Effortlessly navigating their way through the South Asian regional qualifiers, India’s CS:GO team showcased a dominant combination of high-quality gameplay and supreme skills to overpower Pakistan and Nepal on the final day and qualify for the Asian qualifiers which are set to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from July 10-17, 2023.
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 proficient team began the qualifiers with a bang by putting up comprehensive performance to take down Bangladesh with a 16-9 win and Sri-Lanka with a 16-8 victory on the opening day.
The team then continued their momentum on the second day and recorded a 16-5 win against Nepal followed by a 16-6 triumph against Pakistan. Team captain Harsh was instrumental in India’s monumental victories throughout the qualifiers and led his side by example by notably notching a total of 29 kills against Bangladesh and 31 kills against Nepal.
“Qualifying for the Asian qualifiers and representing India as well as the country’s CS:GO community is an incredible accomplishment for all of us. I am really happy that we finished at the top in the South Asian Regionals by beating each and every team. This is the result of months of extensive practice sessions, strategic planning, and careful analysis of our competitors. The competition will undoubtedly be fierce as we'll be facing off against some of the best teams from Asia but we feel that we're ready for it. We can't wait to compete, and give our best to qualify for the World Esports Championships in Iasi,” said Harsh Jain, captain of the Indian CS:GO team.
The skilled team had secured their maiden qualification at the South Asian regional qualifiers by triumphing over Team Wicked Gaming in the finals of the National Esports Championships (NESC) 2023, conducted by the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) earlier this year. They will now battle it out against top CS:GO teams from Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to qualify for the 15th World Esports Championships in Iasi from August 24 – September 4, 2023.
With a whopping prize pool of $500,000 (INR 4.12 crore), the 15th World Esports Championship 2023 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.
“We are extremely proud of our CS:GO team for making it to the Asian qualifiers. The journey till here has been tough, but the hard work and dedication of our players have paid off. They have put in countless hours of practice and have shown incredible resilience and determination in their stunning victories against the top teams from South Asia. We wish them all the best for their upcoming qualifiers and are confident that they will make it to the grand finals in Iasi,” said Vinod Tiwari, President, Esports Federation of India.
India’s first-ever female esports team (CS:GO) comprising Swayambika Sachar (Sway), Shagufta Iqbal (xyaa), Nidhi Salekar (Stormyyy), Dilraj Kaur Matharu (COCO), and Aastha Nangia (CrackShot) shall be playing their South Asian Qualifiers against Sri Lanka on 11th May and Team India (DOTA) will kick off their South Asian Qualifiers from 15th May onwards.
The 15th World Esports Championships will be featuring well-renowned Tekken 7 professional Abhinav Tejan, and eFootball athlete Ibrahim Gulrez representing the country at the prestigious tournament.