Sri Lanka Telecom took its regional eSports challenge to Kandy and it was a resounding success with over 200 competitors participating in the single player titles which were FIFA 18, Injustice 2, Tekken 7, Project Cars, and Clash Royale (on mobile). The event was very well organized and setup with the PCs and SLT branded TV screens which stood out on the 4th floor of the Kandy City Center.
With the platform for gamers in Kandy to shine being set, the gamers rose to the challenge being up bright and early at the Kandy City Center by 10 a.m. and ready to battle their way to the top spot. Gamers had everything on the line as this was the golden ticket into the Main Event which would be held later this year in Colombo with the winner of the regional tournament automatically earning a place in the final bracket of their respective gaming title.
Kicking things off at the event was Project Cars, which saw participants of varying ages ranging from young contestants just starting out their eSports careers to veterans such as Angelo Tennakoon and Tharindu Rajapakse who have spent years on the game. It may seem like just a casual racing game until you get behind the controls and realize just how difficult it is to navigate the vehicles as well as all the hairpin turns in the map itself that can cause you to pretty easily lose control of your vehicle and make you end up in last place. The Finals as expected were between Angelo and his rival Tharindu. The initial race had to be restarted after Angelo took the lead against Tharindu due to a small issue which took place during the first match. Moving onto the second match the race started pretty evenly, Tharindu having won the toss took the lead position but not until the 2nd hairpin where he entered the turn a bit too fast and skid his vehicle onto the sand allowing Angelo to take the lead from where he never conceded it giving him the top spot for Project Cars.
Meanwhile, Injustice 2 had spectators lined up in the allocated spectator area where it seemed like things were heating up. With no second chance being given, challengers had to bring their A-game to be successful in this knockout bracket. The initial stages saw very comfortable gameplay having each player outmatching their opponent with ease. However, As the event progressed into the latter stages of the tournament, things changed entering the quarter finals seeing some struggles and great comebacks coming out from some experienced players even though their backs were against the wall.
In Tekken 7, the qualifying rounds saw extremely talented individuals with 2 standout players who were fated to meet in the finals and that they did.
Roshan Jurampathy and Isura Madusanka, two friends that had spent some time together training and getting better at the game, faced each other in the grand finals. Eventually,t Roshan having over 12 years of experience in Tekken was able to beat his opponent and claim the top spot for Tekken 7 in the tournament
FIFA 18 turned out to be the most intense and exciting title as the knockout bracket forced players to make sure that they play to their level best in each match they faced.. Mohamed Shaklin took the number one spot for FIFA 18 incidentally beating his oldest brother Fazik Fawzan in the grand finals in an exciting match which ended up with a 2-1 lead for Mohamed Shaklin who was ecstatic on his victory and showed a lot of confidence going into the Main Event to be held in Colombo.
Finally we saw the Clash Royale title taking to the stage with some experienced talent and new talent as well every single game seemed to be like a life or death situation as if players made 1 mistake that was it for them, The high level play and conduct of the players was a sight to behold giving it their utmost best till the final seconds in overtime. Malith Rajakaruna seemed to be in top form as he stood out from the rest of the pack taking the number one spot for Clash Royale beating his friend and longtime rival from the north sachintha Sahan with the secured upper bracket victory which gave him and additional 1 game advantage going into the finals.
The day was filled with a lot of excitement and competition, with every participant giving it their best to overcome the hurdles that they faced and secure their prize as well as the advantage they will gain moving into the main event held in Colombo. Kandy City Centre, a beautiful location set in the heart of Kandy produced an atmosphere that truly created the best setting for a competitive eSports tournament with scores of spectators cheering the gamers to victory.
Sri Lanka Telecom having brought the regional challenge to Kandy for the second time since 2016 had nothing but appreciation from the competitors as well as the spectators who turned up, who all felt that they have an event to look forward to in Kandy now and improve their gaming towards. Sri Lanka Telecom has continued to stay true to its commitment of taking eSports and the online gaming experience to the masses over the last few years and has played a major role in improving eSports in the country by continuing to organize top-tier gaming tournaments in the country. The months ahead promises to be exciting with more regional events to be held, with Galle being the next on the road map leading up to the Main Event in Colombo later in the year.