Entity Co-Owners Point Out “Teenage Tantrums” Plaguing Indian Esports And Compare It to Europe
In our podcast, AFK Gaming had an engaging discussion about the Indian esports ecosystem with the co-owners of Entity Gaming, Varun Bhavnani and Neerav Rukhana. During this discussion, the co-owners highlighted the issues plaguing the Indian esports scene.
According to Varun and Neerav, the Indian ecosystem suffers from problems like players being poached, owners more interested in bragging rights, and the lack of professionalism in the community. In contrast, the European esports ecosystem features an open dialogue between team owners, healthy criticism from the community, and professional conduct by players.
Professionalism in Indian esports vs European esports
Neerav stated that the Dota 2 scene in Europe operates with an impressive level of professionalism, which left Entity Gaming amazed when it first entered it. In contrast, Neerav stated that the Indian esports scene is plagued by issues such as players getting poached even for small increments, team owners who are more interested in bragging rights than developing the scene, and a community that often reacts negatively to losses. As a result, everything seems to work negatively towards the growth and development of the Indian esports scene.
Neerav stated that Entity Gaming has been a part of the Dota 2 scene in Europe for 18 months and has found it to be a healthy and thriving ecosystem. In contrast to the Indian scene, the European ecosystem features an open communication between team owners who collectively work together, healthy criticism from the community, professional players conduct themselves in a responsible manner, buyouts take place in a professional manner, and the teams get to have a dialogue with the tournament organizers. “I think the last time I spoke with the Dota 2 team was two or three months ago. That's the kind of thing there; you do your thing, we'll do our thing. But there is still that level of trust,” he added.
Varun highlighted the level of respect and professionalism that exists among the co-owners and the players of Entity Gaming, noting that players are aware that the co-owners are lurking through discord channels to understand their communications and issues. When issues arise, they quickly connect with the manager to find a solution that addresses the players' needs. “That professional approach is very important, I would say. And that was very lackluster in the Indian ecosystem,” he added.
Indian esports ecosystem’s big “teenage tantrum” problem
Neerav noted that in the Indian esports ecosystem, the team always had some kind of issue every single day, which sucked the energy out of the organization. “These are issues, basically college going kids… basically these teenage tantrums and there are so many,” he added.
Varun stated that players in India often lack commitment and fail to follow through on their responsibilities. This can manifest in a variety of ways, from skipping gym sessions to neglecting their sleep schedules. “When you are at a bootcamp, you need to work as a unit. These are all principles that we strongly believe in. A bootcamp is like a school to you. You come in, you do what you're asked to do, and keep getting better at it as a unit. But there are a lot of, a lot of things. I don't know what to say; I can write an essay of the issues that we faced,” he added.
Neerav highlighted the lack of a healthy environment and exposure in the Indian esports scene. He emphasized that for a team to be high-performing, trust and collaboration within the team is very crucial, which is lacking in the Indian esports ecosystem.
Varun added that one of the main issues he had observed in the Indian esports scene is that the owner goes into a party mode with the players, which costs them to lose the competitive side of what they were doing or the scope of what they were trying to do as a team. “Because if that thing has come into play where I am chilling and hanging out with my players, drinking, smoking, taking pictures and all of that, that is never going to work out. You have lost the basic attire of what an esports organization has to do,” he added.
The lack of professionalism in Indian esports players
Varun expressed his disappointment in the lack of highly skilled esports players coming out of India. He added that both him and Neerav hate it, and are determined to change that. “If this generation is not able to do anything, it's okay, we will train our children. But we will make sure that we will do something of that kind. We have got into that zone. Trust me, we have held a lot of things in our hearts for the longest time. It just held up, held up, held up. But what we try to do is burst out that energy in a more constructive fashion, and that's what you're seeing in western Europe,” he added.
Neerav explained that it is very important for players to have a desire in themselves to represent their country, and just pushing them does not work. “Trust me, we have tried it before; we have tried it with all our teams. We basically put in the thought that don't do it for yourself, don't do it for us, just perform because we want to put India on the map. And we still haven't seen the big win come out for India,” he added.
Varun added that if an esports team is doing well and getting success, another organization will offer INR 5000 more money, and the players will leave to join that team. “I'm like, "What the hell?" You just spent an entire year building something with your unit, and just because you want to break the synergy of a good team that can get something going. That's why even the paperwork, the contractual obligations for the players, all of that are big question marks that nobody wants to talk about in the Indian ecosystem,” he added.
Neerav emphasized that the community needs to understand that giving players a big sense of euphoria just because they went on the main stage once is not helpful in building a high-performance team. It's important to evaluate the player's performance on the main stage and assess their contribution to the team. Neerav also expressed his concern about the presence of hackers and underperforming players on the main stage, which reflects poorly on the Indian esports community.