The first season will have six teams of 12 players each – and unlike recently launched leagues, U Sports will not sell the teams in the first two seasons.
The League goes Live on MTV as the TV partner and will also go across digital platforms YouTube, Twitch and U Sports’ own digital platform. Commencing in June, it’s live for 36 consecutive days to the finale.
At U Cypher’s first meet with 70 of the top Indian gamers, Ronnie Screwvala and Supratik Sen outlined U Cypher’s vision to exponentially boost the perception of E sports in India. By becoming the first Esports league to be televised in the country, U Sports aims at a paradigm shift to drive a larger section of youth to gaming.
Supratik Sen added, “While our goal is to move towards a live broadcast, we believe a packaged show format will help us cut across audiences.’
The teams will be competing in Season 1 for a prize pool of Rs.50 lakhs, split across all teams basis their final ranking in the league. “Our goal is to turn E sports from a hobby into a profession; and thus the Prize Money on offer each season will go up steadily, making it worthwhile for gamers to pursue their passion full-time”, Ronnie Screwvala.
E Sports athletes will schedule their time to be a part of U Cypher. Supratik Sen added,’The league will create new identities suited for television and mass viewing preparing the players to become aspirational house hold names in the future.’
U Cypher will provide the much needed platform as a top E sports league in India for gaming. It will also work towards, so as to attract the best global talent into the league in the forthcoming U Cypher seasons. It will create greater excitement amongst the gaming community as it could be the link that will raise the level of E sports in the country. Finally this will be a league that could well make E sports a viable career option, at par with a career of a mainstream athlete.
Farzad Palia, head of youth & English Entertainment channels at Viacom18, said, “MTV has always been the one to set trends and innovate where the youth are concerned and broadcasting UCypher is one more such exciting innovation by us.“