New Delhi, Mar 28 (IANS): Putting up stellar performances, Tekken athlete Abhinav Tejan and eFootball pro-Ibrahim Gulrez triumphed in the finals of the National Esports Championships (NESC) 2023 organised by the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) and secured their berths at the global finals of the 15th World Esports Championships (WEC) which will take place in Iasi, Romania from August 24-September 4, 2023.
The 15th World Esports Championship 2023 will have a whopping prize pool of 500,000 dollars (INR 4.12 crore) and is set to be the largest edition of the tournament to date with at least 130 countries participating in eFootball, DOTA 2, Tekken7, Mobile Legends, PUBG: Mobile and CS:GO.
Despite starting from the loser bracket, Tejan who is a well-renowned name from the Tekken7 community proved his mettle against other top athletes of the country and will be representing India at the WEC for a record 6th time.
The 29-year-old, who won the South Asia regional finals of the Tekken World Tour 2022 last year, defeated Loveneet in the grand finals by 3-2, 3-2.
"I have won a lot of tournaments in these past few years but winning the NESC 2023 was really important to me. I had lost two times in it in the past two years. So, I wanted to make a comeback by winning it this year. Qualifying for the IESF finals in Romania had given me the chance to represent India for the 6th time in the IESF finals which is personally a really proud moment. I am really looking forward to the finals where I will try my level best to get my country a medal this year," said Tejan.
Similar to Tejan, Gulrez also began his campaign from the loser bracket and displayed immense perseverance as well as high-quality gameplay to become the eFootball champion. He beat Pritesh Quinton D'souza (bad_pritt) by winning the first round by 3-2 and the second round by 3-0 to seal his maiden qualification at the WEC.
"The feeling is really amazing. I have been trying to achieve this feat for the last couple of years and to finally get there feels amazing. My victory involved a mixture of hard work and some luck. One can only feel that happiness after trying so hard to win the competition for the last couple of seasons," said Ibrahim Gulrez.
Alongside Tekken and eFootball, the esteemed national qualifiers were also organised for popular PC titles CS:GO and DOTA 2.
In CS:GO (Open), Team Orgless5 toppled the two-time NESC champions Team Wicked Gaming by winning the finals by 2-0. Comprising team captain Harsh Jain (f1redup), Jaspreet Singh (SpawN), Sadab Khan (SK wow^), Piyush Kalwania (clouda), Nikhil Kathe (N1kace) and substitute Omkar Thube (omkar09), the team was dominant throughout the tournament and produced scintillating performances against India's leading CS:GO teams.
"Our motto to win the qualifiers was to trust the process, trust ourselves and trust our decisions. We worked extremely hard to defeat the country's best CS:GO teams and become the champions. The World Esports Championships are very important for us and now we will prove ourselves in the regional qualifiers to qualify for the global finals as well," said Harsh Jain, captain of Team Orgless5, in a media release.
On the other hand, Team Top G comprising skipper Manav Kunte (mnz), Vishal Vernekar (HBK), Abhishek Yadav (Abhi-), Shahbaz Hussain (PinkMaN), Krish Gupta (Krish`) and substitute Jaikishan Malik (KaEL) prevailed in the finals of DOTA 2 by defeating Team Mob with a 2-0 score line in the finals.
The squad's notable players Vishal and Abhishek were also part of the historic DOTA 2 team that won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Esports Championships in 2022.
"We are beyond ecstatic to win the DOTA 2 India Qualifiers and it is an honour for us to represent India on the international stage. We have put in countless hours of practice, analyzing every move, and strategizing every play to reach this point, and it's an incredible feeling to see our hard work pay off," said Manav Kunte, captain of Team Top G.
"The team has an unbreakable bond and we know that we can achieve anything if we keep this synergy together. We would also like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to ESFI for providing us with this amazing opportunity to showcase our skills on a national platform and we promise to give our best shot to bring home the championship," he said.
Team Orgless5 and Top G will now be participating in the upcoming Asia regional qualifiers to qualify for the global finals of WEC 2023. The teams will first be competing in the South Asian qualifiers in online mode and upon qualifying will play the regional finals offline. The dates of the regional qualifiers will be announced by the International Federation soon.
The NESC 2023 concluded on March 27 and witnessed a total participation of 275 athletes from all over the country.