2021 is an amazing platform for young mobile gamers, how would you plan to take it forward?
In the first year, we are working with Garena to bring Free Fire to the national stage to find the best teams in the popular smartphone battle royale game. We will look to expand the future iterations to include PC and Console games as well to make ESPL more inclusive. Our goal is to make esports a viable and lucrative option for Indians so that even parents can encourage their kids to follow the route of becoming professional esports athletes.
PUBG Mobile is back in India as BGMI and how will that impact the mobile gaming industry?
The arrival of titles like BGMI is always great for the mobile gaming industry in India. This will result in more Esports tournaments like Esports Premier League across the Indian market. The increasing number of tournaments will offer more opportunities for budding gamers to showcase their talent. Overall, it is a positive development for the industry.
How are you making the ESPL intuitive and managing to organize such events even during the pandemic?
We have partnered with several notable names to make ESPL 2021 intuitive and seamless for gaming fans and players. Some of these partners include Infinix Mobile as the presenting sponsor along with Disney+Hotstar and Booyah as the streaming partners. Other partners include TalkEsport and AajTak as media partners, Ishq FM as radio partner, and Esports XO as the influencer partner. On the execution end, we are working on Playtonia to make things as flawless and smooth as possible.
How would you compare the current Indian esports market to some years ago?
The Indian Esports market has come a long way in the last 2-3 years despite seismic events like the global pandemic. Now, an increasing number of entities are taking Esports seriously. Companies and brands are realizing the scope of growth that Esports offers in a market like India. However, this is just the start of the journey for the market with marquee events like ESPL 2021. This space will see growth and evolution at a rapid pace in months to come.
Any message or special thoughts on young gamers about ESPL?
I would like to thank the gaming and esports community for their support and excitement around ESPL 2021. I also want to encourage them to share the tournament with more people so that they can sign up and join. Finally, I would also ask them to stay tuned for the future of ESPL and other upcoming esports tournaments in the months and years to come.