Lokmanyu Chaturvedi is a 23 year old, professional E-sports gamer from New Delhi. At a young age, he’s won over 35 domestic and international accolades and is among the top 3 competitive gamers in the country. Lokmanyu has also been a three time winner of prestigious ESL India Cup. He speaks to us about his experience of being a professional gamer and the future of E-sports and gaming in India.
How did you start your career in gaming?
Well I’ve been in love with the most popular sport in the world, football, ever since I was a kid. I played professional football in high school and college which got me to explore the virtual side of it as well because I was always passionate about the game and I wanted to play with world class players on a virtual pitch.
It all started with playing it casually with my friends and winning against the CPU by big margins. Since I was the best amongst the casual FIFA players in my circuit, they motivated me to go for a tournament which would have all the top pros in the country. Since I was new in the scene and I had nothing to lose, I played so well that I beat a couple of pro players at that time. Finally, the day came when I went past losing out in the first round and won my first tournament. One tournament led to another which made me a better FIFA player and hence the motivation came to become a competitive player.
Was there a moment in time where you thought “I want to become a professional gamer!”? Or did you have a plan that you were going to pursue this anyway?
Yes, there came a time when I decided to become a professional. After winning some local tournaments I read and watched a lot more of FIFA E-Sports. Top players in the world, their stories and hard work towards the game increased my dedication ten folds. I never had the plan of becoming a professional since I never knew I could come this far by playing this game casually with my friends at a point of time. It was after the consistency I displayed in all tournaments I played in which led me to take a decision of going pro.
How does one go about becoming a professional gamer?
Being a professional gamer in India is still a big challenge, to be honest. However, games like DOTA, Counter Strike:GO, League of Legends are big earners since the investment is huge and frequency of tournaments is much higher. FIFA E-Sports is pretty much underdeveloped due to many reasons. Having said that, if a competitive player can acquire the right kind of knowledge, approach the right kind of organizations and most importantly stay patient without giving into fears of failure just because it’s a niche field then being a professional gamer is as solid as any other job in our country which requires 8 hours a day, probably the one which pays you for following your passion.
And what according to you is the future of gaming in India?
It’s been reverberating a lot lately, “E-sports is the next big thing”.
The potential of Indian gaming market as a whole astonishes me. Mobile gaming is the biggest example in our country. There have been a lot of investors coming in wanting to enter the world of E-sports. They are helping organizations build teams, play professionally with player salaries, instilling coaches and establishing gaming houses. The future looks really promising and it’s only positive; trust me when I say that. The barrier of gaming being an addiction is slowly slipping down the drain and a professional approach has come in which explains why an E-sport is as important as any traditional sport.
Okay, this is kind of a tough one, but what is your favourite game of all time and why?
You’ve put me in a tough spot here… this is difficult. But I guess I’ll have to go with Uncharted 4 : A Thief’s End, simply because of the thought and hard work that went in to creating so much detail in this game. You can explore so many things and the story is just absolutely mind blowing. Although, FIFA is my work and I would love to play it all day but if asked other than that, this is the one for sure, as the graphics, storyline and characters is second to none for me.
A piece of advice you want to give to the people who want to become gamers!
Passion is the most important driving force behind anything we do. However, sometimes it’s just not enough since you have to be skilled at that game as much as you’re passionate about it. I’d say when you decide to go pro at any e-sport, the most important thing to consider is its sustainability and how much it means to you in the long run.
Being a casual gamer is great since you can explore different games and enjoy it but being a professional at one game is not as easy as it sounds. Since I had so much to consider myself when I decided to make this my profession, I’d suggest everyone to evaluate their potential and not take a hasty decision of choosing this as your work just because you think everybody is playing that game or your friends are doing better at it than you. You’ve got to keep going and do what you love, but at the same time be smart and constantly practice.