There’s a common misconception in India, especially among parents that gaming is only for children. They see it as a massive waste of time that will invariably affect their kids’ grades or social life. To prove them wrong we tracked down two of the best StarCraft II players in the country who obviously felt otherwise. Meet Nachiket Pusalkar AKA Blah from Pune and Naveen Aakshar from Chennai. Both these guys are fairly young and have been making a name for themselves competing professionally in Blizzard’s latest Real Time Strategy (RTS) game, StarCraft II.
Pusalkar doing his thing
Pusalkar was pretty adept in Warcraft III which made the transition to StarCraft II a lot smoother for him since both games share the same developer and a few gameplay mechanics. Aakshar on the other hand never dabbled in Warcraft III or DoTA (Defence of the Ancients) so he pretty much started fresh with StarCraft II. “The earlier stages of my StarCraft II career were very bad. I used to lose a lot but then I improved little by little thanks to the guys at the SC II Facebook page”, he tells us rather honestly.
When asked about making competitive gaming a career Pusalkar feels it’s possible, only that it would take some time in a country like India as the ability to support yourself as a pro gamer is very tough here. Even in the West he feels it’s necessary to endorse a brand as just competing won’t play the bills. But thankfully, things are slowly improving thanks to companies like Razer and Cooler Master who sponsor players/teams at events like this by offering them monetary and/or product support.
Akshar getting his game on
So do they have any tips for budding pro-gamers? Pusalkar goes first with some wise but tough words, “I think it needs the same dedication you have to put into any sport. You have to work hard because losing's tough. You just have to accept the fact that you cannot win every game out there because you will lose more often than you will win at the start” Aakshar echoes his thoughts to a certain extent, “Losing is just a part of the game. You have to learn from your mistakes and try not making them again. If this is something you want to do, stick with it no matter what.”
They both suggest every time you lose, you should watch that particular match over and over again till you figure out where it is you screwed up. Your ego will take a beating as watching yourself lose is not a particularly enthralling thought but this is instrumental in becoming a better player.
Like Pusalkar and Aakshar there are tons of Indian gamers out there struggling to make it to the big league. This is where tournaments like the ICGC come in to provide such gamers with a platform of sorts to showcase their skills. If you have what it takes to take it to the next level, join us next year for the ICGC and you could stand a chance to represent your country in either the TGX or ESWC.