In their quest of qualifying for the 15th World Esports Championships, India’s DOTA 2 team is gearing up to go all out against the top teams from the continent in the Asian LAN qualifiers taking place in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh.

A total of eight elite DOTA 2 teams will be competing in the Asian qualifiers for the prize pool of US$12,500 across two groups from 10 to 13 July. Team India led by captain Manav Kunte (mnz), alongside Vishal Vernekar (HBK), Abhishek Yadav (Abhi-), Shahbaz Hussain (PinkMaN) and Krish Gupta (Krish`) will begin their campaign against Mongolia and the Philippines on the opening day before going head-to-head with Kyrgyzstan on Day 2.

All group stage matches will be contested in the best-of-one format followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and grand finals which will be played in the best-of-three format. The champions will be rewarded with US$7000 in prize money with the second and third-placed teams being awarded US$3,500 and USD$2,000 respectively.

Talking about the preparations and goals of the unit, team captain Manav Kunte commented“Going into the Asian qualifiers, our goal is crystal clear: to qualify for the 15th World Esports Championships. The journey will be challenging against some of the best DOTA 2 outfits from Asia but we will go out all guns blazing and leave no room for errors. We are confident of our talent as a team and apart from our preparations, our team bonding as well as strategies will help us come out on top. Together, we strive to make our nation proud and qualify for the prestigious event.”

Having triumphed in the National Esports Championships (NESC) 2023, conducted by the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) earlier this year, the team made their way to the Asian qualifiers by defeating Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal in the South Asian qualifiers in May. The squad’s prominent players Vishal and Abhishek were also part of the historic DOTA 2 team that won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Esports Championships in 2022.

Esports Federation of India (ESFI) president Vinod Tiwari said, “Our DOTA 2 team has been working diligently in their preparation for the Asian qualifiers. They have shown exceptional dedication and commitment in order to excel against the top teams from Asia. Judging by the team’s performances in the NESC 2023 followed by the South Asian qualifiers we have no doubt that they will utilise their experience and expertise to ace these qualifiers. Everyone at ESFI wishes them the best of luck in their pursuit of victory.”

Following the DOTA 2 qualifiers, India’s male and female CS:GO teams will also begin with their Asian qualifiers. The male team’s qualifiers will take place from 13-17 July while the female team’s qualifiers will be held from 15-17 July.