First wow left to right: Kartikeya Behl, Sujay Arasu, Sudin Dinesh, Nikhil, Ahmad, Anish, Samir Second row left to right: Debotpal, Faraz, Lokmanyu, Manpreet, Saksham, Sean John, Sidd, Vijay Image: Tapasri Saha
Competitive gaming or eSports took India by storm in 2017 and EA Sports's FIFA has very much been at the forefront of the ongoing gaming revolution in the country. The rapid strides made in the scene can, perhaps, be best-exemplified with Kartikeya Behl's triumph at the AFGC Championship in Thailand, where he became the first Indian to win an international FIFA event.
However, its not only Kartikeya who is capable of carrying the torch into the global FIFA scenes. A host of talented fifa gamers have made their mark in the past year. T2 Online takes a look at 15 of the best India has to offer.
Before becoming a famous pro FIFA player, Behl was actively involved in the FIFA eSports scene as an organizer, working closely with pro players in the industry. His first brush with success came when he won a local FIFA tournament in Delhi followed by a participation in the (Asian Football Gaming Championship) AFGC FIFA tournament in August 2017. And the rest, as they say, is history. He took the entire nation by storm when he won the AFGC Championship in Thailand, becoming the first Indian to win an international eSports event. Behl is renowned for his composure and comeback plays, which saw him climb to the no. 1 ranking in Asia for FIFA 17.
Sujay, a part of the Chennai FIFA Union, is a two-time FIFA Ultimate Championship Winner and a national level FIFA 17 champion. He has represented India in the ESports World Convention (ESWC) in Paris and AFGC, Thailand. He's well known for his box to box gameplay and is one of the rare Indian skillers in the game.
Sudin started playing FIFA back in 2008 out of passion for the actual game of football. What started as a pastime soon turned into a lot more and he started participating in various tournaments in and around his home city of Chennai. His resolve grew even stronger in 2013, after watching some top Indian FIFA players in action in a tournament.
His first big tourney win came in 2014, when he won the FIFA Ultimate Championship event in Chandigarh and there was no looking back. Sudin won the ESWC India qualifiers in 2015 and went on to represent India in the main event in Paris. He also won the AFGC India qualifiers in the same year and represented India in the main event in Singapore and finished 4th overall. Sudin is currently playing for team Dare2Dream and regarded as one of the best in the country.
Sameer Shaikh aka DEADSHOT started playing Fifa since FIFA 16. The gamer from Pune likes to play possession style football and is a brilliant in-game tactician. He has been a semi-finalist in Fifa Ultimate Championship and has also qualified for AFGC nationals.
Sameer has also won several other online and offline tournaments like GamingMonk Silver Series and the Playx Pro Tournament.
Saksham Rattan is a Pune-based gamer who burst onto the FIFA scene by reaching finals in the very first tournament he participated in and winning the next offline tournament. Since then, he has won GamingMonk FIFA championship and various other tournaments.
Syed Faraaz realised his passion for FIFA ever since he played his first game back in 2006. He is a part of the Bangalore FIFA Club and has been dominating the Bangalore FIFA scene for some time now.
A 21-year-old lad from New Delhi is a semi-professional footballer player and hopes to make it big in the FIFA realm. Lokmanyu burst into the FIFA scene with a shock victory over Sean John, one of the best players in India, in a FIFA 17 tournament and the journey has been upwards ever since. He won a handful of tournaments like the GamingMonk, an offline GFC tournament and various others.
After a great showing in FIFA 17, Lokmanyu has already made a mark in FIFA 18 after winning the first GamingMonk GCS in Delhi. He will definitely be a player to watch in 2018.
Nikhil Nair is a Bangalore based gamer who plays for Bangalore Fifa Club. He has represented India at Singapore in a tournament organized by the Singapore government and has won tournaments like the Ultimate Battle All India League, GamingMonk FIFA Championship and shared the first place in the FIFA Ultimate Championship.
With prodigious talent and an unadulterated will to win, 17-year-old Siddh Chandarana can battle with the best of them. The teenager has built quite a reputation for himself in the Indian FIFA scene and has already won three major titles.
Known for his counter-attacking style of play and a rock solid defense, Anish has won several FIFA events till date, including the prestigious HK Cup. He has also represented India in
two AFGC events- Malaysia in 2013 and Thailand in 2017.
Sean hails from Bangalore and comes with a huge reputation. He is considered the king of online tournaments in India and has won many FIFA 17 online tournaments last year.
The FIFA wiz from Chandigarh is best known for his unpredictable passing game and a rock-solid defence. He is one of the most consistent performers in the circuit over the past two years. His achievements include FIFA Ultimate Championship co-op winner in 2016, runner-up in 2017, ESWC India top 8 finish, and three PlayX championships.
Ahamed is based out of Bangalore and started playing from FIFA 2004. He has won various FIFA events throughout the country and has been a semi-finalist in the ESWC India qualifiers. He is known for his calm buildup play and solid defence.
The lad from Kolkata has been the national finalist in Eswc India twice and has been a consistent performer in online and offline events in India. His performance in the Gaming Pro Team Championship helped his team TDS clinch the title in Delhi.
The FIFA veteran from Chennai started his journey from World Cyber Games (WCG ) 2007 Chennai qualifiers and have performed consistently over time. He represented India in AFGC Singapore in 2015 and won many tournaments in Chennai.
Do note, the list is in no way exhaustive and the names are not arranged in any particular order.