For the 2nd consecutive year, the Sri Lankan extension of MSI’s international eSports tournament: Masters Gaming Arena (or simply “MGA”) was held on the 30th of April & 1st of May at Edulink International Campus. Locally organized by Electro Cheval Lanka and FTW, the tournament also featured two special international matches this year. The winners of TrackMania Nations Forever and FIFA 16 at MGA were given the opportunity to represent Sri Lanka in an exhibition match against a representative from India.
It was quite an opportunity and a match up for our players to test their skills. The Indian representative was Santanu “tempobasu” Basu who is a part of the international clan, Tempo Storm. Tempobasu is the current leading FIFA 16 player and former top 3 TrackMania player in India. He is sponsored by global brands such as LG, AMD, and G2A. He is not just a star in India; tempobasu has also traveled to 13 countries to represent India and has come to the top 3 FIFA players in the world in tournaments such as International eSports Tournament held in China.
Burning Rubber, MGA Style
In TrackMania, the 18 year old five times Sri Lanka Cyber Games winner Binura ‘PnX|Binura.MSI’ de Zoysa from Sri Lankan eSports clan, Phoenix GaminG won the tournament and qualified at MGA to face tempobasu. The crowd gathered near the PCs with excitement to see how the first ever eSports match between Sri Lanka and India would turn out. The track decided for the race was from eSports World Cup and it was a 100 points Rounds match. The players shook hands, turned to their screens, and started their engines. First round started and both players had a good start. Midway into the track, Binura had a fairly good lead. He maintained it and won the first round without hesitation. More rounds came and Binura continued to maintain a good lead over tempobasu. The score started going towards the favor of Sri Lanka significantly as India failed to keep up with Binura in some rounds.
It was as if watching the two opening batsmen chasing the target to win the match. Nearing to the latter part of the match, the entire Sri Lankan audience knew the victory is at their hands. In the exhibition match against India, Binura defeated tempobasu to a perfect score of 100-18 without losing a single round. With that, Binura secured the first ever eSports victory to Sri Lanka against India.
The entire match was live streamed through Facebook by Gamer.LK and can be seen here.
Bending It Like Beckham, MGA style
Right after the first victory, the crowd went to the 2nd floor where the FIFA 16 matches were happening. Despite the defeat, tempobasu looked very confident as he knew FIFA was his stronghold. The 15 year old current Sri Lanka Cyber Games FIFA champion Arkam ‘PnX|Heat.MSI’ Iqbal also from Phoenix GaminG won FIFA 16 and qualified to represent Sri Lanka against the India’s most known champion. Things started to heat up as the ingame referee blew the whistle. The game was underway and both players went against each other head to head very offensively. The pressure was real for both. The plays from tempobasu were very strong. Few minutes in, tempobasu got a penalty kick and managed to score the first point to India. The crowd became anxious yet Arkam didn’t let his confidence fall. Arkam kept his pressure on and just before the final whistle was blown, he scored the equalizer to bring hope back to Sri Lanka.
The extra time started and still the pressure continued the same way by both. India’s offense went a little over the limit. A strong tackle by tempobasu brought him red card. Now the game was 10v11 in favor of Sri Lanka. Arkam kept his pressure strong and got himself a corner kick. He took his signature short pass and passed it to a striker outside the penalty area. Arkam made a small kick up and volleyed it into the goal putting Sri Lanka to the lead!
In a very decisive match that kept everyone in tense till the last second of extra time, PnX|Heat managed to defeat tempobasu to a 2-1 score to bring the second victory to Sri Lanka!
This match too was live streamed by Gamer.LK and can be viewed here
Two of the members from Phoenix GaminG represented and won both matches for Sri Lanka on the same night. With that, they proved that Sri Lankans are capable of going head to head with international level cyber-athletes and that they are not behind in eSports at all. No matter how tense the games were, the atmosphere remained extremely friendly. We also heard Sri Lankans appraising good plays by tempobasu while the matches were going on. At the end of both matches, he was not sent empty-handed. Tempobasu was given a brand new MSI headset as a token of appreciation for coming all the way from India for the event.
Thus, Sri Lanka beat India in two competitive titles in their first ever encounter! All gears ahead for MGA 2017.