21-year old Yash Soni is one of the first heroes of the Indian PUBG Mobile scene. One of the original founding members of team SouL, he has stuck with the organization since playing his first tournament in DreamHack 2019. With some major accomplishments under his belt and having represented the country in a number of international events, Viper is one of the most experienced and recognized players in India. While his name might be inspired by famous WWE wrestler, Randy Orton, he comes across as a sweet and likable youngster, unlike the mean, aggressive persona crafted by his namesake. However underneath that, Viper is one of India’s top players, who has built himself a reputation for his versatility and for being a master of his craft.
[Also read: 10 Questions with Ketan 'K18' Patel]
A video version of the interview is also available below.
1. How did you get the name Viper?
Actually I was a big fan of WWE when I was young and my favorite wrestler was Randy Orton, whose nickname was Viper. So whichever game I played, I used to keep that name and that is how it stuck with me.
2. Which games did you play before PUBG Mobile?
When I was really young, I used to play PC games such as Counter Strike and even before that, titles like Road Rash. But more recently I used to play a lot of console games on the Playstation. Before switching to PUBG Mobile I also used to play Free Fire with my friends but when PUBG released I liked the game a lot because it had better graphics and gameplay.
3. What has been the most critical moment of your career?
I would say it was PMIS 2019 as after we won, Soul became really big and I started streaming on YouTube and managed to get a lot of fans and followers. Who knows what would have happened if we didn’t win.
4. Who did you look up to when you started playing PUBG Mobile?
When I started out playing the game, there were very few tournaments. Most of the action was happening on YouTube. MortaL was starting to grow really big and he and his squad involving Iconic, Novaking and Pothead were considered some of the best players. So I used to watch them a lot and was a big fan. During season 3, when I was still rank pushing, I was invited to join Soul and soon after that there was DreamHack and the rest is history.
5. Why does SouL have the most passionate fans?
I think this has to do with MortaL, who started streaming even before SouL was in the picture. His humble nature helped build a massive fan base, some of which spilled over when we started streaming ourselves. And some of those qualities became a part of us. We started connecting with our audience on an emotional level. Nowadays, when we win, our fans are happier than us and when we lose, they feel sadder than us.
6. If you had not started started playing competitively and streaming what would you have done?
I think for me, YouTube started as a matter of chance. I was seriously considering preparing to give my MBA entrance examinations, but then since my career and my YouTube took off, those things are on a break.
7. What are SouL working on at the moment?
I think we will be more composed as a team and we'll work on our communication as well. Another thing is that MortaL will be talking up the role of IGL from Sangwan. We are also trying to be a lot more aggressive and go for kills and hoping to improve our gunfight skills.
8. What is something you enjoy about streaming?
I like that I'm able to use my platform for good causes. I really believe that if God has put us in a position where can help others, we should definitely do it. Nothing makes me happier than use my platform to influence others and raise money for charitable causes.
9. Are you planning to stream any other games on stream?
Right now the audience really likes PUBG Mobile. But there are a lot of other games which are super entertaining and in the coming months, I do want to play and stream those and I'm hoping that people enjoy them.
10. Who is one person who has helped you throughout your career?
I had no idea about being a professional player and the competitive side of things. After DreamHack, we met Thug, who had played at PMSC 2018, which was one of the first international competitions for PUBG Mobile. So he explained what the scenario was and what potential it had in the future. So he helped us a lot and he has been a great support in both my professional career and my streaming career.
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