From being called a hacker to becoming a top-level PUBG Mobile player, this article showcases Jonathan, an esports player for TSM Entity and a content creator with over 2 million subscribers on his YouTube Channel.
The gaming icon from Mumbai, Maharashtra is an inspiration to many upcoming talents in the gaming industry. He has achieved great success at the young age of 18 and is a well-known figure in the community.
Jonathan shares tidbits from his personal and professional life with Ajay Assudani of Sportskeeda in this exclusive piece.
The following is an excerpt from the conversation.
Jonathan bares it all in an exclusive interview
Q1. Having been one of the most successful figures in the gaming community, can you tell us a bit about how you got started with your Journey of competitive gaming and content creation on Youtube?
Jonathan: I had always played for fun, rank pushed, and so on with cousins or friends and had no idea about the competitive side of esports. I saw Mortal and Scout competing in tournaments. As a result, I decided to give it a shot as well. I joined Skull Esports as my first team and competed in a tournament, narrowly missing qualification by two points.
I was a little demotivated, and this is where I'd like to thank my parents for their support. They asked me to try once more and study from them. I used to play with Ghatak at the time, and we tried our hand at the tournament again. As a free player whose role was simply to find the enemy and kill, I fared much better.
Surprisingly, this role was a good fit for me. It was hilarious that some people also referred to me as a hacker. That is how my esports journey began. I never imagined myself as a successful figure in the gaming community. Today, I am grateful that I did not give up the first time.
Q2. What did you do in your school days? Aside from the gaming industry, who is your best friend from school?
Jonathan: Unlike every other student, I disliked getting up early in the morning. But now I miss my school days because they were the best. In school, I was a sincere student. I used to study and play football, and I also won a few titles in both football and hockey. Because of my busy school schedule and lack of time, I never had best friends, but I did have a few friends with whom I could converse.
Q3. What changes occurred as a result of the transition from Entity Gaming to TSM Entity. What differences did you notice when you collaborated with such a well-known international organization?
Jonathan: I was really excited and happy when we got the news that we were going to be collaborating with TSM. When I was 14-15 years old, I played games for fun. I used to follow the players of TSM. What attracted me was the TSM name flashing ahead of their in-game names.
I also used the team name as a prefix for fun. But now, I am known as TSM Entity Jonathan. I couldn’t be happier to officially use TSM in front of my name. The transition from Entity Gaming to TSM Entity gave our team a great boost and reputation.
Q4. We've seen you collaborate with a lot of brands as a top-tier content creator and esports player; how do your close friends and family react when they see you earning quite well at just the age of 18?
Jonathan: Honestly, I never imagined that I would be collaborating with such big brands and some really amazing creators. The most amazing feeling is that I've got to become friends with people I used to admire in my early days. I feel my parents will be proud of me, although they don’t openly express it, which indeed motivated me to work harder.
I feel happy when people and relatives talk to my parents about me being a famous YouTuber. I am sure they feel happy too. My family has always motivated me to go forward with my passion along with my studies. That is the reason I have reached the level I am at today.
Q5. From being accused of being a hacker early in your career to being regarded as the god of PUBG Mobile, what was the turning point which made everything possible?
Jonathan: There is a fun story behind people calling me a hacker. I was just a newbie in a competitive scenario. I just took a blind spray in the smoke, but the opponent was shocked and branded me a hacker. There were literally people who reported my ID to higher authorities to get it banned. Then people advised me to stream my gameplay on YouTube so that I could prove the level of my gameplay.
At that time, I didn't have any proper resources to stream, but as it was the need of the hour, I started streaming. Thanks to my dad, who then got me a new phone to continue my streaming and improve the quality of my content. Gradually, the audience started to like my gameplay and I became the person I am today.
Q6. What are the origins of your most well-known dialogues, "TAPA TAP" and "zero kill yaar main nahi khelra," which you and your fans frequently use?
Jonathan: About "TAPA TAP," whenever I used to clutch in 1vs 4 or 1vs 3 situations, I used my regular phrase, "TAPA TAP BOLTE." Being an easy dialogue to pick up, people who watched my streams started using the dialogue, and this is how it spread.
Same goes for "zero kill yaar main nahi khelra." Ironically, I used this phrase after getting 15-20 kills, which not only triggered my teammates, but also my audiences.
Q7. With being such a big name in the gaming community, you may have been drawn into controversies at times; how do you deal with them and who assists you in getting out of them?
Jonathan: To be honest, I am a person who does his best to avoid controversies most of the time. I've been involved in a few controversies in the past, but I did my best not to react to them and jeopardize my career.
I have only one goal in mind: to win for India and to be one of the best players in the world. There were times when I made a few minor errors, but I always apologized before any controversy arose. Ghatak and Neeyo were always there to help me get over things like this.
Q8. With Battlegrounds Mobile India around the corner, how do you think the game will be compared to the previous version, PUBG Mobile?
Jonathan: First and foremost, I am overjoyed that Battlegrounds Mobile India is finally available. I don't think there will be many changes, and if there are, it will take about a week to adjust to them. The grind for the game has already begun.
Q9. In what ways will the release of Battlegrounds Mobile India affect you and the Indian gaming scene?
Jonathan: For gamers like us, PUBG was not just a game, it was an emotion. But now we are going to experience an even bigger game, which has been made exclusively for Indian audiences.
The trailer for Battlegrounds Mobile India was just launched a few days ago and the audiences are already so hyped up about the game's release.
Q10. Do you believe that Indian teams who have not been in touch with the game for nearly 9 months will be able to match the performance of international teams again?
Jonathan: Indian teams did experience a drop, but we hope that after a few weeks of practice, all the Indian teams will be back in form and return even stronger.
Q11. Due to the Ban of PUBG Mobile , may players have switched to other titles such as Free Fire, Call of Duty, and Valorant? How many players do you think will return when Battlegrounds Mobile India is released?
Jonathan: Of course, there were creators who chose different games after the ban to continue with their content creation. I tried playing Valorant as well. I used to enjoy it, but deep in my heart, my focus was on PUBG. But now Battlegrounds Mobile India will be launched soon.
Q12. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Do you intend to continue focusing on competitive gaming and content creation, or do you have other plans?
Jonathan: I'm planning for a long time, not just the next five years. I will undoubtedly continue my career in competitive gaming and content creation. In terms of content creation, my audiences are drawn to my content because of my gameplay.
I've also received compliments on how people like it when I speak and interact with them, so I'll be focusing on entertainment genre as well. I'll be concentrating on esports until I reach my goal. Even if I achieve my goal, I intend to remain a part of the esports industry to celebrate it in the coming years.