It is not possible to complete a list of famous Indian Counterstrike GO players without naming Agneya "Marzil" Koushik. The 22-year-old has been one of the top players in the country for a while now. He has participated in multiple reputed tournaments, and played for popular teams like Team iNvictus, Entity Gaming and Signify. He is currently the in-game leader of BL4ZE Esports. Sportskeeda were fortunate enough to have been presented with an opportunity to speak with the young CS:GO star.
Q.The invitational matches of Phoenixverse champions cup were exciting to watch. What do you expect out of the upcoming tournament?
Hopefully, a large turnout of teams, as well as a good level of competitiveness, is my least expectation. If all goes smoothly, we hope to also be winning the whole event but you never know. Sometimes teams that work really hard in silence may surprise you and put up a good fight.
Q.With the recent departure of your very able teammate SkRossi, how does the current squad look like for BL4ZE Esports?
The current lineup is the same, but only with Rishi ‘RvK’ Vijaykumar replacing SkRossi.
We’ve been practicing a fair bit and he’s still trying to become comfortable with our team but it looks pretty good for now
Q.So many big names have left CS: GO to build their career around Riot’s rising FPS title. Do you think Valorant will replace Counter-Strike soon? Which game do you prefer?
Will Valorant replace counter strike? No. It will be an eSport in its own right and will have an audience that follows it. Just like how there is League of Legends and Dota, there will be a Valorant and CS. Competition is always good and this will bring out the best of both game developers to produce more content and keep things more exciting. As for which one I prefer – I think the fact that I’m still sticking to CS answers it.
Q.You have been the In-game leader for your team. What qualities makes a teammate an excellent leader?
Patience, Open-mindedness and Discipline are a few I can think of from the top of my head.
Q.What do you do as the IGL when things don’t go your way during a match?
Figure out why it’s not working and change what I’m calling. There’s no secret mantra or a strategy to help you escape slumps or make your team start winning. It’s all through analysis and perseverance to counter the enemy team.
Q.What is your greatest achievement since your entry as a professional in CS: GO?
Probably our 2-0 against Bravado back when I was in Signify. They had just come back off playing vs ENCE in a Dreamhack Finals and had come Runners Up in that tournament. ENCE went on in a couple of months after that to finish 2nd in the Majors. I think we played against a really competitive team and that boosted my confidence by a large margin.
Q.When did you realise that you could play at Counter-Strike at a professional level?
When I was 15 and I saw VERYGAMES play against Ninjas in Pyjamas. I had no idea there was even such a thing as competitive eSports. I figured as I played that I’m not that bad at the game and with a little bit of practice can try to play in those big tournaments myself.
Q.Does constant training and pressure to perform well take a toll on you? How do you cope with the stress?
I think me, and everybody that practices this game, constantly do have periods of burnout. Thankfully we do take off days to reset. I usually just play other video games or try and watch a movie or TV show when I do have an off day. Pressure to perform will always be there and I welcome the same. Pressure makes me perform better than I would if I were care-free.
Q.If you were not playing CS: GO professionally. What would you be doing to earn a living?
Probably work my way to become a Videogame Designer. I just graduated last month and I have an Information Science Engineering Degree now so haven’t really considered a Plan B. Plan A seems to be running its course smoothly so far.
Q.Do you have some suggestions for new players who want to go professional, not only in Counter-Strike, but other esports titles?
Understand that in this world, there will always be somebody more talented than you. But you will always have the power to catch up to talent with hard work. There are no shortcuts to success and opportunity presents itself to the ones who are prepared. So get busy, go work hard and bear the fruits of your hard work.
Q.It seems the entire world, including you, is riding the Among Us game hype. What are your views on it?
It’s a casual game. I don’t really have a view on it. It’s a video game like any other and people really seem to enjoy it, so let them. It does get monotonous after a while but as long as you keep finding newer groups and combinations of friends to play with, it’ll last. But it will be replaced by some other game soon.Published 08 Oct 2020, 17:58 IST