First row (L-R): Aman, Siddh, Saransh, Rohit, Nihal, Kartikeya, Joy Second row (L-R): Dushyant, Abhisek, Divyansh, Faisal, Karikalan, Karthik, Dhruv Image: Tapasri Saha
The Indian qualifiers for the Asian Football Gaming Championship (AFGC) 2018 are almost finalised and we already have 15 of the 16 FIFA players who will duke it out in the national finals in Kolkata for a chance to represent their country at the AFGC grand finals in Singapore.
15 winners from different cities have already booked their place in the national finals, with the final player due to be selected on June 23 from Kolkata. The national finals get underway in the City of Joy on Sunday, June 24, to determine India's representative to Asia's most prestigious FIFA gaming tournament.
The AFGC grand finals will take place in Marina Bay, Singapore, from July 13 to 15. Total 24 players from 13 different Asian countries will face off to win a prize pool $2500 (Rs 1.70 lakh) and, of course, the title of Asia's best.
Kartikeya Behl will be the favourite to clinch the honour. After all, the Delhi boy is the reigning AFGC champion, having won last year's event in Thailand, becoming the first Indian gamer to win an international FIFA event. But the 20-year-old will have tough competition in veteran Abhishek Mondal, who represented India in the 2013 AFGC in Malaysia.
Incidentally, the AFGC grand finals in Singapore will be held on the same day the FIFA World Cup 2018 concludes in Russia.
Before they fight it out in the nationals, T2 Online quizzed some of the 15 players about their favourite teams from the ongoing World Cup. Mumbai winner Rohit Thakur and Sidh Chandana are supporting Spain, while Bangalore winner Nihal Thomas is supporting Portugal. The other two winners from Bangalore, Divyansh Kumar and Md Faisal, are supporting France. Aman Warsi of Dehradun, Saransh Jain of Pune, Dushyant Tomar of Bhubaneswar, and Kolkata winners Joy Guha and Abhishek Mondal are rooting for Argentina.
Karthik Kalimuthu of Chennai and Kartikeya Behl of Delhi are supporting Belgium. Chennai and Delhi runners-up Karikalan and Dhruv Kumar are cheering for England.