On the 14th of March, 2017, a meeting with the players was addressed by Supratik Sen(CEO of USports) and Ronnie Screwvala who put forward their vision, goals and expectations from UCypher. There was a lot of focus and emphasis on how season 1 would be a testing ground for everyone, including the organizers and the players, but with the financial backing and long term vision that someone like Mr.Screwvala has, it isn’t hard to imagine that this format and show being renewed for future seasons. Here’s everything we know so far about the much anticipated televised Indian esports league.
The prize pool is expected to be somewhere around 50 lakhs INR (approx. USD 76,300), and all the 6 teams will receive a cut. The winners will receive the lion’s share.
A total of 72 players have been handpicked to take part in the 1st season. They consist of 36 Dota players and 36 CS:GO players who have been selected by the UCypher team. While all the slots haven’t been filled yet, we did spot members from Team Brutality, SemperX/Destructive 5 and old school Dota veterans like ex Oblique Gaming and NeckBREAK players - Remstar, Acrid and Cyberhen who haven’t played competitively for a while now.
The first season will focus on Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive but there could be a console game or a mobile game or both thrown into the mix as well.
Each game will have 6 teams competing against each other in the league. Players will be drafted into these teams in a style similar to the NBA or the IPL. Each team will include a Dota 2 and a CS GO squad of 6 players each. Player selection will be as follows :
- Out of the total pool of 72 players, 6 captains will be selected by UCypher.
- These captains will then select players for their Dota 2 and CS GO squads.
- Each squad will consist of 12 players (CS:GO, Dota2 & console/mobile gamers + a couple of substitutes).
Initially all the participating teams and franchises will be owned and managed by UCypher, with plans of eventually selling the rights for franchise ownership in future seasons to celebrities and corporate houses. Teams will also have distinct jerseys created for them to wear, which should give the entire show a very sporty look/feel.
What is interesting here that even though you might see existing team mates being drafted into separate teams, they will still be allowed to play with their teams in other leagues and tournaments when UCypher isn’t being played out. This puts all rumours about players having to sign exclusivity contracts with UCypher to rest.
Episodes for the first season will be aired on MTV.The focus will be to target the younger demographic and put the focus on esports and gaming as a whole, which has largely been ignored in India.
This will be a platform for players to get their name out there, make a brand for themselves and provide them an opportunity to turn something they love into a real full time profession. Finding, engaging and monetizing a new audience is something that Ronnie Screwvala has successfully accomplished in the past via a sport like Kabaddi. It remains to be seen if his midas touch can work its charm on Indian esports!
For more details on the UCypher League’s announcement, check out our announcement article.
To know more about all upcoming Indian Esports tournaments in 2017, click HERE.