Indian football is making its presence across the globe, and recently a team represented India on the FIFAe Nations Online Qualifiers. This marks a new era for the All India Football Federation (AIFF) as they made their debut in the ever-expanding digital space of eSports.
India just missed out on creating History
On 2 May 2021, team India missed out to qualify for the FIFAe Nations Cup 2021. They finished third in the competition as the top 2 teams would qualify for the FIFAe Nations Cup 2021. This was team India’s debut in the Middle East and Africa Zone of the FIFAe Nations Online Qualifiers. 60 Nations competed in the FIFAe Nations Online Qualifiers, and finishing third on the debut is a great milestone for the Indian team and India.
eSports in India is emerging immensely, with almost 300 million gamers in the country, possibilities and opportunities are huge. FIFAe Nations Cup is a global eSports tournament organized by FIFA (The Governing body of football) and its presenting partner EA Sports. The tournament was established in 2019, and the 2021 edition will be its second edition. The tournament features 24 of the world’s best eNational teams.
AIFF creating a viable atmosphere for eSports in India
In Feb 2021, AIFF announced that they will host a national tournament ‘AIFF eFootball Challenge’ to build an eNational Squad for India. The team will further represent the nation at the FIFAe Nations Series 2021. The competition was within the top 16 eligible PlayStation gamers of the country.
The tournament gave a chance to the 16 gamers to represent the nation, which itself is a pride for any individual in the country. But, here the joy for the winners would be immense as in India eSports have teething issues, and a majority of the traditional population don’t consider video games as a professional career.
Charanjot Singh (18) from Chandigarh and Siddh Chandarana (20) from Mumbai was the winner of the national tournament and represented India in the FIFAe Nations Online Qualifiers, where they finished third.
As eSports Industry is booming around the world, AIFF’s step to enter eSports will bring a paradigm shift in terms of professional gaming in India. This will open doors for other sports federations to try out the eSports industry and mark India on the world platform.