First row left ro right: Raunak Sen, Ankit Panth, Sagar Vyas, Simar Sethi, Bhavin Kotwani Second row left to right: Kartikeya Behl, Ishan Aarya, Ankur Diwarkar, Abhinav Tejan, Tirth Mehta Image: Tapasri Saha
India's perception of superstars may have been largely confined to Bollywood and cricket until now, but things are changing. Slowly but surely, the nation is rediscovering what it means to be an icon and fans all over have started picking their idols from diverse fields and professions.
As far as gaming goes, the scene in India is still at a nascent stage compared to the likes of the US, Germany, Korea and a few other countries, where gamers — professional or streamers — excelling at their trade have already become household names. However, the industry is growing at a rapid pace and the day gamers get to become national icons may not be very far off. And while we wait, T2 Online takes a look at some of the most popular Indian gamers (professional or otherwise) currently active in the community.
Raunak Sen aka Crowley is hands down the most famous DOTA player in the country. Known for his trademark beard and frank personality, Crowley has won everything there is to win at DOTA in India. He is a part of Team Signify and is currently playing in the World Electronic Sports Games in China.
Ankit 'V3nom' Panth is a professional gamer from Mumbai and has over ten years of experience as a gamer. Ankit is a true inspiration for upcoming gamers, having paved out a place for himself through his diligence and determination. Coming from a middle-class family, Ankit is the very essence of a self-made gamer in India. The captain of the famous Team Brutality is also known to be a fitness fanatic.
Sagar shot to fame after he won the Electronic Sports World Cup (Eswc) India in 2012 and went represented India in Paris that year. He reached the top 8 in the FIFA event and won or reached the podium in every national level tournament that season. After taking a brief sabbatical due to personal reasons, he made an impactful comeback recently. Vyas has carved out his own brand in the Indian gaming community owing to his blunt and generous nature.
Ankur Ashok Diwakar is one of best FIFA veterans in the Indian gaming scene. He's known for his unique playing style and is perhaps the most well-connected FIFA gamer in India. Ankur also has a certified degree of Diploma in Game Designing & Integration (DGDI).
The caption of Team Entity the newest poster-boy of Indian e-Sports. The 19-year-old, who goes by the gamertag HellrangeR, recently led his team to victory at the ESL India Premiership Winter LAN Finals in CS:GO.
Simar aka Psy is Bhavin's teammate at Team Entity and is considered as one of India's best Counter-Strike players. The lad from Delhi is also arguably the best awper in CS:GO in India. The former Team Brutality member also owns his YouTube channel now and streams PUBG and CS:GO.
Ishan is better known as Captain Arya in the gaming world. He is not into competitive gaming but is very popular on Youtube and has over 21k subscribers.
Abhinav specialises in fighting games like Mortal Kombat, Tekken and Street Fighter and has been playing professionally since 2010. His tryst with eSports started off with a Tekken 6 tournament and it's only been an upward surge since. He has been to four international tournaments and placed fifth in IeSF World Championship 2017 at Busan, South Korea.
Tirth Mehta is a Hearthstone player from Gujarat who has been playing Hearthstone since its beta phases. Apart from placing high almost every month, he has qualified and competed in many international events such as IeSF 2017, Hearthstone Thailand Majors in 2016 and 2017 as well as HCT APAC playoffs.
Kartikeya shot to fame in 2017 after winning the AFGC Championship in Thailand, which makes him the first Indian to win an international eSports event. Behl is renowned for his composure and comeback plays, which saw him climb to the no. 1 ranking in Asia for FIFA 17.
Do note, the list is in no way exhaustive and the order is completely random.