Mr. Vishwalok Nath, Director of Esports Premier League
The Esports Premier League is turning out to be a pretty incredible deal, with the aim of developing the base of the Indian mobile esports scene.
Free Fire enthusiasts from across the country entered the contest. The organization also enlisted acclaimed Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff as a brand ambassador to improve engagement with the community.
In a conversation with Abhishek Mallick of Sportskeeda Esports, Vishwalok Nath, Director of Esports Premier League, explained some of the vision behind the creation of the event and what he expects from the competition in the coming months.
Here is an excerpt from the conversation.
Q. The Esports Premier League is a pretty ambitious project, which will indeed allow Free Fire players and enthusiasts across the country to show off their skills on the national stage. Can you tell us about some of the ideas and vision that drove the development of this project?
Vishwalok Nath: The idea behind Esports Premier League is quite simple. We want to serve the gaming community in India by providing a national stage for them to showcase their talent.
This will push the game to the mainstream and on par with some of the other competitive sports. India has a lot of untapped potential in esports, and we want to help uncover and nurture this underutilized talent pool.
Speaking of vision, ESPL 2021 is just the start of the journey for us. In the first year, we work with Garena to bring Free Fire to the national stage to find the best teams from the popular smartphone battle royale game.
We will be expanding future iterations to include PC and console games and make the ESPL more inclusive. Our goal is to make esports a viable and lucrative option for Indians so that even parents can encourage their children to follow the path of becoming an esports star.
Q. Why was Free Fire specifically chosen for Esports Premier League, even though there were other mobile titles as exciting as Garena’s battle royale?
Vishwalok Nath: Free Fire is the most downloaded mobile game according to analytics company App Annie. We believe this popularity will help ESPL reach a much larger audience in the country.
Future iterations of the tournament may include more games across multiple platforms.
Q. What will be the most exciting aspect of Esports Premier League that will stand out? Will there be any unique features in the competition that fans and gamers can look forward to?
Vishwalok Nath: I think the most exciting part of ESPL 2021 is that it’s open to everyone. Anyone can team up with their friends and family to sign up and create a team to get started.
We think our ability to push this tournament to the mainstream is what makes it unique. We’ll make sure the top eight teams get the kind of attention and care that most esports events in India lack.
The ESPL offers the opportunity for any team to be the hero and take advantage of the limelight that can open the doors to a better future.
Q. Can you shed some light on the ideas behind the introduction of an IPL style of the format in the Esports Premier League?
Vishwalok Nath: We have introduced a city-based franchise system to engage players from the local level. The ESPL will allow the public to connect with the gaming community and gain a better understanding of the industry.
With time and exposure, the general public can understand that in addition to being a hobby, gambling is also a serious profession and business.
Q. How will ESPL be a game-changer for the Indian esports industry? Also, who are the sponsors and streaming partners for the same, and can you shed some light on its future?
Vishwalok Nath: As I mentioned before, we hope that ESPL can make esports a widely accepted industry for the majority of the Indian population. We also aim to make it as popular as other sports in the country with government recognition and support through the success of ESPL.
This should take care of things like infrastructure and funding for emerging esports talent in India.
We have partnered with Infinix Mobile as the main sponsor of ESPL 2021. In addition to that, we also have Disney +, HotStar and Rooter as streaming partners. Ishq FM will be our radio partner, while we have also partnered with Esports XO to help us as an influencer partner.
We hope to expand the ESPL to include more titles on different gaming platforms in the future. However, it is too early to share the details of these plans at this time.
Q. ESPL recently signed Tiger Shroff as the face of the Esports Premier League. Any particular reason for the same thing?
Vishwalok Nath: One of the main goals of the ESPL has been to reach every millennial and player in the country. Our goal of having Tiger Shroff on board has been to create a much deeper connection and grow the gaming community.
We hope that this association will also advance our initiative to step up the mission of taking esports to the next level in India.
With most of the 1.4 billion Indians being young, the Bollywood sensation, also known for its passion for sports and mixed martial arts, will connect e-sports to the mainstream. The league’s inaugural edition promises to bring esports excitement through its national tournament.
This powerful collaboration aims to nurture an ecosystem that the Indian esports industry has never seen before. The league will capitalize on Tiger’s popularity and his strong influence on dynamic Gen Y and Gen Z.
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