Sid with his mother Kirti Joshi during ESL summer finals Image: Facebook
There's a well-known theory in the Indian gaming community — Sid Joshi can turn gamers into warriors. The lad from Mumbai spent most of his childhood in and around gaming cafe's in the maximum city before flying to the UK to study management.
After coming back to India, Sid put his management knowledge and pro gaming experience to good use and started managing team Entity Gaming in 2016. Under Sid's management, Entity soared and firmly established itself as one of the best eSports outfits in the country.
Team Entity won the ESL championships in India and also earned accolades after a brilliant showing at the qualifiers of The International 2018 Dota 2 tournament. The team already has a formidable global presence and even has international gamers on its roster. And pulling the strings behind everything is Sid.
T2 Online caught up with the 26-year-old 'Chanakya' of the Indian gaming for a look at his journey.
When and why did you decide to manage a gaming team?
I don't think anything specific made me decide to take this up. I am passionate about gaming and have played for a bunch of good teams before taking up a more managerial role. When Entity happened two years ago, it just felt natural.
Tell us a bit about Entity's achievements under your leadership?
Pretty much everything Entity has achieved since its formation has been with me. This organisation is my baby and I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing it grow over the years.
How hard is it to keep a good team together and retain the best players?
I believe in providing players with the best platform to succeed — something they won't get elsewhere. This itself creates an environment of mutual respect between the player and the manager. With a chemistry like that, keeping a team together is not that difficult.
In India, players often leave without notice or even break teams up. Why do the players do this?
I feel it is largely because a lot of players do not see eSports as a job. The fact that they have a responsibility towards the organisation they're representing is often lost on them. Don't get me wrong, I support players making informed decisions about their career. It is their future after all. But leaving without informing the organisation just denotes immaturity.
Your Dota 2 team has all foreign players, so will you call it an Indian team or international team?
It is an international team, but the organisation will always remain Indian.
Where do you think Indian gaming is heading?
Indian gaming has a bright future, especially with people and organisers putting in more money and effort into it. One thing we used to lack was awareness, but with the recent string of events, I feel like it's heading to an amazing place.
Why are people only focussing on Dota and CS GO players in India when there are other games as well?
The thing with eSports games is accessibility. You ask any gaming cafe and they carry those two games, people come in play these games and this, in turn, places them in the eSports scene. Other games such as Overwatch are still doing great but need more time to go mainstream in India. I feel everything is just a matter of time.