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India’s first televised esports tournament looks like a blast

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A partnership with MTV India certainly has something to do with that

The Overwatch League isn’t the only new esports competition launching in 2018. Perhaps you’ve seen the #HumGamerHain hashtag floating around on Twitter, along with a flashy music video. It’s all part of the campaign to promote the U Cypher Championship, India’s first televised esports tournament.

So far, the tournament’s “title track,” produced in partnership with MTV India, has been viewed more than 320,000 times on YouTube with another 30 thousand views on Twitter.

The video itself is a joyous spectacle. We reached out to the tournament organizers to learn a little bit more about the event itself.

The U Cypher Championship is being run by U Sports, a company out of Mumbai known not only for owning a professional kabaddi team, but also for its investments in soccer and motorsports. They tell Polygon that the U Cypher Championship is their first effort in esports, with the the goal of raising the profile of competitive video gaming throughout India.

The tournament brings together six different Indian teams to compete across three different platforms: PC, consoles and mobile. Games include Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Tekken 7 and Real Cricket 17. Teams compete in a round-robin format, and matches are being broadcast on MTV India as 35 one-hour episodes.

“This would perhaps be a game changer in the way esports is perceived in our country,” said Amar Ratnam, U Sports’ assistant manager of esports. “For the first time it is being broadcast on television, which will bring not only scale but also educate the young generation of aspiring or casual gamers to take up the sport professionally.”

Teams of 14 are competing for a prize pool of around $80,000. The final broadcast is scheduled for Feb. 22. If you want to follow along, all episodes will be shared on YouTube and broadcast via Twitch.