CS: GO Exclusive: Ankit V3nom Panth opens up about his journey, his advice to young gamers and more
Ankit 'V3nom' Panth is a professional gamer from Mumbai, India. He has over ten years of experience as a gamer and it would be fair to say he is one of the pioneers in the Indian pro-gaming scene and he's now been officially signed as India's first Red Bull Gaming athlete.
Read on to know what V3nom has to say about himself, his switch from being a DJ to a pro gamer, Team Brutality and a lot more. Excerpts:
1. How did the transition from Ankit to V3nom happen?
It was very random and unplanned I would say. One day I was coming back from school and was passing by this shop which had a black tinted glass with gaming characters all over it. I could hear people shouting and that’s what made me open that door. Everyone was having a great time playing their favourite games. I sat on one of the chairs and started playing.
The first game I played was Counter-Strike 1.6 on the computer and that was it. Those headshots, defusing the bomb, guarding your base while waiting for the enemies, using the in-game commands such as team fall back, roger that, fire in the hole, etc gave me an adrenaline rush.
I used to play 'chor police' a lot and at that time and it felt like I could do so much more with this game on a computer. I was getting to shoot, throw grenades, give call outs and do it as a team. Players used to come to that cafe and challenge me for a game. It felt nice to be known.
I couldn’t go to the café every day because I didn’t have the money and nor did I have a computer at home so when I heard that you could win prizes as well as some money by playing a game, I wanted to win and get myself a computer.
I remember I went to the tournament with my cafe guys and we lost so badly that I couldn’t believe myself. That was an eye-opener. That was it. I knew what I had to do, and I was ready to work hard and get this dream going. In 2008 we defeated India’s number one team at that time and got some eyeballs rolling. From there I would say the transition from Ankit to V3nom happened and my professional journey began.
2. Could you talk about why you formed Team Brutality and what you were hoping to achieve?
I wanted to build a team which had friendship, dedication, commitment, respect and hard work. I noticed that there was no stability in teams. If you lost a tournament people would blame one guy and just remove him and get another. I have always believed that everyone has some talent and they can achieve anything by working hard. The vision behind forming Team Brutality was to stick together as a team and work hard to succeed.
I knew it was not going to be easy to find like-minded people, but I am not the one who gives up so easily. The main test was during losses and to control the team and make them stay together and fight that storm.
Eventually, we did it and I am happy about what we have built together with the fans, players and sponsors. The idea is to keep moving forward and as the gaming scene progresses in our country, we plan to make academy teams and nurture talent. But first, we need to prove ourselves in the Asian scene and that’s what we are working on.
3. What is your take on young adults wishing to choose gaming as a career?
Gaming is improving in our country, but we still need to see the consistency. If you think you have it in you and are ready to work hard and then go for it but you have to keep your backups ready. Do not leave studies to get into this. Gaming is not ending.
It is only going to improve so you have time. You need to find a balance and a way to make things work. That’s what I did. For those who think it is going to be easy to play games, trust me it is not. Professional gaming requires a lot of hard work, hours of practise, dedication and commitment. It might look easy from the outside but it’s not. Just think of ilike any other sport. You have to keep practising and improve yourself every day.
4. What physical training regime do you follow to make sure you don’t get any health issues that generally are attracted by long hours of gaming?
Fitness is an integral part of my daily routine.I knew I had to set an example otherwise this could never change. I go to the gym 6 days a week and touchwood, till today I don’t have any back pain, wrist pain or spectacles. Also, I am not overweight or lethargic.
Training every day, sitting in the right posture while playing, staying hydrated and sprinkling water on the eyes are an integral part of avoiding health problems while gaming. One should do wrist and forearm exercises like flexing the wrist from the neutral position, dumbbells wrist curl, seated dumbbells reverse wrist curl to strengthen the muscles there and to avoid injuries like carpal tunnel.