Twenty-year-old Zohaib is also a Software Engineering student Image: Facebook
Twenty-year-old Zohaib Khalid is a student of Software Engineering at the CECOS University of Information Technology and Emerging Sciences in Peshawar, Pakistan. But that's not why we are interested in him. What makes Zohaib special is the fact that this Lahore-born lad is the No. 1 FIFA gamer in the whole of Pakistan.
As unbelievable as it may sound, Zohaib has an almost hundred per cent win record in every tournament he attends. Till now, he has won over a hundred tournaments, playing for the gaming team Eximious Esports.
T2 Online caught up with the ace gamer from across the border to get a glimpse of the pro-gaming scene in Pakistan and his journey as a gamer.
When did you first start gaming?
I played my first ever FIFA tournament in 2013.
How difficult has it been to balance academics with gaming?
I had to focus on my studies after joining the university; so I had to part ways with gaming. But after the announcement of major tournaments in our country, I picked up the controller yet again because I am not one to quit easily.
Tell us a bit about the ups and downs of your gaming career, and how you coped with them.
Even when things are not going my way, I keep on practising. I'd rather silence the critics with my performance rather than talk big.
What has been the highlight of your gaming career so far?
Winning over 100 tournaments and also getting an invite to represent Pakistan internationally.
What do you do when you are not gaming or studying?
I spend my free time cooking because I don't want to starve to death playing games when I'm home alone.
Does your family support your gaming?
Well, I can proudly say that I've always been supported by my family.
Tell us about the challenges you face as a gamer.
Being an independent teen isn't as easy as it looks. What I've learnt in life is that nobody saves you, you need to be your own hero. No matter what they say to bring you down, you have to step up and prove your mettle.
What is the biggest challenge that you face as a pro gamer in Pakistan?
Nobody's lucky enough to get sponsored in Pakistan, although there is no dearth of talent here. Often, you don't even get support from your family. There is no backup from the government either, you have to be on your own.
What does it take to be the most consistent winner in your field in Pakistan?
Being humble and determined is what makes you consistent. Always focus on your goals, make the title your sole focus. There are many roadblocks in this country for a gamer, but if you have the will, you will find your way.
What message would you want to give out to people out there?
Never give up on your dreams, because if you have a dream to chase, nothing can stop you.