A success story is a narrative woven into the very fabric of people’s dreams, sweat, and turmoil. And for a certain co-founder, the path leading to his ultimate destination has been a grind as heavy as a Dark Souls game at 20 fps.
Mohit Israney has remained the unsung hero of the Global Esports storyline. He was just as instrumental as his friend in creating one of India’s most prominent esports organizations.
A friendship that started in childhood has bloomed into something incredible. In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, the MD and Co-Founder of Global Esports gives an insight into his life, journey, and inseparable bond with Dr Rushindra Sinha.
Here is an excerpt of the conversation that Mohit Israney had with Abhishek Mallick.
Q. A filmmaker by profession and a gamer by design, your journey leading up to your position as the MD and Co-Founder of Global Esports must have indeed been an incredible one. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the road that led you to who you are today?
Mohit Israney: Yes, it has been an adventurous journey leading to Global Esports, especially since gaming was the only thing I knew growing up. The moment a cinematic or a cut scene played inside the game, or when I watched a new title’s trailer, all I wanted to do was work in a team that makes these breathtaking videos.
Something about the fantasy realm piqued my interest, and I wanted to make these movies full-time. As a kid, I dreamed of making these movies come to life but had no idea that someday I would indeed end up becoming a filmmaker.
Games of every genre inspired me, be it single-player, multiplayer, or console, or even at LAN tournaments or online titles. It didn’t matter. I was comfortable speaking the language of games and knew that I wanted to make my career around it. In college, I wanted to pursue Game Designing, hoping that if I could learn how to make them, I would forever be immersed in this universe.
After studying Science for two years in junior college, I secretly gave an entrance exam to a game design school and managed to get in. The only downside: it was a diploma and not a degree, so when I told my parents, they insisted I opt for a formal degree before chasing my passion. So I did just that; put my passion on hold to complete my degree.
The two choices that I had for a degree were Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and Bachelor of Mass Media. I was not the brightest student, and math was something I never understood, so BMM became the obvious choice.
And that’s when my filmmaking career technically started because I met some enthusiastic people living life like the content creators of today, always wanting to shoot pictures and create videos around anything and everything.
Since I was the techy gamer in the group, well-versed with computers, I volunteered to edit their films. When Rushi and I had our first startup, there were many videos and commercials we created that I edited, so I had a rough idea of how to work the software. But filmmaking was a step into the unknown.
Our first live-action project, which I struggled to edit, was selected at an inter-college film festival. This made me realize the potential of filmmaking and how we can create something meaningful if we put all our effort into it. And that’s when I began working hard to learn every aspect of filmmaking.
Whether it was learning from the material available online or putting things into practice, we did it all. In the second year, when our short film played at a massive film screening hosted by our college, and we got a standing ovation, that was the moment I decided that the choice I made was the right one.
The ability to make other people feel certain emotions by something you have created almost seemed like magic.
After graduating, I decided to work in the Bollywood industry to gain experience since I was not in a position to afford a formal education at a film school. It was challenging to kickstart my filmmaking career, especially since I had no connections in the industry, so I would make indie film videos with Rushi and my friends and submit them to reputed film festivals.
Little did we know that the first commercial we created would win at the Beijing Film Festival.
That explosive start gave us the hunger to do more and taught us how to create large-scale films with limited resources. Slowly, more movies led to more accolades, and before I knew it, I was a full-time director.
The one thing that remained constant in my life while I was on my journey to becoming a filmmaker was video games. At the end of a working day or whenever I got a break, Rushi and I met with a few friends and played video games to our heart’s content. And it’s that essence that gave birth to the idea of Global Esports, where we are working full-time in an industry we love and understand.
While working as an assistant film director in a reputed production house of Leo Burnett, Rushi and I would meet and discuss possibilities of startups and what we could do to take things to the next level. Esports was something we both resonated with the most, and just by hosting a simple watch party, Global Esports was born.