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All you need to know about India’s first professional gaming league

Will an IPL format video game tournament put Indian gamers in the big league?

HT48HRS_Special Updated: Jan 28, 2016 19:56 IST
Poorva Joshi
Poorva Joshi
Hindustan Times
Come February, you can indulge in some serious gaming action with the Indian Gaming League.

Have you ever been jealous of The Big Bang Theory geeks, who are often glued to their screens, playing video games? Have you ever gotten into a fight with your mother for choosing to focus on your virtual avatar than do household chores? If you relate to any of the above, dear gamer, pay attention. Come February, you can indulge in some serious gaming action with the Indian Gaming League (IGL) set to put India on the global video gaming scene map.

The online portal, co-founded by two 20-somethings, aims at providing a platform for Indian gamers to come together, battle it out for cash prizes ,and gain access to international gaming tournaments.

Level 1

“The gaming community in India is small and isolated. But they have the potential and the skills set to compete internationally. Indian gamers lack the infrastructure, too,” says Yash Pariani (23), co-founder of IGL. Thus, when Pariani saw an untapped opportunity, he, along with Krish Galani (20), a pro-gamer credited with establishing America’s first all females pro league for Call of Duty, launched IGL in January this year.

The league will run on two portals simultaneously — online, which will cover the combat-based Counter Strike and fiction-based Dota 2 games, and offline, with the console-based FIFA. “We will host weekly events at Hoppipola (Khar and Powai outlets) for the online league, so that the gamers can meet each other and a stronger community can be formed,” says Gilani. For FIFA, a monthly event at the Intercontinental Hotel, Marine Drive, will be organised. “We will provide the consoles and all other hardware required,” assures Pariani.

The format of the tournament is inspired by the Indian Premier League. “The buyers will pay their teams a salary of Rs 15,000 each and meet their hardware and software requirements,” says Pariani.

But who are these buyers, we wonder. We are told a few celebrities have shown their support to the gaming community. “We cannot reveal [their names] till the first month of the games is over,” he adds. And with brands like Sony, PayTM and RedBull on board, the founders are confident of providing significant financial returns to its gamers.

The online tournament will cover the combat-based Counter Strike.

Going international

Both Pariani and Gilani believe that beyond financial aid, gamers will be attracted to online credits that enable the Indian players to enter gaming tournaments like MOGNation (multi-player online game), one of the biggest global pro leagues. “There is a strong gaming culture internationally. Individuals from high schools and colleges to working professionals are a part of the community, and the prizes go up to a few thousand dollars,” says Pariani

The founders believe that IGL will be the start of a revolution. “We have planned this tournament as a year-long event. Teams will have to perform better to stay in the tournament. There will be more games coming in to the pit that will widen the horizons for gaming in India,” he concludes.

Click to enter

The IGL website will go live on February 1. Register on to be eligible for the tournament.