New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) Hearthstone athlete Shikhar Choudhary stunned 2018 Asian Games star Tirth Mehta in the semifinals on his way to clinching his berth at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Shikhar Choudhary, Karthik Varma and Team Temple of Kings came up with some good performances at the Esports Federation of India’s (ESFI) National Esports Championships 2022 (NESC ’22) to secure themselves berths at the 2022 Asian Games.
While Choudhary outperformed Karthik Varma Vegesna 3-1 and 3-2 in the best-of-three final clash of Hearthstone, India’s one of the most popular League of Legends team, Temple of Kings, comprising of captain Akshaj Shenoy, Samarth Arvind Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya and Sanindhya Malik, thrashed Team Coco Cats 3-0 comfortably in the best-of-five grand finals.
He showcased impressive skills and gameplay throughout the competition which also includes him causing the biggest upset of the tournament when he upstaged India’s only Asian Games medallist Tirth Mehta in the semi-finals, en route to his title. Tirth had won the bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games, where Esports was played as a demonstration event.
“This moment gives me a sense of accomplishment and honour that my diligence and commitment finally paid off. NESC’22 was an apex event of Hearthstone since it showcased all the titans of India. NESC’22 as I envisioned, was a tough grind, and winning it was a momentous achievement for me.
“Asian Games 2022 is going to be a huge test of my ability as all of my competitors are masters of their trade. Tirth got us the first medal in this title in the 2018 Asiad; I am going to put every ounce of energy this time into getting the gold medal for my country and continuing the medal run.
“I also want to acknowledge the Hearthstone India community for their support, and I believe that the road ahead will be a cumulative effort from the community. The Asiad will be a portentous evaluation of my skill but I have a firm belief in my zeal and hard work. And finally, thanks to ESFI for organizing the qualifiers efficiently,” said Shikhar Chaudhary after securing his berth at the Asian Games 2022,
In the popular multiplayer online battle arena video game, League of Legends, which witnessed the participation of four top Indian teams, Akshaj-led Temple of Kings remained unbeaten as it clinched the title.
“We are really happy that we made it out of really competitive national qualifiers for the tournament. It’s an honour to be part of Team India at a global level and represent India at the prestigious Asian Games. It’s a dream come true for all of us and the full credit for this feat goes to all my team members,” Team India League of Legends captain Akshaj expressed his excitement ahead of the 2022 Asian Games.
ESFI is selecting the Team via the NESC ’22 to represent India at the 2022 Asian Games, scheduled in Hangzhou, China from September 10-25, as the Esports has been included as the medal sport for the first time at the prestigious continental event.
The second-placed athletes of FIFA, Street Fighter-V & Hearthstone will also be included in the Indian contingent. The ongoing NESC ’22 has been played virtually, owing to the pandemic situation.
The winners of NESC ’22 will participate in the AESF’s Road to Asian Games – Regional Qualifiers (June-July, 2022), which are being held for seeding at the main event in China.