India will make its debut in the FIFAe Nations Cup starting on July 27 at the Bella Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The tournament, an equivalent to FIFA World Cup in esports (nation-wise), has India as the third-highest ranked South Asian country, below Singapore (No.1) and Japan (No.14).
With 715.37 points, it ranks 18th at the moment — is its highest-ever ranking in FIFAe Global Series (FGS).
The eTigers have been drawn in Group D along with heavyweights Netherlands and Italy. The other member countries in the group are Morocco, Poland and Mexico.
FIFAe Nations Cup 2022: All you need to know
India will be represented by the top-ranked esports athletes in the country in the FIFAe Global Series — Saransh Jain, Charanjot Singh and Siddh Chandrana, with Lokmanyu Chaturvedi, another veteran of the sport as their coach.
So, who are the three players in the Indian FIFAe team?
Saransh Jain (Saransh_Jain7)
Saransh Jain is currently the top Indian in the South Asia game rankings. Having started his career in esports very early, Saransh won the Asian Football Gaming Championship (AFGC) and represented India on the global esports stage at the age of 16.
Most recently, he won the inaugural season of the eISL for Chennaiyin FC alongside Navin Haridoss against Mumbai City FC. “I’ve been playing for five years and I plan to play for another 5-10 years to compete at least,” he told Sportstar.
Saransh is the first Indian to qualify for the FGS and already has multiple national titles in his belt, including the inaugural season of the Indian LAN Gaming LXG Bangalore and the national qualifiers of the virtual Bundesliga.
Charanjot Singh (chelsea_CJ12)
Charanjot Singh started gaming as a Chelsea fan when he did not have a console to play at home and used to hone his skills at his friend’s place. At the age of 18, he began his professional career with a win over national esports stars in FIFA 18, including Lokmanyu Chaturvedi and Saransh Jain.
“I thought if without serious practice I am this good, I should continue and with the lockdown and everything in the past two years, I have got a lot better,” he told Sportstar. The Chandigarh boy has not looked back since and is also one of the players set to represent India at the Asian Games 2022 alongside Karman Singh. Among his most prominent titles is winning the FGS Singapore Open last year with Aditya Chadha.
Charanjot had won the first AIFF Football Challenge, the first step from India for the FIFAe World Cup in 2021 and with a successive appearance this year, maintains a 100 per cent success rate to qualify from India.
Siddh Chandrana (Jenasid)
Siddh is one of India’s only FIFAe professionals to have played for the esports team of former Germany international and World Cup winner Mesut Ozil (M10 esports).
“Last season (in 2021), we came agonisingly close to making history but lost the final game of the qualifiers. It stuck with us for a long time. We’ve worked hard ever since, and our only goal was to qualify for the FIFAe Nations Cup and make history for the country,” he told the eISL website.
“The job is not done yet. We will look to work harder over the next month and make sure we are prepared to take on some of the top nations in the world.”
Lokmanyu Chaturvedi ( lokmanyu06) [Coach]
Lokmanyu has been in the FIFAe India scene for at least half a decade now and is still one of the best players in the country.
A regular member of the Indian esports team, the 26-year-old played the eISL, the esports variant of the Indian Super League with Kerala Blasters.
Lokmanyu has established himself as a streamer, coach and a professional in esports. He was also one of the three top players for the FIFAe Nations Online Qualifiers 2022 Play-Ins.
“Extremely proud to be a part of this talented squad in the capacity of a coach/analyst. Can’t wait to reach Copenhagen & give our best for the Tricolour,” he tweeted before the eTigers left for Copenhagen on July 23.
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