MTV to broadcast India’s first eSports league

MTV to broadcast India’s first eSports league James Pickard

India’s first eSports league, UCypher, is set to be broadcast on MTV, confirms investor and organiser, Ronnie Screwvala.

It was announced in January that Screwvala, an Indian media and entertainment entrepreneur, had plans to invest around $15 million in setting up an eSports league in the country through his company, USports. It has now been announced that a deal has been struck with MTV to air the action from UCypher in an hour-long daily show.

“We want to increase the popularity and get more people to watch eSports. If we do a live telecast, it will be difficult to get non-gamers. Therefore, we have decided to package it smartly. We know the art of storytelling, which will make for good programming too,“ said Screwvala on the deal.

In addition, The Economic Indian Times reports that Screwvala’s company, USports, has signed with Valve to bring DOTA 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive to the tournament. That’s two of the three games, along with Clash of Clans, which were suggested to be at the competition back in January.

Six teams, making a grand total of 66 competitors, will battle it out for a shot at a prize pool of 50,000,000 rupees (£67,000) - a not so insignificant sum for eSports in the region. The tournament will run for 37 days, with a 15-17 day run up. As well as MTV, the company has also reached out to YouTube, YouTube Gaming and TwitchTV for broadcasting.

Screwvala added: “We are following a multi-platform approach. We want to build an audience first. Once the league is established, then only we will sell teams”.

UCypher is set to begin in April 2017.

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