It's time to get excited, Indian football and esports fans! The second season of the eISL is set to begin in 2023, and this time around, it's going to be bigger and better than ever before.
The Indian Super League (ISL) is the only major sports league in India featuring an official football eSports competition. The second season will commence in February 2023 and will come to an end in May with the final to decide the champion. The league provides an opportunity for budding Indian eSports athletes to showcase their talent and with the winner getting a chance to face-off against the world's best.
All 11 Hero ISL clubs are set to take part in the upcoming season, with 22 esports athletes representing them through the retention policy and club qualifiers. Each club can hold onto one player from the prior season and the online club qualifiers will be held between January 10th and 15th, 2023. 11 online qualifiers will be held - to ensure each club has two eSports athletes on their roster for the second season.
Participants aged 16 and above are eligible to register for the qualifiers on ESL Play. Boasting an impressive 62 matches in a 1 vs 1 format, the entire league phase will be played online. The playoffs, as well as the finale, will be played out as a LAN event, with the victor being officially entered into the EA SPORTS FIFA 23 GLOBAL SERIES (FGS) Play-in tournament.
Announcing the second season of eISL, FSDL spokesperson said, “We are extremely excited to announce the second edition of eISL in association with EA SPORTSTM and NODWIN Gaming. With eISL, we have created a highly interactive experience leveraging the evolving football consumption trends in conjunction with the rapidly growing esports industry.” “Celebrating the success of the first season, we look forward to offering yet another exciting season of eISL as we continue to engage with our young football fans.”
The first season of the eISL ran concurrent with the 2021-22 Hero ISL season. The tournament was an exhilarating and enjoyable event for both football and eSports enthusiasts, featuring nearly 2,000 contenders competing for a spot in the inaugural season.
“We are delighted to welcome eISL back to EA SPORTS FIFA Global Series this season," said Sam Turkbas, EA SPORTS FIFA Esports Commissioner. "The eISL tournament embodies the best of Indian football and esports, with incredible competition increasing community engagement at all levels.”
Mr. Akshat Rathee, MD & Co-Founder, NODWIN Gaming, said, "We are delighted to host FSDL’s second edition of eISL. Football is passionately loved and followed by fans across the world and organising the esports variant of the game is super exciting for us. More so, because the winners of this series will get the opportunity of a lifetime to take part in the FIFA Global Series Play-in tournament.”
The eSports industry has been growing at a rapid pace as we continue to see an increase in the number of teams and players from last year. The second season of ISL further reiterates our intent to invest heavily in the burgeoning Indian eSports industry, as we look forward to welcoming our participants in January of 2023 for the Season qualifiers.
Key dates for the 2022-23 Hero eISL season:
Qualifiers: January 10th -15th, 2023
League starts: February 2023