Global Esports recently announced its all-Indian Fortnite roster to promote and develop the esports scene in the nation.
The competitive circuit in India is finally opening up to a popular battle royale game like Fortnite. Global Esports plans to establish its dominance in the region by winning the upcoming Fortnite Champion Series and future tournaments.
In light of this recent announcement, we had an opportunity to converse with Ashmit "Ash" Bindra, fragger for the GE Fortnite roster.
The 17-year-old plans to make an immediate impact and establish himself in the competitive Fortnite circuit. His skills, coupled with his eagerness to learn more, will make him a force to reckon with in the upcoming tournaments.
In an exclusive conversation with Sportskeeda Esports' Dipanjan Dey, Ash opened up about his plans as a full-time competitive Fortnite player in India.
In conversation with Ashmit "Ash" Bindra, Fragger in Global Esports' Fortnite roster
Here is an excerpt of the conversation:
Q1) First and foremost, congratulations on joining the Global Esports Fortnite pro roster. Give us an origin story? Tell our readers a bit about yourself and the journey that led you onto the path of becoming a professional Fortnite player in India?
A: Since I was a kid, I was always into playing video games with my friends. At some point, I realized that I was getting a lot better than most of my friends, and at that moment, I decided that I wanted to get into the competitive side of gaming.
My brother had introduced me to Fortnite back when it had just launched. When I started playing it, I already knew that this game was one of the most unique and enjoyable games I had touched. When the Middle East servers were announced, I fully committed to playing Fortnite competitively.
Q2) Tell our readers a bit about your early days and struggles, when did you start playing Fortnite, and how did you come up with the ign "Ash"? Who were some of your biggest inspirations behind playing competitive Fortnite?
A: When I started playing Fortnite, I didn't really have a good PC to play on, and that severely held me back. I barely got reasonable frame rates in the game, and that honestly demotivated me a lot. I didn't want to buy an expensive PC as I didn't really see the worth of it at the time. I started playing Fortnite in Season X of Chapter 1 with my school friends and then gradually shifted towards the "competitive scene."
My real name is Ashmit, and my parents always called me "Ash," which I then used as my in-game name.
Q3) As a professional Fortnite player in India, what do you think the community needs to become a region like NA East. How do you see upcoming pro players and content creators developing a Fortnite community in India?
A: The Middle East servers were released not too long ago. Other regions like NA East and Europe have had their servers since the start. Therefore, they have a lot more experience.
Other regions have also had huge LAN events, which puts players in clutch situations and tests their limits. So far, we haven't seen any massive LAN events, although we are improving as a region, season by season, and will hopefully get to their level soon.
Q4) Let us talk about your playstyle and some of your most significant achievements in competitive Fortnite so far?
A: In Fortnite, a player's playstyle depends on what role they play in their team. For example, I play the "fragger" in my trio, and I have to be the one who gets the most kills and refreshes in the end game for the tarper.
One of my biggest achievements would be coming to the top 23 in the Solo FNCS Grand Finals. Some of my other achievements would be qualifying for three heats (Squads, Solos, Trios).
Q5) The new crafting dynamics included in Fortnite Season 6 has sparked numerous debates all across the competitive community. What are your thoughts about these latest changes added to the competitive playlist?
A: In my opinion, it's a fresh change and changes how the game is played. The community looked down upon this change as most pros don't really like a changing meta in competitive Fortnite. In my opinion, the "crafting mechanism" is a tremendous change and gives people the opportunity to adapt again.
Q6) Another significant change in Fortnite Season 6 was the introduction of bows and the vaulting of snipers. This effectively suppresses an entire playstyle where precision rifles are crucial. How are players adapting to this drastic meta-change?
A: This was one of the best changes in the game, In my opinion, snipers didn't require that much skill, and it could totally grief a team's game just because of "1 mouse click ."
Snipers have now been vaulted and have been replaced with bows. These bows come in various varieties ranging from stink bows to flame bows.
However, since snipers have been vaulted, a crucial feature known as Storm Surge is now the key.
Usually, teams would get their storm surge with a headshot. But now, if you have an excellent natural aim, it is rewarded in-game. Getting precision tags with your ARs is more crucial than ever. This gives the incentive to aim to train more often.
Q7) Fortnite pros often practice numerous box fight routines and end-game courses before major cash cups, tourneys, and FNCS. Could you walk us through some of these routines that focus on aiming, editing, and building?
A: There are multiple aim routines or even mechanics and editing routines that major pros follow. Since I play on the controller, I usually start my day doing a couple of editing and mechanics courses. There is a famous mapmaker, "Raider464," known for making these training maps that almost every pro uses.
Q8) India's massive mobile gaming scene is effectively dominated by Free Fire, COD Mobile, and other battle royale games. Do you think Fortnite mobile can make a significant impact in the Indian gaming community?
A: Currently, Fortnite Mobile on IOS has been banned since there is an ongoing court case between Apple and Epic Games. However, Fortnite Mobile as a whole generated 70% of Epic's total revenue.
There wasn't much of a craze for Fortnite Mobile in India as most of the pros played on either PC/console. In my opinion, I don't think there is much scope for Fortnite Mobile blowing up in India as there are other mobile games such as PUBG and COD Mobile that hold stage value.
And let's not forget, Apex Legends Mobile is on its way.
Q9) India's soaring gaming industry is valued at $930 million and is number one in the world. However, there is not much exposure when it comes to casual or competitive Fortnite. How will this new roster influence the gaming culture in India?
A: Hopefully, players see the opportunities that Fortnite in India still offers, which motivates them to keep grinding and improving! There is so much talent on the Fortnite India scene, although confidence is a major factor lacking in the community.
That is because there is no major icon to look up to from our nation or region. I plan to become one of the pillars of the Indian Fortnite community in the next few years.
Q10) How would you address the perpetual KBM vs controller debate in Fortnite? Does it affect your strategy knowing that players competing on other platforms have an advantage?
A: This is a very debatable topic. Although I play on the controller, I know all the strengths and disadvantages it has. It doesn't affect our strategy as much as every team has almost one controller player and 2 KBM players.
We will give it our best and are playing and practicing every day to perform to our full potential. Hopefully, our hard work pays off, and we can secure a good position in those events!
Q11) What would you say is the most critical factor to consider to become a Fortnite pro, especially in India? Any secret tips for youngsters who aspire to become pros like you?
A: If I could give one secret tip or advice to youngsters who aspire to become pros, I'd ask them to have faith in their abilities. Keep grinding, and don't look for excuses.
Q12) Is there anything you would like to say to your Fortnite fans and the next generation of esports talents?
A: Let's take the Fortnite scene in India to the top and give our players the support they deserve! If youngsters want to start their competitive esports careers in India, Fortnite is the game to play, with the endless opportunities it offers!