India’s FIFA Esports sensations: Aiming to transition from the pitch to podium at Asian Games 2022
Charanjot Singh and Karman Tikka participate in what is Esports’ debut as an official medal sport at the 19th Asian Games.
Being home to a large population with a boundless passion for football, India boasts an equally massive player base for the virtual gaming title of the sport, spread all over the country. Fueled by the support of this energetic community, the nation will aim to transition from the virtual pitch to the podium as its skilled athletes participate in Esports’ debut as an official medal sport at the 19 th Asian Games.
Bearing the flag of the country against Asia’s best will be Charanjot Singh and Karman Tikka who secured their berth for the tournament by reaching the finals of the National E-sports Championships (NESC) organized by Esports Federation of India (ESFI) where Charanjot prevailed by 4-1 and 6-5 in two games.
The two athletes will first be traveling to Seoul, South Korea for the seeding event set to take place from August 2 to August 6. Here are the supremely talented athletes who are on the cusp of scripting history as they prepare to represent their nation in Hangzhou:
The 20-year-old college student from Chandigarh describes himself as first, a football fanatic. “When I'm not playing FIFA on my console, I'm watching it on TV or I’m out on a field playing football,” he says, laughing. He's now one of two FIFA 22 players selected for the 16-player Esports contingent that will represent India at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Ranked as the no.1 FIFA 22 athlete in India, Charanjot has emerged as the winner of the ESL India Premiership twice, the ILG Cup Season 3, and triumphed in the AIFF e-Football Challenge twice, consistently proving his mettle within the Indian Gaming Circuit. He finished as the runner-up in the eISL last year and has also triumphed in the Esports Premiership India and Nostra Gaming competitions on two occasions.
Moving beyond India, Charanjot has displayed his skills internationally by winning the FGS Singapore Open, FGS South Asia Play-ins, FIFA eNations Asia Playoffs, and FAS eSports Championship. Moreover, he has proudly represented India in various locations such as Denmark, London (three times), Qatar, and Malaysia. His consistent success has led to India being ranked 6th in the world of FIFA esports.
It is interesting to note that Charanjot didn’t own a console until a few years ago and started playing on a friend’s desktop. It was after his first win, at the EA Road to Russia event in 2018, that his parents bought him his own. After seeing their son’s achievements till now, they now see Esports as a viable career option.
Karman Singh Tikka
Hailing from Delhi, Karman Singh, also known by his in-game name "tikkatown," is a talented 20-year-old FIFA 22 player that has made a name for himself within the competitive gaming community. Even though representing his country at the Asian Games in Hangzhou is 10 times more pressure than usual, Karman expects himself to come home from the tournament with a medal.
His self-belief and prominence in the game have helped him clinch 2 nd place in the inaugural Hero eISL and emerge as a champion in the 2 nd TEC Community Cup last year. Karman’s skills have also helped him secure the 1st place winner in the AIFF eFootball Challenge.
Qualifier as well as achieve a top-four finish in the ESL India Premiership Cup-8. Currently ranked 2064 in the Elite Division of the game, Karman's love for football extends beyond gaming. Having started watching football in 2009, he witnessed Chelsea's victory in the Premier League and immediately became their life-long supporter.
However, when it comes to FIFA 22, Karman has a preference for choosing Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) as his team of choice. “PSG boasts the best dribblers in the game, and I enjoy utilizing their skills and abilities to gain an edge on the virtual pitch,” says Karman. With his dedication, talent, and strategic brilliance, Karman has all the attributes to make the country proud and fulfill his dream at the Asian Games.