Top 5 Controversies in Indian Gaming and Esports



Top 5 Controversies in Indian Gaming and Esports

Dhruv Bhatnagar
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Indian gaming and the eSports scene are no strangers to controversies, be it from hacking to disturbing comments from key figures in the community.
Are you wondering about the biggest controversies in the Indian Gaming and Esports scene? Here's everything you need to know.

There's no doubt that gaming has become one of the most consistently growing industries in the Indian market. Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen a growth in the number of gamers, and the time spent on PCs, mobiles, or even consoles has risen at an unprecedented rate. From CS2 to PUBG, games of every genre and their eSports have become a huge hit in India and continue to grow. But along with all this type of gaming in India, we've also witnessed our fair share of controversial moments, which have impacted Indian gamers in significant ways. Taking upon the duty of informing you about the biggest controversies, let's look at the top 5 controversies in Indian Gaming and Esports.

Most Controversial Indian Gaming and Esports Moments

1. Forsaken Caught Cheating in Counter-Strike Tournament 

Former Indian professional player Nikhil "Forsaken" Kumawat played as a rifler for OpTic India. However, his stint with the team was short, as he was caught cheating during a Counter-Strike match in the eXTREMESLAND 2018 Finals. He tried to defend himself by attempting to delete the files on the computer during the tournament, but he got caught. He ended up ruining his career and has often been blamed as the sole reason for the fall of the competitive Counter-Strike scene in India.

2. Team Mahi's 'Sentinel' Disturbing Comments on 'Nirbhaya' Rape Case

In 2021, Team Mahi's owner, Manoj “Sentinel" Kashyap, made some alarming and upsetting comments in one of his live streams while talking about an incident involving a cheater whom Riot Games banned. After his viewers brought up a cheating incident, Sentinel responded that whoever brought up the topic would be physically abused worse than 'Nirbhaya,' a victim of a 2012 gang rape and murder. Even though Sentinel apologized, Riot Games investigated the player.

Top 5 Controversies in Indian Gaming and Esports


3. PUBGM Banned in India 

In 2020, the Government of India banned PUBGM alongside PUBG MOBILE lite. The government decided to ban these apps at the time, stating that they were stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an authorized manner to servers located outside India. It wasn't only PUBGM that was banned; we saw even popular games such as Arena of Valor and Mobile Legends: Pocket getting banned. However, Krafton introduced Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) in June 2021 and ensured that it followed data law compliance. Although the game faced a few hiccups and was blocked again, it made a full comeback in June 2023.

4. Sc0ut and MortaL Controversy 

There's no doubt that Tanmay “Sc0ut” Singh  and Naman “MortaL” Sandeep Mathur are the most popular figures in the BGMI community. In 2019, Mortal announced that he would focus on being a streamer and influencer, taking a break from PUBGM. To replace him, his team, SouL, brought in Sc0ut from TEAMIND, who was one of the closest competitors to SouL. However, MortaL's fans weren't happy with his decision to step down from the game's competitive side. While MortaL continued to explain his position, Sc0ut received hate from fans, from comparisons to Mortal, and straight-up name calls. Sc0ut ended up becoming frustrated and responded with nasty words. After realizing it was easy to push Sc0ut over the edge, some trolls and viewers started baiting him with comments to get a reaction.

5. Team SouL vs Stalwart Esports

In 2022, two of the most popular BGMI teams, Team SouL and Stalwart Esports, had a serious beef with each other. It began right after the names of the participating teams for an upcoming tournament were released. Stalwart Esports, started off with verbal skirmishes, and the team posted several tweets, especially targeting Team Soul. 

SouL's manager, Sid, accused Stalwart Esports of taunting his team and using their name to gain fame. Even Animesh "8Bit Thug" jumped into the drama and shared pictures of his clothes, mentioning their price to troll Stalwart's owner. 

Stalwart's owner stated that the drama started because SouL demeaned Stalwarts by saying they'll never go against an inferior team. This hurt Stalwart's feelings as they were one of the biggest Esports organizations in the world. Lokesh "8bit Goldy" announced a pizza challenge to settle the controversy, where he would represent SouL, and Zeyaan would represent the Mongolian organization. 

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