Ever heard of any Indian female pro- gamers? Well, Indian gaming industry has not witnessed many. In fact there are a very few and Apoorva Mohan is one of them. Code named, ‘Ir0nb@b3’, she is a part of EvoX Gaming which is one of the top gaming teams in India. Tech Legends managed to have a chat with her recently. Here is a part of the conversation.
What made you enter the world of gaming?
Well, gaming is something that I have been doing since I was a small child. My Dad was a gamer. So, I used to play with him when I was a kid and I enjoyed it a lot. I played games like Mario, Contra, etc. Those days can never be forgotten.
But when I grew up and was like 19 or 20, I came to know about some gaming events like BYOC when I happened to visit some malls. Since, I love gaming… I was inspired and put some serious thought into it. Soon, I was in my first BYOC (‘Bring Your Own Computer’, a major Indian Gaming Event). I met so many gamers and then came to realize that gaming could be so much more fun when you play multiplayer mode.
How did you become a part of EvoX Gaming?
When I was at my first BYOC, I met TeRm!N@ToR (Mukul Sabhani, Captain of EvoX) although to be honest he was the guy shouting the loudest there [chuckles]… and then I came to know about EvoX. Initially, I used to play Counter Strike 1.6 in LAN but then I also started to play COD 4 (Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare) and was very good at it. So, TeRm!N@ToR asked me to join EvoX. Even though I was aware that playing for a top team as a ‘pro player’ was a different ballgame altogether but somehow I still said, “O.K. Why not? Let’s give it a try!” And since then I have been representing the team in many gaming events throughout India.
Did you face any difficulties in order to become a pro-gamer?
[Puffs]…Yeah, obviously! According to my opinion, if you want to become a pro-gamer…you need to keep practicing all day and night…..After, I was introduced to EvoX, for one year I devoted my entire life to gaming, sleeping, eating and nothing else. I also had my studies to think about and hence, I managed my rigorous schedule accordingly. It was very difficult and I think inorder to play professionally, you have to practice a lot and commit to it like a code.
Some of the contributions made by you for your team…
[Puffs]…I especially play COD 4 for EvoX. At some point of time, I also used to play Tekken but later I focused only on COD as I was very good at it.
Eventually, I played many matches in events and performed well. One of the gaming events that I performed my best was at ICGC (Indian Cyber Gaming Championship), Goa. I was in a pinch and was surrounded by many enemies. But I did not give up my hope and rather, I had an adrenaline rush. I took down all my opponents using my AK-47 without any mercy!
What’s the best moment that you experienced as a pro-gamer?
[A rare pause]…[Chuckles]…..Whenever I am gaming, I feel very happy. Frankly speaking, there is no favorite moment as such because all of them are good. But I do recall a certain day in my life, when at a gaming event our team made it to the finals. We were already at a disadvantage and the other team was winning. But our team did not give up. I remember TeRm!N@ToR’s exact words that day: “Common…guys!!! We have to win…Play like your lives are dependent on this!” .Hearing those strong words we were motivated and were in high spirits. The whole team was at that time like a single body with nothing but one goal in mind: WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP!’… We gave everything we had and finally we did emerge victorious!
Female gamers are very rare in India and you are one of them. How do you feel about it?
[Puffs]…Well, I’ve never really found that as a big deal. I don’t think that gaming should be decided on the fact that whether you are a girl or a boy but rather it should be decided on how much you love gaming. Some, people think that I am a sick person along with a sick gamer. Yeah, I agree that it’s hurtful at times when I hear such things. I love gaming and I would like people to accept me as a gamer along with a part of the gaming community. I’ve met so many friends via online gaming. They are nice to me and I enjoy playing with them. So, I think that I don’t face that much difficulty as I’ve always been a part of EvoX and my team has been taking care of me. [Chuckles]
What steps have you taken to attract female gamers to the Indian Gaming Industry?
[Chuckles]…I have tried a lot. Once, I tried to make an ‘all-female clan’. But very few were interested and they were not so passionate like I expected them to be. I have actually flown down to some states to play in events and you need that sort of passion to become a ‘pro’. Unfortunately, in India not many people have that.
Rather than pro-gaming what do you do professionally?
I am an animator. I especially do 2D and 3D cartoon animations. I freelance sometimes and also do some graphic designing.
What are your hobbies?
I love reading manga’s and watching anime. Fairy Tail is my favorite. I am a big movie freak. I generally watch action-movies like Avengers, Thor, etc. I also watch animated-movies a lot and among them Frozen is the best one that I have ever watched. TV series like Friends, CSI, etc. are also in my watch-list. Photography is another skill that I am interested in. I like to click as well as edit pictures.
And yes, I also have a pet dog. His name is ‘Bagheera’. I love spending time with him and he’s like the cutest thing that I have ever seen! [Excited]…
Generally what sort of games do you play?
I am a hardcore FPS (First Person Shooter) fan. Rather than COD (Call of Duty), I play other shooting games like Crysis and Battlefield. But I also experiment with different types of games. I like Prince of Persia series, Assassins Creed series, Batman Anthology, etc.
For how long do you plan to be a gamer?
[Gasps}…… I guess gaming will always be a part of my life. I can imagine myself still as a gamer if I live more than ninety years! [Chuckles]….. I have a dream of having this apartment consisting of a brand new 100” LED screen with my Xbox, PS3 and also my PC.
But as a pro-gamer, I think it completely depends upon how much you devote your time to practice. I may not be a pro-gamer forever but I think wherever I go, whatever I do, gaming shall always remain as a part of me and all those who are close to me like my family, friends, etc., need to also accept that fact.