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Coder by day, gamer by night: The story of Shagufta Iqbal is inspiring

Playing for the Global eSports team, she has mastered games such as CSGO, Overwatch, PUBG and Fortnite

Santanu Basu 11 June 2018, 5:22 PM
T2 Interview
Shagufta during the Nvidia gamers connect in Pune in April

Shagufta during the Nvidia gamers connect in Pune in April Image: Facebook

Shagufta Iqbal spends her day writing codes for an IT company. And by night, the Pune-based coder transforms into a die-hard gamer. This relentless routine has eventually helped her make it big.

The 24-year-old Twitch streamer, who plays for the Global eSports team, has mastered games such as CSGO, Overwatch, PUBG and Fortnite.

So T2Online caught up with Shagufta to ferret out more details about gamer girl.

When did you first start gaming?

I've been gaming since I was a kid. I remember playing on my console which had those '999 in 1' cartridges. Over time, I graduated to my dad's PC, playing games such as Prince of Persia, Claw, Age of Empires, Quake, to name a few. Then my friends introduced me to Counter-Strike 1.6. I was hooked. I remember somebody had a spare key for Dota 2 (back then, you needed a key to add the game to your library). I got the key, played the game for around two years. After that, I started with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which I’ve been playing for five years. Around January 2018, I started PUBG and it has become my main focus.

What are the key requirements for a person to start a Twitch channel?

I'd say the most important thing is your passion for gaming. Then comes interacting with your viewers and being friendly. People watch streams for entertainment. They'll get bored and leave if you aren't interactive. Being extremely good at a game isn't a priority if you're entertaining enough. I want my viewers to have fun while watching me play. So, I try my best to talk to every single person that appears on chat. 

What are your favourite leisure activities?

I love watching other streamers. So whenever I'm not at work or streaming, I'm either playing some game or observing other gamers.

When did you start streaming first?

I started streaming in January 2018. I had done a few random streaming sessions on YouTube earlier, but I didn't really enjoy that. It was full of trolls back then and I decided to stop streaming. When I started missing streaming, I made up my mind and gave it another shot in January with Twitch. Best decision ever.

Did your family support you?

My family has always been supportive. They've travelled with me to events when I was too young to go alone. They've helped me build my dream PC. They never ask me to get up when I'm playing an online match. The way they share my achievements with the rest of the family makes me feel really blessed.

What are the challenges you've faced?

As I have a full-time job, it interferes with my streaming. There have been days when I've had to give streams a miss because I had extra office work. Then I ended up taking a break because it became really hectic to balance the two.  Soon after, I started missing streaming and the happiness it gave me. Then as the office workload decreased, I started streaming again in May. It is still super hard to juggle both, but I'm trying my best.

I am also a super shy person in general. So, in the beginning, it was really hard for me to face the camera and talk to everybody. This is also one of the reasons why I started streaming. I wanted to overcome my awkward, shy personality and streaming kind of forces you to talk. I've been very lucky to have a very active community that talks with me during a lot of streams. So, that kind of makes my job easier. I've been criticised for not being too loud. But I am still working on it. I have improved a bit and I'm sure there will be improvements in the future.

Are your parents still supportive?

Yes, my parents are extremely supportive. I've been thinking about streaming full time and I've discussed it with them. They know I'm both serious and passionate about it and they've always told me to do what I love because, in the end, that's what matters most.

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