Hyderabad-based esports organisation Velocity Gaming has been revealed as the final franchise for India’s esports league Skyesports Masters.

The Skyesports Masters is set to happen across two stages: the League stage and the LAN Playoffs. The League Stage will span multiple weeks from 8 July to 17 August as the eight teams compete in a double round-robin format. Only the top four, though, will be able to make it to the Playoffs, set to happen as an on-ground tournament on 26 and 27 August to crown the inaugural Skyesports Masters champions.

Velocity Gaming founder and CEO Manoj Kasyap said, “Counter-Strike has always been an interesting esports title, and while it hasn’t been able to grow exponentially in India, I believe the Skyesports Masters is the first step to making that happen. Skyesports has also managed to make this event very viable in the long run for franchised teams. I believe this is the first time in Indian esports something like this is happening. We don’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity.”

Velocity Gaming has prioritised experience as it prepares to unleash a fight for the Rs 2,00,00,000 prize pool. The roster consists of the following players:

  • Bodhisattwa “The_Guru” Panday
  • Dipayan “MaChOleleR” Das
  • Tamajit “Logan” Ghosal
  • Keven “KevinR” Ross Russel
  • Muhammad “Syahhftw” Shyarul Daneal Bin Arif
  • Thomas “TAV” Kurian
  • Nairit “L0sttt” Banerjee

The roster is primarily composed of players scouted from the Skyesports Masters cafe qualifiers. Velocity Gaming acquired the squad of RDX which won the Kolkata cafe qualifier. The cafe qualifiers are a grassroots-level initiative by Skyesports which happened across 20 cities of the country to boost CS:GO and scout for potential talent.

Headlining the experienced roster is KevinR, the veteran US import who has been competing professionally since 2004 and has numerous international accolades. The rest of the team is also highly accomplished as the squad has earned several top-three finishes in different tournaments, including competitions by ESL and the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM).

Skyesports founder and CEO Shiva Nandy said, “Velocity Gaming is a name synonymous with PC esports in India. It’d be an injustice to organise India’s biggest gaming tournament without the organisation. I am thrilled that Manoj and Velocity believe in our vision for the Skyesports Masters and Counter-Strike. Their involvement is a testament to the potential and longevity of the league.”