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“The grind is on for Battlegrounds Mobile India, and as we are a new team, we have to work a lot harder to build team synergy”: Shivamm "420op" Raghav of RedOwl Gaming

Shivamm "420op" Raghav of RedOwl Gaming
Shivamm "420op" Raghav of RedOwl Gaming
EXPERT COLUMNIST

With Battlegrounds Mobile India Series 2021 almost upon us, there has been a lot of debate around the type of esports ecosystem that Krafton will be looking to create in the coming months.

The series will be the first stepping-stone for the game to finally start building a sustainable market in the region, and many believe that the publisher will be going all out to make the title the best in the region.

RedOwl Gaming’s Battlegrounds Mobile India professional Shivamm “420op” Raghav has been one of the many PUBG Mobile faithfuls who have been waiting for the game to go live for months now.

In an exclusive interview with Abhishek Mallick of Sportskeeda Esports, Shivamm opens up about his thoughts on Battlegrounds Mobile India, and what the community can expect from its esports scene in the coming months.

Here is an excerpt of the conversation.

Q. Shivamm, I would really love to know your origin story. How did your career in mobile esports start? What inspired you to grind to be one of the best in PUBG Mobile in the nation?

Shivamm: Initially, I was only playing PUBG Mobile with my friends, and it was much later that I got to know about the competitive aspect of the game. It was only after I went to see the first PMCO in Delhi as a spectator did I decide that I wanted to step on the competitive stage myself one day.

Q. Are your parents supportive of your career choice as an esports athlete? Talk to me about some of the major hurdles that you faced early on in your career?

Shivamm: Yes! My mother was always very supportive of what I wanted to do from the very start. One of the major hurdles that I faced early on was getting a good team and getting into official tournaments.

Q. What kind of impact did the PUBG Mobile ban have on your career? How did you have to adapt to remain relevant in the scene?

Shivamm: The PUBG Mobile ban was one of the most difficult periods in my life, so I was finally forced to take a temporary break from my 2 to 2.5-year esports career.

However, the one good thing that came out of this ban was that it taught me the value of content creation in today’s video games industry.

Q. Right before the PUBG Mobile ban, you were consistently the top scorer across all of the game’s esports tournaments. What has your time been like in TeamXspark? Any memories that you still cherish from those days?

Shivamm: I won’t say that TeamXspark was exactly a full-fledged esports organization, as the team was formed by 5 friends who were like brothers and family. The roster primarily focused on securing kill points, and we all knew that we were good enough to win gunfights with any team in the region.

The best moment I had with TeamXspark was when we won our PMCO finals, which was a dream come true for me.

Q. With Battlegrounds Mobile India finally out, what are some of your thoughts on the game so far, and the type of esports market that Krafton will be looking to create in the nation? Do you feel that the scene will be self-sustaining?

Shivamm: Battlegrounds Mobile India is finally live, and all us PUBG Mobile faithfuls have already started putting in a lot of hours in the game.

I feel with the esports scene, Krafton will be looking to build a franchise system that will be quite similar to that of china’s Game for Peace. And compared to PUBG Mobile, I think the prize pool for Battlegrounds Mobile India will be significantly higher.

Q. How has your time been in RedOwl Gaming so far? What are your thoughts on the gaming house and the type of support that the organization is providing for content creators and esports athletes alike?

Shivamm: My time at RedOwl Gaming has been incredible. I am quite fortunate that the organization has been supportive throughout it all and was always there for me, and had my back every time I needed it.

Q. The Battlegrounds Mobile India Series 2021 is almost upon us. How are the preparations for RedOwl Gaming’s BGMI esports roster coming along? Are there some new strategies that you guys are trying out?

Shivamm: The grind is most definitely on for Battlegrounds Mobile India, and as we are a new team, we have to work a lot harder to build team synergy. And of course! We will be trying out new strategies.

Q. What are your roles in the roster? What are some of the responsibilities that you take up in the roster?

Shivamm: I am playing as a starter for the team, and we will have to adapt to each and every role. I am usually responsible for flanking the enemy in the game as I am pretty good at it.

Q. What are your thoughts on some of the new and upcoming pool of talent in India’s mobile esports scene? Any words of advice for those who are still struggling to make it big in the scene?

Shivamm: The competition right now is pretty fierce and has gotten much better compared to past events.

One piece of advice I would like to give everyone who wants to get into the esports scene is that the industry has no place for anyone who is average.

If you think you are good in the game, there are millions of others like you who feel the same. People will not notice you unless you finally make a mark and become one of the best that the industry has to offer.

Edited by Ashish Yadav
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