File photo: Siddh Jenasid Chandrana

Siddh Chandrana who is just 20 years old, and at present residing in Mumbai with his family is a very well known eSports player from the country of E-sports fanatic gamers, India. 

Siddh is a prominent eSports Indian player due to his amazing and outstanding performance in FIFA, one of the flagship eSports game, made by EA(Electronic Arts) Sports. 

Siddh Chandrana had settled down in his teenage years until doctors recommended him to give up a sport he adored. Chandrana dreamed of playing for India as a youngster, but he had to give up football after being diagnosed with allergic bronchitis. For him, the lush grounds have never been the same again. 

Chandrana, like many other teenagers, was addicted to the both virtual and physical versions of football, playing football on the ground.

The lad began playing the PlayStation version with a passion now that the actual thing was no longer available to him.

Siddh's father, who is a huge football fan,  has always been supportive and has always watched his games. His family understood the possibility of e-sports as a career when he signed his first contract in 2018, and being able to count on their support has never been an issue.

“My parents have always been extremely supportive and that helped me not worry about the fact that gaming was still a very nascent industry especially in a country like India. All that I have become today has a lot to do with my family, I owe it to them”, Siddh told JustGamblers.

By 2017, Chandarana had opted to pursue Esports professionally, competing in both domestic and international events; his first international event was held in Singapore in 2018.

FIFA 09 was his first interaction with the FIFA franchise. Initially, he was a casual player, but in 2013, he became interested in competing. He won his first local event in 2013, which was remarkable.

“When I was 7 I got my first play station and I used to play FIFA casually after school. It was a recreational hobby for me until 2017 when tournaments started to happen in our country”, Siddh Chandrana told JustGamblers. 

E-sports is gaining popularity around the world, with every major corporation competing for a piece of the action. Mesut Ozil, a well-known German footballer, has founded his own eSports team in order to compete in FIFA eSports, M10 Esports which is an European club. Siddh Chandrana is the only Indian gamer who got this opportunity to join his team and got his official gamer's profile as Siddh 'Jenasid' Chandrana. Being an Indian professional FIFA player and his team compatriot, Chandrana will accompany him on his travels.

Siddh ‘jenasid' Chandrana had joined the M10 squad as the fourth player. 

Mesut Ozil, the German star, took to Twitter to personally welcome the Indian teen to his squad.

Siddh practises FIFA for over six hours on weekdays and over ten hours on weekends in order to compete at this level, primarily in the Ultimate Team and head-to-head events.

Jenasid is currently living his goal, having just represented India in the FIFAe Nations Online Qualifiers playoffs,  coming third in the (Middle East and Africa)MEA region.

Siddh Chandrana and his E-football team have made tremendous progress in FIFA E-sports competitions around the world. The Indian national team may take a few years to overcome Saudi Arabia on the football field, but they've already done so in the virtual world.

In early May, the Indian eTigers wrapped off an outstanding debut at the FIFAe Nations Cup. They came in third place in the event, just missing out on a spot in the final round, which was reserved for the top two finishers. Along the way, the team won an incredible match against a Saudi Arabian team that included Musaed Al Dossary, a professional FIFA player.

The FIFAe Nation Series (FeNS21) has developed itself to be a truly global e-Tournament for football, allowing e-Athletes to represent their countries in FIFA 21, EA Sports' massively popular game. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) only recently announced India's participation in the competition, as well as a nationwide search for the country's best two players.

The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world football governing body, launched the online gaming championship in 2019. Following India's entry this year, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) held national qualifiers in March to find promising esports players to represent India. Charanjot Singh, 18, and Siddh Chandrana, 20, were among those first two e-athletes who made the cut.

Siddh has gradually become India's esports sensation due to his hard work and passion towards FIFA eSports, and his remarkable performances in domestic and international e-gaming arena where he proved himself by winning e-competitions one after another. 

Chandrana is not just limited to eSports but also used to play cricket for a club back in his school days and if it's about Olympic sports, then he really love watching Tennis. His favourite international Tennis sports star is none other than Roger Federer. He also love playing Table Tennis. He likes to watch almost every sports to boost his knowledge.

He will definitely going to be one of the young Indian e-sports gaming future stars as he is truly passionate about his gaming especially when it comes to FIFA eSports, his club, and of course his nation. Not only he is having 

the abilities to surpass the big e-players in the national arena but also having qualities, to compete against the best in the world. 

While talking about his passion for E-sports, Siddh “Jenasid” Chandrana caught up In a free-wheeling conversation with JustGamblers wherein the Indian national FIFA esports star opened up about his professional career, personal life, favourite Indian footballer and some of his thoughts about the future of Indian eSports.  

Here are the excerpts from the exclusive interview

JustGamblers: You are one of the four players in the Indian football team, can you tell us in detail about your journey so far, how did you make such a long journey in eSports? When and how did you get interested to be a pro gamer?

Siddh Chandrana: I started playing  FIFA back in 2007 when I used to play it casually after school. In 2017 I got into competitive fifa you know when these tournaments started to happen and FIFA came into the picture in our country. I used to play local tournaments and then I played my first few international tourneys in Singapore and Malaysia, that’s when I thought I could do it full time. 

One year later I signed for Mesut Ozil’s M10esports becoming the second Indian to sign for an international organisation and that’s how my pro journey began.

When I was 7 I got my first play station and I used to play fifa casually after school. It was a recreational hobby for me until 2017 when tournaments started to happen in our country I used to attend all of them. I performed well in local tournaments and gradually had the chance to play international tournaments. In 2018 I got an offer from M10esports which is owned by Mesut ozil and I’m currently signed to a Turkish organisation called Futbolistco.

JG: You have been playing E-sports for more than a decade now, and now you are one of the top-notch gamers in India, how did you achieve this success? What is your secret or I say key to success, could you please share in detail?

Chandrana: I think it is something I have worked on over the years. You can’t be a better player overnight. Learn from your mistakes, Stick to the process, get good sleep and keep yourself hydrated. Perseverance is the key to success. It is the little things that matter.

JG: What sort of difficulties you faced or struggles you had while your journey from the road to FIFAe Nations Qualifiers? Share your experiences?

Chandrana:   On the road to the FIFA Nations Qualifier, all of the team members had put in enough hours to make sure we were well prepared to play against all nations. Unfortunately, we had to play on 1 bar connection which is very difficult to adapt and reduces the skill gap. We tried our hardest but eventually went out in the finals in a very unlucky manner. 

JG: Have your parents always supported you to play online games, despite knowing gaming is quite expensive in India?

Chandrana: My parents have always been extremely supportive and that helped me not worry about the fact that gaming was still a very nascent industry especially in a country like India. All that I have become today has a lot to do with my family, I owe it to them. My dad used to travel with me to tournaments to support me and that meant everything. 

JG: How do you feel like being a part of the Indian national team for FIFAe gaming?

Chandrana: As a kid you always dream about playing for your country and for it to come true is a huge milestone for me. To wear the national jersey is an absolute honour and I don’t think the feeling of pride can ever be topped. We were very unfortunate to go out in the final and I think we deserved more. I am immensely proud of the way we played as a team throughout the tournament but it’s a learning curve and we will make sure we are better next year. 

JG: Is there any else in your family who is a gaming fanatic like you or you are the only one? 

ChandranaMy brother and I play together all the time. Unlike me, he plays casually and focuses on FPS games. 

JG: Which is your most favourite eSports game and why? 

Chandrana: It surely has to be FIFA since I play it for a living and if you ask me about the editions, I think FIFA 17 has to be my favourite game I’ve played to date. The game had a lot of skill gaps back then compared to now and it was very enjoyable to play casually and competitively. 

JG: Which Indian footballer you are a fan of? 

Chandrana: I think it’s an obvious answer without a doubt, I am a fan of Sunil Chhetri. He has been an idol for so many Indians including myself. 

JG: Your favourite E-sports team and why?

Chandrana: There are many top eSports organisations in the world but one that stands out to me is FaZe. I think they are the biggest org in the world of eSports if you consider all games alongside content creation. 

JG: What was your most difficult win and against whom? 

Chandrana:   In the FIFAe nations qualifier, I had to play the number 1 in west Asia Y2harhti  two games in a row and I ended up winning both the games. That was by far the most difficult game I have ever had in my career till date. 

JG: Which gaming console is the best according to you? Are you using a PlayStation one? 

ChandranaEver since I have been a kid I have been using PlayStation consoles. I started off with a Playstation 2 and I have used all PlayStation consoles that have come out to date. 

JG: List some of the virtual gaming competitions you played individually? 

Chandrana:   I think the global series is the biggest tournament we have to play every season. I got selected for the national team so I had the chance to play the FIFAe Nations qualifier this season and I also represented my club futbolistco in the FIFA Club World Cup.

JG: Share your all-time national and international achievements with us? Any awards? 

Chandrana: My teammate Charanjot and I finished third at the FIFA eNations series 2021 in India’s first-ever official event. Winning the Mumbai esports championship, Virtual Bundesliga Delhi, Dreamhack Mumbai and Studs eSports championship are some of the highlights of my career so far. I am also the second Indian to get a 30-0 in fut champions. 

JG: Any upcoming major eSports, FIFA online competition?

Chandrana: Our competitive season for FIFA 21 has come to an end and we now have a 2-month break before the new season begins and the new game comes out for us to prepare

JG: For the young mindsets of our country who want to come forward in this field, and want to make a career, If I ask you to say some motivational words, what will you say to inspire them?

Chandrana I would say follow your dreams, if you aspire to be a professional esports athlete then you need to make sure you put in the hours. It’s not an overnight process. Make sure you’re still carrying on with your education simultaneously because that is extremely important. India is evolving and esports will be the next big thing in our country, if I can do it then you can do it too! 

JG: If not eSports, then what else you like to do in the rest time?

 Chandrana: Fifa can get extremely draining at times so I spend a lot of hours on playing cod with my mates and I love watching competitive cod too. When I’m not playing, I usually like to take care of my physical health and spend a lot of time at the gym.

JG: What’s your training regiment like?

Chandrana: At the start of every season I train around 6-7 hours daily. Towards the end, I skip weekdays and play for 8-9 hours on weekends during the weekend league also called Fut champions.

JG: Where do you see the Indian contingent in E-sports in the next couple of years? What's your opinion on this?

Chandrana: This was our first competitive season and we finished 3rd in the FIFA Nations series, so I would say the future is bright. All we’re lacking is the experience and that will definitely come with time so india should be mainstream in all editions of eSports in the coming years.

JG: My last question to you is where do you see yourself in the next couple of years, and what,'s your ultimate goal as a gamer?

ChandranaMy main goal is to make it to the FIFA eWorld Cup next season and be the flag bearer of our country on the global stage. I will be also looking to grow myself as a FIFA content creator over the course of the next seasons as I feel content creation is as important as your professional gaming career. 

Now, let's just discuss a little more about E-sports development in India, it's popularity and official recognition, also how it's different from sports betting or Gambling. 

E-sports needs official recognition in India, understanding how it differs from Gambling

Despite a rapidly expanding digital culture in a country with more than 500 million smartphone users, India is yet to acknowledge esports as a legitimate sport requiring speed, agility, and strategy in the same way that traditional sports do. 

In 2003, China was one of the first to do so, and more than 50 other countries have since followed suit.

After 150 schools competed in an inter-school esports competition, neighbouring Sri Lanka proclaimed it an official sport last year.

Indonesia recognised esports last month and incorporated it in its national games. eSports was a medal event at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines. At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, video games such as League of Legends and Pro Evolution Soccer were showcased in demonstration events.

Ukraine became the latest country to acknowledge esports this month. Government recognition allows esports teams from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Ukraine to compete in world championship tournaments on behalf of their countries, just as the BCCI's cricket team does in the World Cup. Official recognition gives significance i.e., in addition to being a source of pride.

Before you become too eager, the industry is governed by the eSports Federation of India (ESFI) which is the official eSports association. 

Recently, earlier this year e-sports was brought up as a wider issue for debate during a Parliament session held in the Indian Assembly. Kiren Rijiju, India's Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, remarked about the validity of esports in the country. He claims that esports is a growing platform for the youth in India, with a big number of esports fans.

Kiren Rijiju recognised that eSports was becoming a popular platform among the country's youth, and that there were many esports fans in the country. He also confirmed that it will be a medal sport category at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

The ESFI is yet not an official e-sports federation.

Multiple federations, such as the Electronic Sports Federation of India (ESFI), the E-sports Development Association of India (EDAI), and E-sports India (EI), are known to the Minister, but they are not formally recognised. “No Federations/Associations have been recognised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports,” he said.

While ESFI is a member of International Esports Federation (IESF), Global Esports Federation (GEF) and Asian Esports Federation (AESF) and is recognised by Olympic Council of Asia(OCA) and Indian Olympic Committee (IOC).

 “Esports is solely dependent on your own skill. You cannot win in a video game competition of FIFA (a video game series based on football) by chance. You need to have the skill to win,” Lokesh Suji, director of ESFI told TheIndianExpress.

“There are 100+ countries that have Esports federations working under their sports framework, have already recognised Esports as a sport and have put it under the sports framework and policies. However, the sport still awaits government backing in India”, he added.

“We earned a medal at the 2018 Asian Games, and esports will be a medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games. Only in India do people confuse esports with fantasy, rummy, teen patti, RMG, online gaming, betting, and gambling; this misunderstanding is harmful to our sport's growth. We doubt why they desire to be even more intimately related, connected, and perhaps linked with esports for reasons best known to them.”

“Would you ever associate these "igaming" apps with sports like Kabbadi, Badminton, or Cricket, just like any other sport? It's really humiliating for our esports athletes to be judged or compared to those who use these igaming apps”, Suji expressed his views on

But the fact that the government has recognised and acknowledged the differences between esports and gambling is perhaps the largest triumph for esports in these responses. Kiren Rijiju, India's Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, stated:

"e-sports differs from gaming, igaming, and gambling, for example, in that the former is skill-based while the latter is chance-based."

The recognition of esports as a sport by the Indian Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports is a major victory for the industry's legitimacy in India. This is the first time the government has discussed esports, and our digital athletes may receive greater official assistance in the future.

E-sports steady rise in India is remarkable

Esports (commonly called electronic sports, e-sports, or eSports) is a type of video game competition. You'll be astonished to learn what we discovered after our extensive research: esports isn't a twenty-first-century phenomenon. Electronic sports, which is a competitive business for video games, have been around for more than 40 years. The first known video game competition took place in the year 1972 for the game Spacewar. 

Because of the growth and promotion have done on internet streaming platforms such as Youtube and Twitch,  eSports has managed to take over the market in India. Owing to multiplayer online games like FIFA, PUBG and Fortnite, the term "eSports" is becoming more popular by the day.

The community's revenue and workforce have increased significantly. WinZO co-founder Saumya Singh Rathore claims that “Esports is the next big thing, and India is warming up to it gradually. Esport players have longer session durations and deeper engagement."

Qualcomm has announced the commencement of a year-long collaboration with Jio Games for their Esports Platform initiative. Whether it's Coca-Cola, Oppo, OnePlus, or Airtel, Indian businesses have discovered a new opportunity in esports and are devising new ways to promote and use the mobile-centric esports.

Even though the legality of eSports as a legitimate sporting competition is still debatable, they have appeared alongside traditional sports in events such as the Asian Games, and the International Olympic Committee is also considering its inclusion in future Olympic events.

Similarly to the emergence of high-speed internet connections, esports took its time in reaching India. While the sector as a whole is still in its infancy, interest is growing, and the nation, which was shut down for months due to the Coronavirus pandemic, has only seen significant attention in eSports.

Esports has shifted from amateur to professional in recent years, with an increase in both audience interest and participation. Soon, the curiosity had expanded to other countries, including India.

The community in India is just a decade old and has only recently bloomed, with more developers and investors flocking to the industry in recent years. In FY20, Indian Esports accounted for approximately 4% of all online gaming users and 9.13 percent of total revenue in the whole online gaming business.

It's no wonder that esports is gaining popularity in major sporting events like the Asian Games. Tirth Mehta, 23, of India, won bronze in the inaugural esports competition while competing in the Hearthstone tournament at the Asian Games in September 2018. Surprisingly, it was the Indian team's victory in the qualifiers that guaranteed them a spot at the Asian Games in Jakarta.

FIFA, the flagship game developed by EA Sports, is another one of India's most popular eSports that has been released every year since 1995. In March of this year, the top FIFA gamers from India played in the first-ever All India Football Federation (AIFF) eFootball Challenge. In the national-level event, India's top 16 eAthletes competed for a chance to represent the country. FIFA 21 was used by the eAthletes.

It was the first time an Indian team consisting of four competed in a FIFAe (competitive gaming) event, with Siddh Chandarana playing on his Xbox and Charanjot Singh, 18, playing on his PlayStation who were the two among who qualified. And finally, the eTigers came in third place in the FIFAe Nations Online Qualifiers.

Both e-athletes were also moved by the outpouring of love from supporters who watched the games and tagged them on social media. 

This clearly shows how much potential our Indian eSports gamers have, and the ability to take India forward in this industry. Indian gamers are already doing very well at the international level, and they can be even better and grow more if they get the right recognition.

Final words

Football is India's second most popular sport in terms of player involvement after cricket, and the third most popular sport in terms of TV viewership. And similarly, the craze for the FIFA e-sports gaming industry among Indian online gaming fanatics is at its peak. 

In India, FIFA titles have become a cultural phenomenon. A FIFA game has been acquired by almost every PlayStation user in India at some point. Still, only a few people have gone one step further and made it a career. The country's competitive FIFA scene continues to expand, with the greatest players reaching new heights around the world

 Already many top-notch level Indian gamers are making great strides in the International arena in the e-sports industry, we are confident, in the near future, many more will come forward to try their skills out and perhaps to opt as a career.

The team at JustGamblers would like to congratulate Siddha Chandrana for his achievements so far in the field of the e-sports industry and for making the whole of India proud of his hard work and dedication towards electronic gaming. Also, want to give best wishes for his future endeavors and bright future ahead. We are sure that one day he will definitely achieve something big for our nation and have faith in his ability and potential.