Esports Premier League (ESPL), the country’s first-ever franchise-based Esports league, has finalised the top eight teams for the inaugural edition of the nationwide league, it was announced on Monday.
The eight franchise teams are – Punjab Paladins, Chennai Celestials, Delhi Dukes, Hyderabad Hydras, Kolkata Kaijus, Rajasthan Reapers, Mumbai Marshals and Bangalore Ballistics.
The franchise team names, logos, and jerseys were launched by the state ministers of these respective states.
“To have the best gamers from across the country representing final eight franchise teams as well as their team’s official jersey being unveiled by the state ministers is a matter of absolute honour and pride. Even in its inaugural edition, ESPL has received exceptional response from the Esports community, the players and the audience,” said Vishwalok Nath, Director, ESPL, in a statement on Monday.
The respective franchises were unveiled by V. Srinivas Goud, Minister of Sports & Youth Services, Telangana; Sunil Chhatrapal Kedar, Minister of Sports and Youth Welfare, Maharashtra; Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, Delhi; Manoj Tiwary, Minister of Department of Youth Services and Sports, West Bengal; KC Narayana Gowda, Minister of Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports Department of Planning, Karnataka; Ashok Chandna, Minister of Sports & Youth Affairs (Independent charge), Rajasthan; Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Punjab, and RJ Balaji, Radio jockey, director, sports broadcaster, and writer based out of Chennai.
The final eight franchises teams and the players were chosen through a draft process. And the teams that are qualified through various stages of the competition for the draft process include BADGE99, Total Gaming, 4 UNKNOWN, TSM FTX, No Chance, AFF Esports, Head Hunters, and TWO SIDE GAMERS.
Each of these teams was picked to represent a city team and in the final stage during the draft, popular influencers and Esports gamers were roped in to conduct the process.