U Sports, founder Ronnie Screwvala and co-founder and managing director Supratik Sen has announced the second phase of its proposition in esports, with a competitive esports team named U Geist. U Geist represents the ‘Spirit of Gaming’.
Talking about U Geist, Ronnie Screwvala, says, “esports is the most exciting new age phenomenon that enthrals and entertains the present-day youth and masses alike. esports has tremendous potential to make it big in India. We were the one of the first to identify the potential in this space in India and put in place U Cypher Season 1 which was broadcast on TV in 2018. This gave us an in-depth understanding that India does have good talent that once nurtured can make it big as a team in global eSports. While in some parts of the world it has already evolved and become highly competitive for a while now, we thought it was about time Indian players begin to make their mark too! U Geist has some of the best players in the country and the endeavour for them is to carve out their space nationally and internationally.”
While esports is an evolving space in India, the plan is to create competitive teams, at present starting with CS: GO, DOTA 2, PUBG Mobile, FIFA, League of Legends and Fortnite. The teams will be participating across various national and international tournaments.
Supratik Sen, is very optimistic about this venture. “esports is the new frontier in sports and entertainment. The years ahead will see the boundaries blur between the competitive physical sport and mind sport – as all sport involves body and mind. In this case its more mind than the body. And that is why we as a company are uniquely positioned as one of the very few companies in the world that are involved with multiple physically played sports and at the same time esports. As one of the company’s key objective is, we always want to provide the best opportunities for budding athletes to showcase their talent and compete at various levels. This led us to creating our own teams, not only in field sports but now also in esports! We begin with a CS: GO team and will gradually launch teams in the other games within the next few months. I must add that Season 2 of U Cypher is in the pipeline and will also involve the making of a competitive esports platform for competitions and online video games (individual or multiplayer) to facilitate the identification of best esports talent in India”.
U Geist will first launch with the CS: GO team with Amar Ratnam as its Team Principal. His vast experience in esports will also make him the mentor for all the teams and for the CS: GO game, captain and coach. The other members of the team are Ritesh Shah and Akshay Sinkar who were part of the U Cypher Season 1 along with Anish Singh and Varun Menon. Ritesh, Akshay and Amar were part of the formidable Counter Strike team called ATE Gaming which dominated India’s Counter Strike game scene for over eight years between 2005 to 2012. The old members will re-unite under U Geist and play their first match in end April at ESL India Premiership. The organisation will pick lead players in all the other game disciplines.
U Geist Team Principal and CS: GO captain and coach Amar Ratnam says, “I’m excited to be back in the gaming scene. With U Geist, we want to bring some of the best esports athletes under one roof. These are exciting times, and we hope to become one of the top teams in the country. I will be supported by Jason Nath and Vibhav Rao in the marketing, planning and operations of the esports teams.”
Supratik Sen adds on managing the team, “With the launch of U Geist, we will also ensure, players get the proper facilities, equipment, training and conditioning that athletes in other sports disciplines receive. The idea is to take some aspects of mental and physical conditioning from our other sports into esports. As esports is not only a game of skill and strategy, but also mental endurance. The plan is to enhance all of these facets and more so that they can perform not only at national but also at international levels reaching top honours.”
U Geist has already got Red Gear as a ‘Powered By’ sponsor on board and are in talks with many other brands. Redwood Interactive Founder and MD Sameer Mehta says “At Redgear, we’ve always wanted to partner with U Sports, a front-runner in eSports. They share the same mission as us, to help talented esports athletes. We’re very excited about this partnership as we see a lot of synergy in U Geist and Redgear. We wish the team’s best of luck and hope to win some tournaments in the coming months!”