Tirth Mehta from Bhuj wins bronze in eSports category at Jakarta Games

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on September 02, 2018 Published on September 02, 2018

For those tempted to spend hours in front of a computer playing online games, there is reason to rejoice and do it even more! A 24-year-old lad from the sleepy town of Bhuj in Gujarat's Kutch district, has bagged a bronze medal at the Asian Games in an online card game.

Tirth Mehta created history in the country's Internet gaming arena by winning a bronze medal in an online cards game, under a newly-introduced eSports category at the Jakarta Games on August 31. A collective 30-card game, Hearthstone was one of the six selected games under the eSports category - introduced for the first time in the biggest multi-sports event of Asia.

Mehta, who defeated a Vietnamese player 3-2, played an aggressive match to recover from an early deficit of 0-2, by scoring a hat-trick in the 'best-of-five' match.

Hearthstone, developed and published by American video game company, Blizzard Entertainment, has garnered huge interest among online gamers from across Asia, including Japan, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, besides India. The game is a combination of chess and poker, requiring players to have core skills in maths and probability.

Even as awareness about the game and its penetration in India is limited, Mehta managed to qualify in the India qualifiers organised by the Electronic Sports Federation of India (ESFI). He went on to defeat players from Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the South Asian Qualifiers to make it to Jakarta.

The main event was carried out in a single elimination format, where losing a match resulted in elimination. Mehta defeated the player from Japan 3-2 to qualify for the semis, but lost to Hong Kong with a score of 2-3.

"It is a moment of pride for the entire nation, where online gaming is still considered a no-go area. Tirth's parents have been supportive in allowing him to pursue his dream to excel in gaming. He got his first computer with 512 MB RAM at the age of 8. Now he uses a sophisticated machine with a high-end graphics card and multiple Internet connections to stay online for about 15 hours a day. Tirth has proved that this, too, can be a rewarding career option," Daksh Mehta, elder brother of Tirth told BusinessLine.

Tirth has now set his sights on the Olympics and a gold medal in eSports. However, according to the Asian Games 2018 Organising Committee (INASGOC), eSports is still an exhibition tournament to 'test the market'. Hence, the medals won in these demonstration matches would not be calculated in the medals tally of the respective countries.

"However, this is a fight for gaming supremacy in Asia," President of INASGOC, Erick Thohir, said about the induction of eSports in the Asian Games.

A total of 18 countries qualified for the eSports tournament, which was held from August 26 to September 1 in Jakarta. These included Indonesia, Laos, Uzbekistan, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, China Taipei, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Pakistan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Thailand, India, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, and Iran.

Published on September 02, 2018

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.