Corona Outbreak causes Poker Sports League To Cancel Offline Qualifiers
The damage due to the coronavirus has been felt by the Poker world too. Amit Burman (Dabur Group Chairman) promoted Poker Sports League (PSL) has suspended its offline qualifier games. This tournament was to be held from Jan 18th to April 5th of 2020 in various parts of India, namely – New Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata & Mumbai.
But the digital gaming sector is unaffected by the pandemic & to be exact, the digital games have seen a stark rise in its traffic. The league still has its online qualifiers and can be accessed through its app #HashtagPoker which is on both android & iOS. The players are allowed to play 18 online qualifiers at max. The officials have reported that in SPL 3 the participation has seen a rise by almost 50%, as compared to 2nd Season qualifiers.
During the opening of the event, founder of the PSL, Amit Burman said, “In Season 1, there were two International players per team but for this season we have decided to go with all Indian players. India has about 40,000 professional players who are playing at home and globally as well. The level and skill of Indian players have increased exponentially and we are no longer dependent on their global counterparts for world-class matches or a fantastic league. In fact, professional Indian poker players have mastered this game of skill so much that there is no need to incorporate international players into PSL. I can safely say that the level of skill within India is at par and at times also surpasses International players. The feat has not been achieved overnight, PSL had to toil for two long years to get people to understand the scope of this sport and nurture the players”.
These are the 6 teams that are participating in the 3rd Season of PSL – Deccan Aces, Gujrat Falcons, Delhi Czars, Goan Nuts, Mumbai Anchors & Kolkata Kings. Each team consists of 12 players, the mentor/captain of the team is selected by its owner & 7 players are amateurs who are selected from online qualifiers.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, it is uncertain whether the planned selection ceremony will take place on April 30th, where the players from various drafts would be selected by the team owners & the mentors.
On 17th & 18th May the Boot Camp is scheduled for the players. They will find their opponents & teams, which will help them for game preparation.
The PSL Grand Finale of Season 3 has been scheduled on 19th – 23rd May & the venue is in Kolkata. As per their rankings, the top 4 teams will receive total prize money of 4 crores + INR, which will be distributed among them.
Pranav Bagai (Poker Sports League, PSL CEO Architect & Co-Founder) told AnimationXpress that, “We haven’t even started scratching the tip of the Poker iceberg in India. The league, through its risk-free format, offers people to experience poker like never before. Poker is a game of pure skill and with The Poker Sports League, we have made a wonderful headway in changing the preconceived perception of Poker as a game of skill versus a game of gambling. There are many players who qualified for Poker Sports League in previous seasons, got coached by the best players in India/world, realized their true potential and are now the top-performing pros of India. It is a matter of pride for all of us at PSL.”
As a promotion strategy, PSL signed Chess Master Viswanathan Anand in 2017 as its brand ambassador. PSL aims to promote the game as a skill-based game & it seems that Anand will be associated with the franchise for this season too.