ASUS Republic of Gamers, which is known for creating the some of the world’s best gaming hardware, has recently announced that it will soon be hosting a global gaming tournament, called ROG Masters 2017. The tournament, which begins on 8 July, is centred on two games, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2.

In the phase one of India qualifiers, offline tournaments will be held across eight cities and 16 cafes, and there will be a total of eight teams competing against each other to find the top spot, which will be an entry ticket to the South-Asia finals. The 16 cafes which are set to host the tournament are located across India: in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Delhi. These venues will host the offline qualifiers.

ROG Masters is an e-sports tournament for aspiring gamers everywhere. Now the tournament is in its second year and has grown into a global phenomenon that makes headlines in all the world capitals. ROG Masters aims to knit together the pro and grassroots tiers of gaming by combining open qualifiers with later stages that are heavy with invited teams, ensuring intense competition characterised by contact between community dark-horses and established veterans of the pro scene. The grand finale of the ROG Masters 2017 will take place in November, with Rs 32,000,000 to play for and the whole world watching.

Peter Chang, Regional Head, South Asia & Country Manager, ASUS India, said “Our endeavour has always been to provide the latest innovative hardware to gamers worldwide and last year, we officially entered the world of e-sports with the first ever ROG Masters. It witnessed astounding success and this year we go global, some 30 countries across five continents. This is an opportunity for all gamers in India to showcase their prowess and be a part of one of the largest global e-sports phenomena. We are excited to be one of the driving pillars for e-sports and gaming in India.”

After the second phase of the tournament, or the India Online Qualifiers II, three winning teams per game will advance to the South Asia Finals. This will be an open qualifier in which all the teams except the winners of phase one will be eligible to participate in the tournament.

In the third phase, four teams from India, one from Bangladesh, and one from Sri Lanka, per game will fight it out at the South Asia Finals at The Lalit, Bengaluru. One winner will advance to the APAC regional qualifiers, the finale of which will be held in Bangkok in October 2017. One winning team from each of the region will then proceed to the grand finale in Singapore in November 2017.

Guardian 20 spoke Peter Chang about the purpose of ROG Masters 2017, and he said, “ASUS started to develop ROG in 2006 which is now more than 10 years ago. It’s true purpose is to help professional gamers so that they have a platform to prove themselves. Secondly, we want to identify the true potential of gamers in different areas where they don’t have the facility or opportunity to proove that they are also good gamers. With Asus Masters 2017 they will also have the opportunity to participate in a global gaming tournament.”

In its later legs, the tournament truly goes global. Events are scheduled under four categories, namely APAC or Asia Pacific, the Americas, China and EMEA or Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka form the South-Asia group under APAC. The India qualifier is divided into two segments: Offline India Qualifier (Qualifier 1) and India Open Online (Qualifier 2). The offline qualifier will have a total of 16 cafes across eight cities that will host the tournament from 8-25 July 2017. Post this, there will be India Online Open (Qualifier 2) scheduled to commence from 27 July 2017.  The South-Asia finale will be hosted in Bengaluru at The Lalit on 19-20 August 2017 with an attractive prize pool of Rs 10,00,000. The total tournament prize money for both the games is Rs 32,000,000.

“This year we have a worldwide tournament, whereas last year it was only the APAC. Also, the prize money is more than Rs 2 crore in this edition.”

Peter Chang also spoke to Guardian 20 about how this year’s edition is bigger than last year’s. “This year we have a worldwide tournament, whereas last year it was only the APAC. Also, the prize money is more than Rs 2 crore in this edition. Secondly, this year we collaborated with seven different cities so that people who never had a chance earlier can also participate,” he said.

He further added, “We are not only targeting people who play professional games but we also want to attract those who are interested in watching, and may be they will play as casual gamers only. We also want to see how we can make a gaming ecosystem.”

ROG Masters 2017 will feature over 20 top professional teams from across the globe and offer a prize pool of Rs 10,00,000. The dual Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament has grown significantly in scale and ambition, and with this almost unparalleled reach, ROG Masters 2017 is set to raise the intensity of the competition and take the gaming community by storm.

“Our main aim is to promote professional gaming. We want to see how we can support professional gaming here, so that India is able to compete worldwide. We also want to identify new gamers and also people who are interested in gaming. We want to make an ecosystem of professional gamers, semi-professional gamers and casual gamers,” said Peter Chang.

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