India’s all-female CS:GO team is all set to make its mark on the international stage as the squad sets its sights on securing a berth for the 15th World Esports Championships (WEC) by going head-to-head against top teams from the continent at the Asian qualifiers to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from July 15-July 17.
Led by captain Swayambika Sachar (Sway), the star-studded team comprising Nidhi Salekar (Stormyy), Shagufta Iqbal (Xyaa), Dilraj Kaur Matharu (COCO), and Aastha Nangia (Crackshot) will face off against Kyrgyzstan and Saudi Arabia on the opening day, followed by matches against Hong Kong, China, and Australia on the second day.
The group stage matches will be played in the best-of-one format with the semifinals and grand finals being contested in the best-of-three format. Only two of the five teams will qualify for the 15th WEC with the champion being rewarded with $7000 in prize money. The second and third-placed teams will each be awarded $3,500 and $2,000 respectively.
Expressing her excitement and confidence, team captain Swayambika Sachar said, “As the first all-female CS:GO team from India to reach this stage, we are proud to represent our country in the Asian qualifiers. We have practiced tirelessly and worked on improving our gameplay and we are ready to compete against the best. Along with qualifying for the 15th WEC, our goal is also to inspire more women to pursue their passion for gaming and Esports. We are grateful to the ESFI for all their support, coaching & enabling the female Esports athletes’ participation at the international stage, and will give our absolute best to make our country proud.”
By emerging victorious in the National Esports Championships (NESC) 2023, organised by the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) earlier this year, the team outclassed Sri Lanka in the South Asian qualifiers to secure their spot in the Asian Qualifiers.
“We are incredibly proud of our female CS:GO team as they prepare for their historic journey in the Asian qualifiers. Their participation is a testament to the rise of women in Indian Esports. We believe in their potential to emerge victorious on the international stage and are also sure that the team’s progress will inspire more women to follow their dreams of a professional career in video gaming. We extend our best wishes to the team in their pursuit of securing a spot for the grand finals in Romania,” said Mr. Vinod Tiwari, President, Esports Federation of India.
In spite of their best efforts, the Indian DOTA 2 team bowed out of the Asian qualifiers by suffering hard-fought defeats against Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, and the Philippines. Meanwhile, the nation’s male CS:GO team commenced with their qualifiers on Thursday.
The country’s well-renowned Tekken 7 professional Abhinav Tejan and eFootball athlete Ibrahim Gulrez have already secured their qualification at the 15th WEC that has a whopping prize pool of $500,000 (INR 4.12 crore) and 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.
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