Esports Federation of India yet to hear from MeitY on PUBG, AoV

By Express News Service

CHENNAI:  The Esports Federation of India (ESFI) announced an 18-member squad across five disciplines for the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou from September 10. Curiously, they have not been able to conduct nationals in three of the eight medal events that will be on offer in China. Apart from Dream Three Kingdoms 2, there was no competition for both PUBG (Asian Games version) and Arena of Valor (Asian Games version).

The reason is because the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is yet to decide on whether Indian athletes can take part in both these games. India had banned both of those games in 2020 under Section A of the IT Act as they deemed that apps like PUBG were a threat to India’s ‘sovereignty and integrity’.

ESFI had taken up the issue with MeitY a couple of months ago but is yet to get a response. If they do reply in the affirmative, ESFI is confident they can hold nationals in both of those disciplines before the deadline (second week of May). “They haven’t told us anything so far,” an ESFI source informed this daily. “If we get a ‘no’ for sure, then we will know for sure. As of this moment, there is a 0.0001 per cent chance. I think the deadline is around May 15.”

The selected players will now feature in regional tournaments to decide the seedings for the Asiad. It’s the first time that eSports will be a medal event at a major continental Games. It was a demonstration event in Jakarta in 2018. 

Squad: 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 (Akshaj Shenoy, Samarth Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya and Sanindhya Malik). DOTA 2: Team Whoops (Moin Ejaz, Krish, Abhishek, Ketan, Darshan and Shubham).

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