Rohit Thakur has been participating in eSports tournaments in India for the last 12 years Image: Facebook
Mumbai's Rohit Thakur will be representing India in the Roland Garros e-Series — the eSports counterpart of the French Open organised by BNP Paribas in association with the French Tennis Federation. Rohit beat the competition in the national finals on May 5.
Rohit has been participating in gaming competitions for the last 12 years and has won several FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) tournaments. Despite specialising in football-related video games, Rohit has never been shy about participating in other games such as Mortal Kombat and WWE. And Saturday turned out to be his lucky day after he came out on top to earn the right to represent India in Paris.
Rohit's achievement is particularly memorable because of the unique format of the qualification. It was the first time that the qualifier for an international tournament was held on a demo version of a game. None of the participants had played Tennis World Tour — the game in question — before, but it didn't stop tennis fans from different parts of the country to fly in for a chance to represent their country on the hallowed grounds of Roland Garros. The full version of Tennis World Tour game will release on May 22.
There were only six players one could choose from, and most of the participants chose Stan Wawrinka since he was the best available option.
Rohit, who decided to participate at the very last moment and spent Rs 16,000 to fly down to Delhi, was ecstatic with his victory. "I am good in real-life sports and I try to bring that to the virtual world. I was waiting for a tennis game to be in a competitive scene for years. I am glad to have participated in an event which was managed so well. I have never played such a difficult tournament where you just have a few minutes to learn the controls and adapt. But that worked in my favour as I adapt well to conditions," he told T2 Online after the event.
Rohit will represent India at the Roland Garros e-series final on May 25 at the famous Roland Garros stadium and will play against winners from seven other countries — France, China, Brazil, Great Britain, Belgium, Italy and Spain. The pilot tournament will also mark the entry of a tennis-based eSports tournament.
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