In yet another venture to take Indian Football Forward Together, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is making its maiden foray into the ultra-competitive world of eSports. The AIFF eFootball Challenge which kicks off on March 20, 2021, will pit the top 16 Playstation FIFA eAthletes of the country against each other to decide who will represent India at FIFA’s flagship tournament — the FIFAe Nations Series 2021 (FeNS21).
“Up until now, there wasn’t a proper body that was organising FIFA for us. However, with AIFF stepping in, it’s obviously a big step up,” opines Saksham Rattan, who enters the qualifiers as the third-seed based on his Global Series Ranking.
“Earlier it was difficult to pursue eSports full-time due to lack of opportunities. That’s why we had to look internationally for support. But now especially with this eNations Cup and the AIFF stepping in, it will be a great future for anyone looking to pursue it professionally,” says the 25-year-old from Pune.
“I’m hoping that thanks to AIFF, other Indians take note of this and it leads to bigger and legitimate tournaments. Our parents don’t always support this cause since no one knows how big it can be but an organization as big as AIFF coming in is very good for anyone playing and for all in the future.”
18-year-old Charan Jot Singh, who enters the tournament as the top seed says the opportunity to represent India is “always a thing of pride”.
“I’m grateful to be part of this qualifier and be first-seeded. It means a lot and I want people to support all of us and the AIFF in this journey and know more about eSports in India as it’s growing a lot recently.”
“Representing the country at the International level is always a thing of pride. This tournament is at the top-most. I’ve always represented myself so officially representing India would mean a lot if I can perform well there,” says the youngster from Chandigarh.
20-year-old Siddh Chandarana says the first-ever AIFF eFootball Challenge in India offers the opportunity to fulfil “every eSport player’s dream.”
“Every player wants to play the FIFA eNations Cup. Out of millions, only the top 16 compete in the Finals and no Indian has done that before. This is the first time India is playing there, so to be a part of this is every eSport player’s dream.”
“Every player dreams about playing for his country and that cannot be topped. It’s now all about how you prepare and it’s important to not let nerves get the better of you,” says the lad from Mumbai.
The fixtures for the Quarterfinals, which will take place on March 20, 2021, are as follows:
Match 1 – CHELSEACJ12 (Charan Jot Singh) vs THE_LEGEND_PAPAI (Subha Banik)
Match 2 – FLU-SHUBHAM (Shubham Milind Jadhav) vs LVZ0-PAINKILL3R (Soumak Ghosh)
Match 3 – JENASIDFC_ (Siddh Chandarana) vs DUGGAL_TV (Jaspreet Singh Duggal)
Match 4 – SARANSHJAIN7 (Saransh Rajesh Jain) vs NOT_ANKITGUPTA (Ankit Jitendra Gupta)
Match 5 – SEANJOHN2715 (Sean John) vs AADIZEMA (Aditya Dubey)
Match 6 – FIST_SAKKY (Saksham Rattan) vs LOKMANYU (Lokmanyu Chaturvedi)
Match 7 – XSAGNIK_ (Sagnik Banerjee) vs NAVINH29 (Navin Haridoss)
Match 8 – SCYTESKRUSHER_ (Aditya Chadha) vs VICKY_1227 (Vignesh B)
(Dustin Yarde / AIFF Media)