Seven state ministers unveil franchise teams for Esports Premier League 2021; final leg of ESPL kickstarts today

The Esports Premier League (ESPL) has finalised the top eight teams as the ultimate face off in the inaugural edition of the nation-wide Esports league is set to begin on 16 August. State ministers from seven regions launched their respective franchise team names, logos, and jerseys.

While the esports industry has been in quest to gain legitimacy and recognition from the government, involvement and acceptance from the government at this level to the tournament is a giant stride for Esports industry in India.

“To have the best gamers from across the country representing final eight franchise teams as well as their team’s official jersey being unveiled by the state ministers is a matter of absolute honor and pride. Even in its inaugural edition, ESPL has received exceptional response from the Esports community, the players and the audience,” said ESPL director Vishwalok Nath.

Here is the complete list of ministers and personalities that unveiled teams representing their respective states:
1. Govt. Of Telangana minister of sports & youth services V. Srinivas Goud

2. Govt. of Maharashtra minister of sports and youth welfare Sunil Chhatrapal Kedar

3. Govt. of Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia

4. Govt. Of West Bengal minister of department of youth services and sports Manoj Tiwary

5. Govt. of Karnataka minister of department of youth empowerment and sports department of planning K.C. Narayana Gowda

6. Govt. of Rajasthan minister of sports & youth affairs (Independent charge) Ashok Chandna

7. Govt. of Punjab minister of sports and youth affairs Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi

8. Radio jockey, director, sports broadcaster, and writer based out of Chennai RJ Balaji

The final eight franchises teams and the players were chosen through a draft process. And the teams that are qualified through various stages of the competition for the draft process include BADGE99, Total Gaming, 4 UNKNOWN, TSM FTX, No Chance, AFF Esports, Head Hunters, and TWO SIDE GAMERS. Each of these teams were picked to represent a city team and in the final stage during the draft, popular influencers and esports gamers were roped in to conduct the process.

The eight franchise teams are Punjab Paladins, Chennai Celestials, Delhi Dukes, Hyderabad Hydras, Kolkata Kaijus, Rajasthan Reapers, Mumbai Marshals, and Bangalore Ballistics.

Below is the complete list of players of all these teams who will represent the respective state teams:
BADGEE99 will represent Kolkata Kaijus

Hriteek Ranjan
Muhammed Faizal. N
Prahast Garg
Azmal Akhtar Choudhury
Yogesh Buchale

Total Gaming will represent Hyderabad Hydras

Ajay Sharma
Vora Hetkumar
Daksh Garg
Narai Yadav
Anshul Rawat

4 UNKNOWN will represent Rajasthan Reapers

Swastik Madhukar Dushing
Anand Madhukar Dushing
Radhe Thakor
Vadehr Anil Devashibhai
Mohd Zuber

AFF Esports will represent Delhi Dukes

Owais Bhati
Kanishk Verma
Rahil Katoch
Pavan Adwani
Arpit Tyagi

TWO SIDE GAMERS will represent Bengaluru Ballistics

Ritik Jain
Ojasvi Kamra
Vihan Datta
Bhavesh Lakhwani
No Chance will represent Chennai Celestials

Devesh Chauhan
Aritra Adak
Priyanshu Kumar
Soumya Sundar

TSM FTX will represent Mumbai Marshals

Sagar Patel
Indranil Saha
Jayesh Yadav
Naitik Khosto
Asjad Khateeb

Head Hunters will represent Punjab Paladins

Satyam Thakur
Md. Abdul Moghni
Aasim Usama
Jatin Taneja
Priyanshu Halder Saha

ESPL 2021, which began on 16 June, will see the athletes competing in the popular battle royale game Free Fire as the winners will have Rs 25 lacs prize money to win.

This final phase has lot more in store and a spectacle series of matches and exciting live-action will be streamed on Disney+ Hotstar, Free Fire’s official streaming platform Booyah and Malayalam OTT platform Koode alongside official YouTube and Facebook channels of India Today and Aaj Tak and its websites.