Last updated on April 2nd, 2016
Code-named, ‘[email protected]’, Mukul Sabhani is the leader of one of the top gaming teams in India known as ‘EvoX Gaming’. He has led the team to many achievements and glories, and is a house-hold name throughout the Indian gaming industry where most of the players idolize and respect him a lot. Here is a conversation between him and Techlegends….
How EvoX happened?
The team was formed with only a few members five years ago, when nobody wanted to play COD(Call of Duty)in India and everybody were only busy in Counter Strike. So, we were the only ones who wanted to play some other games and that’s how our team came into existence and was named, ‘EvoX’.
What is the meaning of EvoX?
It has no meaning in particular. We just came up with a lot of terms like FTN, FTE, Extermination bla….bla…bla…and finally we decided our team will be called : ’EvoX’. Originally, it meant EvolutionX but honestly it is not a term we generally use in the public. You would rather find it common among school kids. [Chuckles]
Did you encounter any struggles to make the team perfect?
[Chuckles] Struggles? Lol, I am still struggling. You will always have struggles yaar….At any level, if you form a team. For the last five years I’ve been playing and managing the team.I have gone to different tournaments across the country with at least a five member party going along with me and add to that the practice we need to do for every tournament …which is like a hell of a job.It’s not easy.
Some notable team members…..
Notable team members would be ‘Umesh Arora” who was an initial member and is the only guy still playing with me since 2010. Next would be “Apoorva Mohan”, the sole female gamer in India and finally, “Avishek Ghosh” whom I can never forget. He is the one who founded the team and if it were not for him then EvoX would never have formed and in fact my nickname, ‘[email protected]’ would never have existed.
How does it feel like to be the leader of one of the best gaming teams in India?
[Gasps and chuckles] It’s very difficult. You have to be answerable to a lot of things. Sometimes I may not win but I still have to play and keep on trying in order to keep the team together which is not so easy. There are lot of responsibilities like forming the team,selecting the final squad, getting the team into tournaments, getting the gear ready, negotiating with the organizers, etc. Once, I even left my real job to keep my gaming career alive. I’ve slept like for three hours and went to office for days at a stretch and endured a lot of stress to make sure that my team plays well. It’s a difficult job but I still have to do it, in fact I love to do it. But as they say every job also has its own advantages. A lot of people and manufactures know me, many gamers respect me and my team respects me. It’s a give and take thing.
Where do you think Indian gaming stands in the world today and what steps can be taken to strengthen our gaming industry?
Indian gaming is just in the ‘initial stages of development’ though there may be a lot of potential. In my opinion, Indian gamers need to believe that gaming can also be a profession…if not full time then atleast a part time one until serious money gets involved in the sport. Parents also need to change their mindset and support if their lads are thinking of going pro. More gamers need to think about playing games professionally. Just online fun won’t help. They need to attend tournaments and keep on practicing.
So, you are saying that inorder to create a big change like this we need to create a change in the surroundings….
Obviously! Yaar…People like Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar came and made cricket a house-hold sport, and now everybody wants to play cricket. So, basically parents would allow their children to go pro in cricket but this is not applicable for gaming, as this form of sport doesn’t have that kind of atmosphere or money in our country at present.
What action have you taken from your side to revolutionize Indian gaming?
[Gasps]…Honestly speaking, for the last five years I’ve tried every single thing possible by the book..off the book, in every single tournament. The first COD (Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare) tournament in India was organized by me with a Rs.10 entry fee, which was like a tiresome and challenging job. We (his team) are trying everything within our reach and we will keep on trying and trying till the time it’s possible. So, let’s hope for the best.
What are your favorite games?
COD (Call of Duty) series, Crysis Trilogy, NFS, Freedom Fighters, Batman Trilogy, etc.
Rather than gaming what are your hobbies?
Both racing and biking are my passions apart from gaming. I love to watch and play cricket. Sachin Tendulkar is like my God! In fact he is my God.I also love to do some photography if I get time. Listening to music helps me feel relaxed.
How long do you plan to be a gamer?
…[A rare pause] Till the time it’s possible. Till the time nobody in my own concern says, “Come on man! You’ve got kids now. Stop gaming!” [Chuckles]
Physically, I think it’s possible for me to play atleast four- five more years until I am thirty-two or thirty-three. Mentally, it would be as long as possible. I’ll try my best to go to all the tournaments in India even though aware of the fact that I won’t be able to attend all of them. But I would never end my passion for gaming and I hope that in the future our country witnesses a Golden Era in Gaming Industry.