Sunil Sharma started gaming at the tender age of five Image: Facebook
Sunil Sharma from Patiala, Punjab, is an advocate by profession, enrolled with the Bar Council of India. He has a running practice at District Court Patiala and Chandigarh High Court and has even fought a few cases in Delhi. But when the 30-year-old is back home from work, he transforms into a gamer god. T2 Online spoke to one of the fastest speedrunners in the country about his journey, and how, despite resistance from his family, he still follows his passion for gaming.
When did you first start gaming?
Gaming was always a passion for me. My maternal uncle (who's no longer alive) used to deal in gaming consoles way back in 1991-92, and we used to enjoy our gaming sessions at home since we always had a spare gaming console with us. I was five years old. So you can say it was an early start.
What are the essentials for starting a Twitch channel?
You just need a good Internet connection and a good PC (or console which can stream like Xbox One or PS4) and you're good to go. Twitch provides the right and easiest platform to stream games and it is easy to set up.
Tell us about the ups and downs of your gaming career, and how you coped with them?
I faced many ups and downs, but I ignored all of them since no pitfalls or challenges can prevent me pursuing what I like to do and there can be no greater reward for me than the satisfaction I get when I play.
What have been the highlights of your streaming career so far?
Becoming the first Bloodborne Speedrunner from India to finish Bloodborne in 33 minutes and 27 seconds. Then finishing Cuphead (all bosses) speedrun in 29 minutes and 29 seconds. Recently, I started doing a no-hit challenge run on Bloodborne and finished Bloodborne without taking a single hit from any enemy or boss — that again makes me the first from India to do so. All these achievements make me a name that the gaming community knows all over the world. Apart from this, I also organised a few races of challenge runs.
What are your favourite leisure activities?
When I'm not doing any speedrun, I love to play new games based on their difficulty levels in order to challenge and push my limits. I like my stream viewers to issue challenges to me for new games. Recently, I finished a viewer challenge by completing the God of War game on its toughest difficulty level, and it was very satisfying.
When did you first start streaming?
It started pretty casually on July 28 last year and then I got hooked on to it. My first stream is still available on Twitch highlights of my channel.
Did your family support you in the beginning?
I come from Patiala in Punjab, which by no means is a "modern or advanced" city. My career so far has faced many ups and downs. Firstly, I had to fight the stiff resistance I faced from my family. Since I'm a lawyer by profession, my family always had issues with me choosing gaming and streaming as a career as they felt it would give me less time to practise law. I still practise in courts and have a good practice and stable career, but I don't think of gaming as a career — it is my passion, something I can't do without. It was an unconventional choice for me and my family to look at gaming as a career, but I am glad I have finally proved them wrong — maybe not completely so, but at least, the resistance is not intense as it used to be.
What are the challenges you faced?
The biggest challenges I face were beyond my control. I used to have a very unstable Internet connection and there used to be constant power cuts. Speedrunning is a very difficult task. It takes at least a month's practice to speedrun a game and then 1-2 hours of practice before starting the stream every day so that you perform well on stream. And when runs die because of Internet snaps or power failure, it kills the spirit inside me. But then again, I still fight all these challenges because, at the end of the day, this is what I love.
Do your parents support your choice to be a streamer?
To be very honest, I won't call it 'support', but yes, I've been successful in removing the resistance by proving to them that I'm growing every day in this direction.
What are the biggest challenges a streamer/ gamer faces in India?
There are many challenges, Internet speed and power cuts are the essentials that are not in our power to control. Apart from that, we don't have a gaming culture, our earlier generation still considers it as child's play. You want to start streaming as a career, get ready to face some hardcore resistance from your family. There is also lack of awareness regarding gaming as there are people who believe if you're not into eSports, you're not a professional gamer. The world of gaming is too big — one needs to explore, experiment and achieve. I feel so proud of being one of the fastest speedrunners from India, who is into the world's most difficult games (Dark Souls series and Bloodborne) speedruns and challenge run. I feel I am getting more success each day, not just in gaming performance, but earning the support of my viewers as well.