Aiming to secure their berth at the 15th World Esports Championships (WEC), India’s male CS:GO outfit is gearing up to lock horns with prominent teams from Asia in the LAN qualifiers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 13-17 July. The top ten CS:GO teams from the continent will be split into two groups and compete against each other for a share of the US$ 12,500 prize pool from 10-13 July.

Being placed in Group A, Team India comprising skipper Harsh Ranjeet Jain (f1redup), Mohammed Sadab Khan (SKwow), Nikhil Hiraman Kathe (N1kace), Jaspreet Singh (SpanwN), Piyush Dharampal Kalwania (clouda) and substitute Omkar Thube (omkar09) will kick off their campaign against Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia on the opening day before taking on Iran on the second day.

While the group stage matches will be played in the best-of-one format, the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and grand finals will all be played in the best-of-three format. Only six of the ten teams will qualify for the 15th WEC with the champions being rewarded with US$7000 in prize money. The second and third-placed teams will each be awarded with US$3,500 and US$2,000 respectively.

Commenting ahead of the qualifiers, team captain Harsh Jain said, “As the captain of the team, I have full faith in our collective talent, dedication, and strategic prowess. We are ready to square off against any team from the continent and showcase our skills. Our goal is to not only qualify for the grand finals in Romania but also leave a mark on the global stage and bring pride to our country. We express our sincere gratitude to ESFI for providing us with this golden opportunity and assure everyone that we will give our all and strive for victory.”

The talented team prevailed in the National Esports Championships (NESC) 2023, conducted by the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) earlier this year by toppling the two-time NESC champions Team Wicked Gaming in the finals. Following that, the team advanced to the South Asian qualifiers where they outclassed Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and arch-rivals Pakistan to progress to the Asian Qualifiers.

“It brings us immense pride to have witnessed the rise of our CS:GO team from their stunning performances at the NESC 2023 to their qualification for the Asian,” said Esports Federation of India president Vinod Tiwari. “The team’s domination in the South Asian qualifiers is a testament to the players’ commitment and talent. We have full confidence in their abilities to replicate their successful performances against the leading Asian teams. We wish them the best of luck to the team as they aim to seal their place for the WEC 2023 and hope that their journey not only inspires aspiring gamers but also showcases the immense talent India has to offer in esports.”