Inaugural edition to feature all 11 Hero ISL clubs represented by 22 esports athletes; prize money pool set at INR 78 Lacs.
Football Sports Development (FSDL) and South Asia’s leading esports company NODWIN Gaming today announced the launch of eISL that effectively meant that Hero Indian Super League in collaboration with EA SPORTSTM became the country’s first major sports league to venture into competitive gaming.
When does eISL start?
The first edition of eISL is set to make its debut alongside the Hero ISL 2021-22 season from November 20 while the eISL finals will take place on March 20, 2022.
The qualifications will take place between 1-3 November 2021 and the Grand Finals on 19 & 20 March 2022.
How to register for the event?
Registrations for the qualifiers will be held on ESL Play and from the events section on PlayStation. Players will have to create an ESL Play ID to register for the tournament on the ESL Play platform. The minimum age to enter the competition is 16.
The rewards at stake
The prize pool of the tournament will be worth INR 74 Lacs and an additional INR 4 Lacs will be rewarded to the Season MVP.
The e-sports athletes who will roar loud
A total of 22 esports athletes, 11 male and 11 female, will represent all 11 ISL clubs, driving inclusivity with the growing female presence in the esports arena.
The athletes will compete in a total of 117 matches.
The future prospect
The tournament will not only determine the champion of the eISL but will also be an official league qualifying event to the EA SPORTSTM FIFA22 GLOBAL SERIES (FGS) Playoffs as ISL becomes the contributing league for the global tournament post its historic inclusion in EA SPORTSTM FIFA 22.
The tournament format
The tournament will have online qualifiers, regular season and grand finals. The clubs will play round-robin matches alongside the inaugural eISL season and a leader board will be put in place.
Aspiring EA SPORTSTM FIFA 22 esports athletes of the country will compete in a total of 11 online qualifiers.
Each qualifier will determine the representatives for the 11 clubs – 1 qualifier per club.
Each club will play 2 athletes – 1 male & 1 female. An additional 12th all-female qualifiers will determine the selection of the female players in each club.
The rest of the 11 qualifiers will be held in the order of the final ISL 2020-21 season standings. The top 4 clubs will advance to the Grand Finals. The finalists will play in a double-elimination format to determine the winner.
Keeping the safety measures in place, a bio-secure bubble will be set up for players in Gurugram, Haryana during the course of the eISL season.
FSDL has reiterated their commitment to curating new concepts and platforms to engage the growing number of young football fans, thus giving birth to eISL while exploring youthful and global facets of football.
Says Martin Bain, Chief Executive Officer at FSDL, “Fan engagement is one of the key factors to building a sport and expanding its footprint. The growing online gaming landscape in India provides a great opportunity to engage with the next generation of fans in the country. The esports experience is vital to the future of football and we continue to evolve towards its growth.”
“eISL is an exciting platform and we are confident that it will lead the evolution of fan engagement and contribute significantly to boost the sport’s popularity in the country.”
“NODWIN Gaming along with Indian Super League and EA SPORTSTM aims to select the best FIFA players through EA SPORTSTM FIFA Global Series India Qualifiers. The strong equity of ISL in India, coupled with the vibrancy of FIFA 22 is sure to spark the intrigue of viewers and players alike. This is sure to bring joy to the millions of esports fans in India”, said Mr. Akshat Rathee, MD & Co-Founder, NODWIN Gaming.
EA SPORTSTM FIFA Global Series, the most inclusive esports tournament has reached the sub-continent as part of its global expansion. With many of the world’s biggest football leagues running qualifying events, the EA SPORTSTM FIFA Global Series brings mammoth participation and viewership. NODWIN Gaming aims to bring together the followers of the sport and the lovers of esports under one blanket to embrace the beauty of the sport in a different shape and form.
The eISL tournament will be organised by NODWIN Gaming which is South Asia’s leading esports company and an independent subsidiary of mobile gaming company Nazara Technologies. The company since 2014 has produced over 10,000 hours of gaming content, has been watched by over 200 million+ viewers and organized 100+ gaming and esports events. Such strategic partnerships include ESL, Valve, Krafton, Tencent, Riot and Blizzard. NODWIN Gaming has introduced Indians to some of the best global experiences such as DreamHack, ESL One, The India Premiership, The Umzansi League in Africa, PUBG Mobile esports (PMCO/PMPL/PMWL) among others.