August: The Month of Indian Sports

There’s a lot to look forward on the Indian sporting calendar this month. We’re not just talking cricket (India’s tour of Sri Lanka), or even international events like the US Open. Here in India, there are four big events every sports fan is eagerly awaiting:  

VIVO Pro Kabaddi 2017
The fifth season of the Pro Kabaddi League – easily the fastest growing franchise sports league in the world right now – is already underway. Over 130 matches in 13 weeks across 11 states, the league is fast turning into the Indian version of global domestic football leagues (EPL and La Liga). It is slated to run for most of the year, given its reach. This time, 12 teams are participating, as compared to the usual eight in the previous four seasons. The tournament will span from July 28th to October 28th, 2017.

The new additions are Tamil Thailavas, Gujarat Fortune Giants, UP Yoddha and Haryana Steelers. This time, the format will be different too. Teams have been divided into two zones. Each team will play 15 intra-zone matches and 7 inter-zone matches before the playoffs (three qualifiers, two eliminators). The top three teams from each zone qualify for the super playoffs. Every Monday is scheduled to be a rest day.

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Zone A: Dabang Delhi, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Puneri Paltan, U Mumba, Haryana Steelers and Gujarat Fortune Giants
Zone B: Telugu Titans, Bengaluru Bulls, Patna Pirates, Bengal Warriors, UP Yoddha and Tamil Thailavas

UP Yoddha spent INR 93 lakhs on raider (and captain) Nitin Tomar earlier in the auctions in May – a record sum spent on a single buy this year.

The favorites this year are Patna Pirates, U Mumba (no team has won more than Mumba’s 43 victories out of 62) and Jaipur Pink Panthers.

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FIFA 17 Ultimate Championship Season 5
Zeus Events has been hosting India’s biggest gaming event – FIFA – for the last four years. This year will be the fifth season, to be held at Smaaash at Cyber Hub in Gurgaon, between 18th and 20th August. The console to be battled on will be the PS4.

The first event was held in Chandigarh back in November 2013, and the event has grown in stature. This year, there will be a total cash prize pool of more than INR 3 lakh (the highest so far) as well as goodies. The participation price for the single-player competition will be INR 3000 (winner will get INR 1 lakh, runners-up INR 40000). The co-op will be INR 5000 (winner will get INR 1 lakh, runners-up INR 40000), while the Under-15s will have to play INR 2000 to participate (winner will get INR 20000, and runner-up to get goodies).

The match duration will be 5 minutes each, while the format consists of the group stages and knockouts (four players in each group with the best-of-3 format).

Battleground Asia
On August 5th, the biggest boxing event in Asia will take place at the NSCI Dome in Worli (Mumbai). The headliner of the night will be the double-title fight between India’s undefeated No. 1 boxer Vijender Singh and Chinese No. 1 and WBO Oriental Super Middleweight champion
Zulpikar Maimaitali. Both the WBO titles will be on the line, and the winner will take both belts as well as the ‘King of Asia’ crown. Seven of Singh’s eight bouts have ended in a knockout. His pro career has started with a bang, and this will perhaps be his biggest test so far.

Also, after a gap of nine long years, Olympic quarter-finalists Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar too will be seen in the ring at this event. WBC Asia Welterweight champ Neeraj Goyat will defend his title too. The tickets will be priced from INR 1200 to 12000 depending on the category.

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India Football Tour 2017
‘Gully’ football is now a massive international event. This rapid 5-a-side format needs an Indian participant at next year’s 2018 World Finals to be held in Beijing. These qualifiers are to be held across six major cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Bengaluru) in India and is a tournament exclusively for amateurs.

The best amateur football team in the country will be crowned after respective city champions travel to Bengaluru to play the Tour Finale. Anyone above the age of 16 can participate.

The Regional winners travel to the finals in the hope of being crowned the National winners. They will then represent the country on the biggest amateur football stage in the world: the F5WC-2018. In Beijing, 32 nations will compete for the top prize.

Registration fee: INR 10000
Format: League (min. 3 games each) + Knockout

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