2018 has been a year full of events and memories for Indian esport fans. While some of them seemed quite positive, others were not so much.

So let’s take a look at our country’s vibrant esport scene so far to draw our own conclusions of the achievements and things that need improving.

January – Investments Increase

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The first month of 2018, Indian esports acquired the attention of several corporations. A prime example is Nazara Games purchased a large number of NODWIN gaming’s shares.

NODWIN Gaming has long been the primary force that drives the development of Counter-Strike landscape in India. No one can deny the company’s effort to build a solid platform for the country’s CSGO’s advocates. It seems like the only obstacle that stood in between the firm and a larger number of events was the financial issue.

Others major changes in January include Route Mobile’s investment in Signify and Indiagames’s intention to put money into esports.

February – The Return Of The Legend

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Ate Gaming

Ate Gaming made a reputation for themselves from the time when Counter Strike 1.6 was so popular in India. They were also one of the first pioneers to let the world knows about Counter Strike in India. After disbanding in 2012, the team has been remaining inactive ever since.

With CSGO lineup, rumor has it that Ate is planning their return with a fair share of rising stars and seasoned players.

March – Mourning For Our Loss

March did not have any remarkable events whatsoever but it was a month full or grief as two prominent players in Dota 2 passed away in a tragic car accident when they were on their way back from a tournament.

Their death is a loss for all of the game’s fans and pro players as their career is on the rise and both of them had potential to go much further, especially when the Indian landscape is just beginning to thrive.

April – Dispute Going Hand In Hand With Opportunity

Dew Arena

NODWIN Gaming might be a big player in CSGO and they have contributed a lot to satisfy the game’s fans, but it does not mean it runs without problem.

What drew the public attention to a dark side of NODWIN was a Reddit thread, which claimed that the company stole the web design from Mountain Dew Arena India. After that, other late payments and wrongdoings of the company were also revealed.

However, the company took action to sort out all the disputes before things went too far.

May – A Powerful Army Was In Making

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Optic India

A major event occurred in this month was the tryout of Optic. It joined hand with Sostronk to realize the ambition to make a team of Indians. This plan aimed at further developing the local scene as well as expanding Optic’s limit.

The tryout attracted the attention of 1400 people. Sostronk then narrowed the list down to 80 and after the Closed Qualifiers in Bengaluru, the number of shortlisted candidates was only 8. Several noted names joined this most extensive tryout so fans have reasons to hope for a competent team that could make history for Indian CSGO scene.

June – Comeback And Restructure

While Marzil and Malhar, Entity star, did not participate in the ESL INDIA Summer Finale but they were in the event, maybe to observe their future opponents.

The event marks the return of Invictus as it was close to a defeat on Nuke, earned a win in Overtime, and resulted in the dismantling of Entity.

After ESL INDIA, Excali replaced Marzil’s place in Entity and Huntr took the place of Psy as he had to take time to recover from his Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which caused a disturbance in the team’s structure.

July – Legend Returned

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With Huntr and Excali left, Invictus’s future was in jeopardy.

While several fans projected that the team would disband, Invictus made a way for itself as it brought Blackhawk into the team. However, what stirred the CSGO community was the return of BinaryBugg. He was a big name when CS 1.6 was popular but has been putting up a struggle to restore his former glory so far.

August – Aggressive Effort

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As a gift to fans prior to FACEIT London Major, CSGO offline was free to play and those who wish to view the competition can do so with GOTV.

Optic India was moving fast and aggressive forward when they took measure to disband many teams including Entity, which is projected to be their toughest opponent in India. The firm also made their presence noticed at ZOWIE eXTREMELAND, making them a prominent candidate for Offline Qualifying Event.

September – Optic India To Compete In ZOWIE eXTREMELAND Asia 2018

Things were going on well for Optic India as they earned the slot of India in Closed Qualifier, which showed that they won fair and square. So later this year, Optic India would compete at ZOWIE eXTREMELAND Asia 2018 in Shanghai.

Fans hoped that Optic’s achievement would be one of many later on.

October – Deceive And Consequences

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Optic India’s win over Slaughter Rage Army had paved the way for the team to make it to eXTREMESLAND.

Fans put high hopes on optic as they proved to outperform South-East Asian teams. The worry their first defeat caused was quickly eased as they won Revolution, for which a Vietnamese talent played, on Inferno.

The next incident was a dreadful shock for both Indian and international CSGO fans.

The event’s organizers found Forsaken’s behavior questionable and then conducted an investigation to look into the problem. It turned out that he used hacks in the elimination match with Revolution, thus disqualified the whole Optic team.

Optic India’s consequences were severe as the team was dismantled and the entire Optic’s plan in India was canceled.

Of course, Forsaken had to pay for what he did. He was handed a 5-year ban and went through another investigation by the ESL INDIA. The outcome did not favor Forsaken either as he was proved using the same cheating method to win in ESL INDIA Fall Finale, which took a heavy toll on the whole Optic team.

This shameful incident also took away Optic’s slot in ESL Pro League Qualification. Since the team was no longer valid, Slaughter Rage Army and 2ez had to re-play and the latter gained their victory.

November – Recover

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2ez gaming

Former players of Optic finally got over the shocking cheat and found themselves new places. Haivaan is now in Ate Gaming and 2ex Gaming welcomed Antidote to their team. 2ez performed well in ESL Pro League Asian Closed Qualifiers, winning the map over Vici.

Entity was once again the most prominent team with their recruiting Dav and SoLo, two Serbian Pros. With two new members in their crew, Entity is working to realize their ambition to store hope for local fans.

December – Heading To The Future

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DreamHack Mumbai

Indian had prepared so much for DreamHack Mumbai when their hopes soon turned into disappointment when top teams did not join.

The event also caused dispute as the way the organizers reduced the ticket price made dedicated fans feel like they were ripped off. Later, the public found out that some people were forbidden to the events, which again, stirred up another controversy.

One of the few positive signs from DreamHack India was Signify. Despite their rush formation prior to the event, the team made it to the Grand Finals. They lost to Bravado but their performance gave the public hope that there would be a competent replacement for Optic India soon.

DreamHack Mumbai was NODWIN’s very first event of this magnitude and it, despite had lots of flaws, was a lesson so that future large occasions to be held.