ESports Premier League (ESPL) has announced Hyderabad as the first city to unveil its franchise-based league team in the inaugural edition, starting from June 16. The team from The City of Pearls has been named Hyderabad Hydras. ESPL has also roped in popular Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff to power the league and to take the Esports fervor into the mainstream.
The revolutionary ESPL and the country’s first-ever franchise-based team Hyderabad Hydras—aims to cultivate Esports enthusiasts across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana through a concrete roadmap of events. Starting with the nationwide mega tournament with lakhs of registrations in the highly competitive Season 1 of ESPL. Here, ESPL will filter out the top 88 teams from the open tournament and invite the top 8 professional Free Fire Esports teams to the mix. This mixture of 96 teams will compete for the final 8 teams that will progress to the final stage and represent eight cities/state teams from across the country.
Chequered Flag Sports, a consortium between Sirish Kumar, Prasad Mangipudi, and Aashwij Ravulawill be the owners of Hyderabad Hydras and the only team to be bought in Season 1.
“I’m incredibly happy to welcome CFS and Tiger Shroff on board. I believe these associations, at a relatively very early stage of ESPL, will bolster our mission to take Esports to greater heights and give it the deserved high-octane launch. We initially had plans to market all the franchise teams and get the franchises monetized from the second season onwards, but CFS who are also one of the first movers in the space aims to promote strong sporting culture at the grassroots and association in Andhra and Telangana with its thriving community of gamers with ESPL right from the inception. We believe having such committed stakeholders right at the beginning of the journey will help the league to strengthen the platform and bring forward a great Esports league which is financially sustainable as well as have the right people joining the movement,” said Vishwalok Nath, Director of ESPL.
Besides Hyderabad Hydras, teams will be represented by cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and states of Punjab, and Rajasthan from the next season of the league. India’s greatest Esports league ESPL has teamed up with Garena to create this exclusive gaming platform for their most popular battle royale game Free Fire in India.
While entering the growing Esports market in India, CFS plans to establish itself as one of the premier gaming and Esports groups to represent the country on the global stage. “This is our first property, and we plan to gradually expand in multiple Esports platforms across different games. Through Hyderabad Hydras and ESPL, we will spot potential talents and further nurture and prepare them for the international level like it is for other sports leagues,” said Aashwij Ravula, CEO Hyderabad Hydras.
Prasad Mangipudi, Director of Hyderabad Hydras, who is also the moving force behind the Premier Badminton League—one of the most Sought-after badminton league currently in the world, said, “Esports is a huge emerging opportunity and with world’s largest youth population, Esports ecosystem is going to explode in the next decade. Like every other industry, Esports will also see a lot of corporates driving this growth and Chequered Flag Sports will play its role in professionalizing and as a first mover in the Esports industry.”
The matches will be streamed on OTT giant Disney+ Hotstar alongside official YouTube and Facebook channels of India Today and Aaj Tak and its websites. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Season 1 will be held virtually over two and a half months. It will also feature a prize pool worth Rs. 25 lakhs where the winner takes home a sum of Rs. 12 lakhs while second and third-placed teams will take home Rs. 6 lakhs and Rs. 3 lakhs, respectively.
To participate in the league, gaming enthusiasts and gamers can register themselves on www.indiatodaygaming.com/espl