Fnatic Aurum: PMIS 2020 domination strategy, the curious case of ScOutOP and more
- In an exclusive chat, Fnatic's PUBG Mobile coach Pratik 'Aurum' Mehra opened up about his team's PMIS 2020 chances.
- He also talked about the infamous ScOutOP controversy.
With the best players from India in their ranks, Fnatic India are one of the leading PUBG Mobile teams in the country. The team is coached by the former professional PC gamer, Pratik 'Aurum' Mehra.
Aurum started his gaming career in 2011, when he used to play Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare BYOC tournaments, and then shifted to PUBG PC in 2018. Then in 2019, he associated himself with Fnatic India, and won PMAS 2019.
Recently, Sportskeeda got a chance to talk to him, ahead of PMIS 2020. He shared his experiences as a gamer, and talked about being the coach of Fnatic India.
R: You have been connected to the eSports community for a long time and established yourself as a professional gamer. So, how was your journey from Pratik to Aurum?
A: I started playing competitively in 2011 and the game I played was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which was a multiplayer game. I played that game for 8 to 10 years on a competitive level. After playing and winning many of its local tournaments, in January 2018, I switched to PUBG PC. My team Raptors competed in our first major tournament in July 2018, and took part in four major tournaments, my last one being in November 2019, where we stood 2nd. In December 2019, I joined Fnatic as a coach and our very first tournament was PMAS, which we won, followed by some good performances in the forthcoming tournaments. Considering our performances in previous competitions, the aim will be higher.
R: I know that you have a past in PC gaming. Apart from PUBG PC and COD, which games do you play or used to play? Also, after starting your journey as a player, how did you establish yourself as a coach?
A: I have always been into competitive gaming, which is the reason that I rarely play games that are not suitable for competing platforms, although I have casually played games like Hitman just for fun. Since I have been a competitive player for years and I have played PUBG PC a lot, this has helped me switching to the role of the coach as I know the mechanics, dynamics and core of the game PUBG, even though I do not play it much on mobile. Since mobile gaming is a bigger trend than PC gaming in India, it was difficult for me to switch to a mobile gamer so suddenly due to the different controls and all, which is another reason for me shifting to the role of coach.
R: When opting for gaming as a profession, how much support did you get from your family? We know that back then the eSports scene wasn't as developed.
A: If you compare today's situation with mine, obviously, I did not get that much support. Sometimes we (team) used to spend more than we earned from the prize money of tournaments we participated in. The reason that kept us going was the passion for the competitions. Despite not getting enough support from family, we managed to get through it while continuing our studies. But today, the platform has become a good source of income, so players get more support than we got in the past.
R: Other than gaming, how were you in studies, and which field you would have opted for if not gaming?
A: If not gaming, then I would have done something in commerce, since I am a commerce graduate. I have also worked at IBM for three years. So yeah, if not gaming, then I would have been working in the accounting field.
R: As we know, a nationwide lockdown is currently going on. So, how is your team preparing themselves for the PMPL and PMIS? Is it challenging to communicate with them as a coach while practicing?
A: Yes, it is quite challenging, as in PUBG Mobile, you do not get any option to spectate, which in turn decreases the time efficiency. Analyzing the recorded gameplay takes more time than analyzing while spectating the live games. After analysis, we discuss it on Discord, and all this reduces the time efficiency. But since the lockdown is going on, we are keeping up with the work as of now.
R: Apart from preparing the team regarding the game strategy, what are the other roles you have to play as a coach? For example, how important do you think it is to help the players deal with mental pressure?
A: Strategies are just another part of the job, just like making communication with the team, getting involved in and analyzing post-match reviews, encouraging the player whose morale is down. All of this and a lot of other stuff constitute the job of a coach, and since there is no manager for the team, I have to make up for that too.
R: PMIS 2020 does not allow teams to have a substitute player. So, who will be those four players from your side who will represent Fnatic India in PUBG Mobile India Series? And do you think this rule is a little unfair to participating teams?
A: The line-up has not been decided as such; the management will decide on it and evaluations of the team are going on. So, It will be announced by 17th May and you will get to know through our social media handle. As far as the decision regarding PMIS is concerned, I think it's a bit unfair to the players and teams. Since lockdown is going on and if PMIS happens online, it may be difficult for teams if any player will not be able to join the team for any reason.
R: Fnatic has come a long way and is currently one of the best PUBG Mobile teams in India. What are your future goals, and do you think Fnatic could be the first team who will bring an international trophy to India?
A: As I was telling you, we are giving our best and there are some performance related issues that are going on with the team. The team needs to be more consistent and we are working on that. Once the team gets more consistent in its performances, then we can hope to qualify for international leagues like the PMWL and winning international trophies.
R: What is your take on your team players indulging in controversies? To be precise, when Owais and Ronak talked about Scout's rage and him getting over-aggressive. How are the things now between them?
A: Things like these happen in teams and I do not want to say much on that, but yeah, everyone is cooperating and communicating with one another. I hope this improvement will be seen in their forthcoming performances.
R: The mobile gaming community has grown, thanks to PUBG Mobile. What are your expectations from the PC gaming community?
A: The mobile eSports scene is still growing and currently in a developing state. Although it has grown a lot, it still has miles to go to reach a point where it becomes sustainable. Regarding the PC gaming scene, I am not that aware of it as of right now.
R: What is the best thing or quality that your team, Fnatic India, has?
A: Initially, everyone used to call them weak regarding their gun-fight, but now they have improved that a lot. So, gun-fight and their rotations are great at the moment.
R: Last but not least, since PMIS is open to everyone, it is an excellent chance for the underdogs to show their skills in front of a big audience. A lot of new teams will be registering in the tournament. So, as a coach, what tips do you have in mind that every squad should follow?
A: For any new team, the trust regarding another's gameplay is a must. The players must be regular and should have practiced the game enough prior to the tournament. New players have to understand the seriousness of competitive gaming in order to qualify. In addition to that, watching and analyzing the previous tournament's games might also help in understanding the core of the game.
Also Read: PUBG Mobile - Who is Fnatic RonaK?