CHENNAI: Team Arknemisis is India’s first fully sponsored Overwatch team. The group consists six young boys — team captain Mansoor Ahmad, Vatsal Uniyal, Rakshit Mittal, Manish Kumar, Gary Chiu and Sri Dev — from Chennai, Bengaluru and New Delhi. However, they are better known by their online tags, Nabi, Water, Nightmare 2k, Piercer, Mioken and Truth respectively. They work hard to prove to the world that they too, are athletes in their own right. These young athletes competed in the ILG Overwatch tournament held at LXG Chennai over the weekend.
“Our training ground is a PC. Like how athletes train, we train by gaming for six-seven hours a day for four days. We spend two days reviewing our matches and analysing our and other teams’ styles. We also need to go through physical and mental training, and, like any other team, we have to bond a bit outside too,” said Mansoor. The oldest member, Gary, is 27 and the youngest member, Sri, is only 20 years old.
“The condition of eSports in India is poor. China is the second largest market for eSports and we lack in infrastructure. But the market is growing rapidly and I hope things change,” said Harish Suri, the team owner. He first met the players at the Nvidia Gamer Convention in Hyderabad in August 2017, and helped for the team by funding them.
Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer online game. The game is massively popular among gamers and pop culture enthusiasts. Much like a game of chess, each character has a different set of skills and a different role to play. Nabi and Water are physical attackers, who try to inflict the most damage on other team players. Mioken and Piercer are support players, whose main role is to heal their teammates and ensure that they do not get knocked out during a match. Truth and Nightmare 2k are tanks, which are defensive players who can take many hits and dish them back out.
The atmosphere at the Indian LAN Gaming Cup Season 2 held at the League of Extraordinary Gamers was tense as Team Arknemisis and Team GE XP played neck to neck, with alternating victories and losses, for the title and the `1,00,000 prize.
After the third game and a score of 1-2, Arknemisis’ tank, Vatsal Uniyal playing with the avatar Reinhardt, broke through GE XP’s offensive gameplay in the fourth game to ensure a tie. “We have been working on specific map strats, but we were wiped out in certain maps,” said Vaishak Achar, team captain of Team GE XP. “During the fifth match on the Jungletown map, things were a little misplaced for everyone. We struggled with the map even during practice.”
Team Captain Mansoor Ahmad and Manish Kumar managed to secure the next two wins for the title. “In the last map, we knew we were weak at the first point. So we tried to waste as much time as we could in the first two rounds and then come in and win the third. We had the confidence to pull it off,” said Kumar. The two offensive players made quick work of the other team during the last 30 seconds of the last match, knocking out four of the six team members in under 15 seconds.
On the team’s future plans, Ahmad said, “We are going to go celebrate, of course. But we will still work on our path to become pro and still concentrate on the domestic scene. It’s our goal to try to get into top 16 in the open division.”