With the Asian Games 2022 just around the corner, India’s star Street Fighter V athletes are all set to prove their mettle on the big stage as they battle it out for favourable seeding at the tournament against notable athletes from East and South Asia at the two-day seeding event that will take place in Hangzhou from 22 July.
Two of the country’s biggest names in the title, Mayank Prajapati (MiKeYROG) and Ayan Biswas (AYAN01) will face opponents from Pakistan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Chinese Taipei in their seeding event fixtures starting. There will be a total of 15 countries that will be going head-to-head against each other in Street Fighter V at Asian Games 2022 from 23 September to 8 October 2023.
Prajapati said, “Competing against some of the world’s best players will be a huge opportunity for me not just to showcase my skills but also analyse my opponents’ tactics for the big event in Hangzhou. I have been dedicating countless hours to perfect my moves and refine my gameplay to get a favourable seeding that will increase my chances of securing a podium finish. A special mention to ESFI for providing me with this golden opportunity and the equipment to fulfil my dream of representing India at a major multi-sport event. I hope to make the country proud with my performances.”
Introducing the duo that will compete against 14 other nations to clinch what will be the biggest medal in Indian Esports history:
The 32-year-old interior designer from Delhi carefully scheduled his day so that he could look after his two-year-old son, work on his design projects, and spend at least four to five hours a night practising his moves in the multiplayer online game.
The hours of dedication helped him win a spot on the India squad. “My wife accompanies me to my games and is my biggest supporter,” he said. He started playing the game in 2009, after he purchased it accidentally and then fell in love with it. “Whenever my relatives ask what I do for a living, my mother proudly forwards them videos from my wins at Dreamhack Delhi 2019.” He has won Best of the Best tournament for Nodwin in 2015, and also secured the Top 16 position in Intel Qualifiers for South East Asian Countries.
Prajapati is prepping for China by studying the moves of players he expects to encounter at the tournaments. “We don’t get to play against too many international players but I get my friends to challenge me with unexpected moves and strategies.”
1st in Dreamhack December 2019 (Delhi)
2nd in Dew Arena May 2019 (Delhi)
4th in Dreamhack November 2018 (Mumbai)
4th in Proving Grounds 2018 (Bengaluru)
1st in Best of the Best 2015 Ultra Street Fighter-4 (Gurgaon)
Top 16 – Intel World Open SEA Region (Jun, 21)
1st in Esportz Premiere League Qualifier 2
3rd in Esportz Premiere League Finals
Coming from the quaint town of Birnagar, Biswas has battled the odds, and stereotypes and become a force to be reckoned with in Street Fighter V. From a young age, Ayan found solace in video games but he had to work his way up as he embarked on his journey in his beloved title.
“Being unaware of the game’s mechanics when I started, I was losing almost all of my games online. So, I began watching skilled players and studying how they played the game. After that, I experimented with different tactics to create my own ideas and focused on improving my skills. I have to admit, it was tough to learn, and I even played the game for more than five hours a day at times,” said Biswas.
His dedication and countless hours in training allowed him to cater to his passion for esports, enabling him to master the title of Street Fighter V. In the realm of Indian esports, he claimed the top spot in both the Dew Arena and Dreamhack Mumbai in 2018 followed by victory in the India Esports tournament in 2020. Going beyond the borders, he earned a well-deserved top-16 finish at the Intel World Open SEA Region tournament 2021, demonstrating his talent on the international stage. Currently in the Super Diamond rank in-game, Biswas’ favourite character in the game is Birdie followed by Bison and Akuma. His focus and desire to excel are the driving forces behind his aspirations at the Asian Games in Hangzhou. “I may be one player among many, but I carry the hopes and dreams of my country and every aspiring gamer who dares to dream and I want to do justice to that,” he said.
2nd Dreamhack Delhi December 2019
1st – Dew Arena October 2018
1st Dreamhack – Mumbai December 2018
1st INDIA ESPORTS August 2020
Top 16 – Intel World Open SEA Region June 2021