Largest-ever gaming tourney takes off

Largest-ever gaming tourney takes off

Over 2,000 gaming buffs, 160 teams, a massive multi-player video game arena and much more.

The country’s largest ever gaming tourney that kicked off at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) here on Friday was high on action, strategy and yes, celebrity gamers. The GameGod Arena, packed with the enthusiasts over a 6,000sqft area, was just ripe for the biggies.

The launch of India’s first online, multi-player gaming platform was power-packed. It coincided with the rollout of two games that have already had a global impact: Counter Strike Global Offensive (CS GO) and DOTA 2. A new breed of professional gamers were about to show off their prowess at the CeBIT Plugged In event.

But it was the presence of two gaming bigwigs that had the participants in a tizzy: Ioann ‘Edward’ Sukhariev and Gleb ‘Funn1k’ Lipatnikov, both attached to the Natus Vincere (NAVI Team).

For the record, Ioann ‘Edward’ Sukhariev, also known in the gaming fraternity as ‘Pistol King’, is one of the most experienced players in Counter-Strike. Having kicked off his eSports career over a decade ago, Edward has won over 10 ASUS Cups. This is a record. Gamers unanimously credit Edward with a unique playing style that exemplifies consistency and efficiency.

Gleb ‘Funn1k’ Lipatnikov is a professional DOTA 2 player from Ukraine. Since his professional career began in 2010, Funn 1k has been a multi-team player, his performance on the Darer team at The International 2 recording a high point.

The gaming championship has had a countrywide, preliminary qualifying rounds run since September. Three hundred teams of five players each were in intense competition, fighting it out across 30 cities. All that boiled down to the BIEC games arena, where the gamers geared up to compete on PC, console and tablet-based games.

Besides the new games that were launched, the finale had the likes of FIFA, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Just Dance, Candy Crush, Temple Run and Angry Birds. Big ticket cash prizes beckoned the winners of each round.

“We are slowly witnessing a shift to computer games with the penetration of Internet. And with the aggressive penetration of mobile, gaming is also getting a new dimension,” said Nishant Patel from Mumbai.

Popular games verticals that had the youngsters riveted were MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game), FPS (First Player Share), RPG (Roll Playing Games) and strategy games.

“The most sought-after games are those in the MMORPG and FPS categories. Games like CS GO, DOTA 2 and League of Legends are gaining momentum in the country. Here, the problem faced is lack of servers which can support the growing number of players,” said Karthik S Rao, a gaming industry analyst from Bengaluru.

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