Street Fighter veteran Mayank Prajapati and eFootball star Hemanth Kommu emerged victorious in the National Esports Championships (NESC) 2023.
Mayank, who is set to represent India at the upcoming Asian Games 2022 where Esports will debut as an official medal sport, hardly had to break a sweat in the Street Fighter 6 qualifiers.
In a field of 14 talented athletes which also included the nation’s other Street Fighter representative for the Asian Games 2022, Ayan Biswas, the 33-year-old prevailed against Prateek Singh Bhaunt by 3-1 in the final.
Reflecting on his victory, Mayank Prajapati said, “I am thrilled to emerge victorious in the NESC 2023. Since the launch of Street Fighter 6, the game’s ecosystem has been steadily growing in the country and I hope it follows the same trajectory to flourish in the coming years.
“Thanks to ESFI for their continuous support and a huge shoutout to the entire Indian Fighting Gaming community for their active participation. To come out on top against some of the community’s biggest athletes is a huge achievement and I had dedicated myself to rigorous practice by devising strategies with different characters to ace this challenge.”
Hemanth, an IIT alumnus, was crowned champion of the eFootball 2023 qualifiers, which witnessed the participation of 18 athletes including the country’s representative at the recently concluded 15th World Esports Championships, Ibrahim Gulrez.
By overpowering Emaad Jameel Ahmed in the Grand Final 1 and Grand Final 2 with an identical scoreline of 2-1, Hemanth excelled in the qualifiers.
“Securing victory in the eFootball qualifiers is truly a remarkable feeling. Through consistent practice and working on my strategies, I have been able to topple some of the notable names from the title and move one step closer to representing India at the global finals in Riyadh,” Hemanth said.
Both Mayank and Hemanth are no strangers to the Global Esports Games, having represented India at the tournament last year. The regional qualifiers roadmap for the athletes will be revealed by the Global Esports Federation soon.
The Global Esports Games 2023 (GEG23) is scheduled to take place from December 11 to 16 and will feature a total of four major titles: DOTA 2, Street Fighter, eFootball 2023, and PUBG Mobile with all participants being above the minimum age of 18, to ensure a fair and competitive environment.
India will be participating in three of the four titles in the Open category – DOTA 2, eFootball 2023, and Street Fighter 6.
The country’s DOTA 2 team comprising captain Manav Kunte, Krish Gupta, Khaja Hussain, Ketan Goyal, Vishal Vernekar, and substitute Darshan Bata bowed out of the regional qualifiers after suffering 0-2 defeats against Malaysia and Mongolia.
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