Interview with ScoutOP, one of India's top PUBG Mobile players

Shounak Sengupta
Published On: 

Tanmay Singh aka Sc0utOP is a name that is hardly unrecognizable in the PUBG Mobile scene but the 21-year old has had a difficult relationship with the community. Despite being recognized as one of the top players in the country, his brash outspoken personality has often made him a target of fans and viewers. His recent move to SouL did not go down well with MortaL’s fans, who made it abundantly clear that Scout could never replace their hero. What followed was a series of back and forth communications between Scout and members of the Indian PUBGM community, the nature of which got uglier each day. However, with help from other influential community members and some late but needed effort from Scout’s side, the flames are slowly being doused. 

Now the temperamental youngster looks to reign in his anger, and channel it towards his performance as an esports professional, as he leads one of India’s top PUBGM squads. With expectations riding high on Team X as a squad of skilled and recognized figures, the pressure will be on them as both fans and haters wait with bated breath to see whether Scout can indeed deliver. 

Hi Scout. How are you doing? We know it’s been a difficult time for you personally. How have you been dealing with it and who has been your support system?

Hi. Well, to be honest, we know that India is a pretty big place and people here take some time to accept changes. I kind of didn’t factor that in and was too upfront at the wrong time. Later on, I realized, that I just needed to give them time to accept the changes and it would be fine. Everyone in the professional community, who are playing for other teams and such are all supporting me and they all tell me to calm down and focus on my game and everything will get back on track.

What’s been your biggest learning from this entire situation?

I think my biggest learning has been to not rush things

Interview with ScoutOP, one of India's top PUBG Mobile players

Sc0ut's reaction to trolling and hate did not go down well with the community

Are you referring to rushing things in terms of making decisions in terms of what to say?

No I think, the decision to make the team was correct but I have to be able to think twice before saying things. 

How did you decide on Team X and your teammates? 

We kind of always knew each other and played customs together as a friendly clan. We know each others' game style pretty well so it's easy to get along.  

Are you the in-game leader? 

Yea I am the IGL and filter for the both. Sometimes Owais also helps out with the calling.

What are your immediate goals for the team and what are the dynamics that you guys are currently working on?

Right now, we have to improve the synergy between us. Even though we know each others' styles we need to adapt to each other. This is one of the key things that will make us a better team. In simple words, whatever is going on in my teammate's mind should also be going on in mine and vice versa. So we are playing a lot of customs to help us find the right balance and hopefully, we’ll be a lot stronger in the coming weeks. 

Tell us a bit about how you guys selected the team. 

Owais and Ronak were from Team SouL and Owais is already one of the best assaulters in the country and of course, Ronak is one of the best snipers. They were key in forming the lineup. I myself am a support player and assaulter and then we have Paritosh and Dreams. Dreams is one of the most underrated players in the country and he didn’t have a high-end device to play on, but he is already showing his talent. Paritosh too needed a chance to prove himself to play on a big stage so yeah. Since they are new, they are hungry and determined to prove themselves. As I like to say a hungry lion is more effective than a lion who has already dominated his jungle. 

Interview with ScoutOP, one of India's top PUBG Mobile players

What did you guys learn from PMCO (PUBG Mobile Club Open) and international teams like XQF (X-Quest Force), TOP esports and the others?

One of the major things we do is observe the scrim replays and one of the key things we learnt that we had never seen before is that these teams tend to prioritize rotations and zone timings quite heavily. Like when we would decide to go to a place on the map, these top teams would have already been there and killed off a few teams. So we have to improve our speed in the game; it’s not about aim but rather about the speed that differentiates top teams from the rest. 

Do you think this improves with practice and time or with experience and studying teams?

I don’t think it has a lot to do with practice but more by studying the good teams. 

What tournaments are you focusing on in the near future?

PMIT (PUBG Mobile India Tour) for sure is one of our priorities. PMCO Fall is another one. And then there is the World League that's coming up next year. These are the big three that we are focusing on as a team. Other than that I will be attending PMSC (PUBG Mobile Star Challenge) with TeamIND while Ronak and Owais will be with SouL but that is just for PMSC. 

Which group will you guys be trying from at PMIT? 

We will be playing from Group D and I’m sure it will be a tough one since it’s the last chance and all of the remaining teams will give their 100%. 

And which teams do you think are currently the strongest in India?

There are quite a few strong teams I would say. Orange Rock or ORE definitely, then Entity Gaming, TeamIND, Team INS, SouL and 8 bit. Actually 8 bit is currently playing really well. They have been very consistent in the scrims and can surprise almost any team. 

How are your scrims going for now? Are you guys only playing with Indian teams?

No, we are playing international scrims as well. In a day we are playing about 9-10 games out of which 3-4 are with teams such as ELG (Elite Gaming) and XQF.

Do you think scrims give you an accurate representation of skill level or are teams hiding their strategies?

I would say the major thing is that in China, teams have private scrims while in India, most scrims are streamed. This makes it hard because once a team has your stats, it messes up your positioning and strategies. In India, if I need to target a team, I’ll look at the stream, see where they are landing and cut them off from the loot and kill them. In China, the scrims being private helps teams avoid this type of thing. 

Interview with ScoutOP, one of India's top PUBG Mobile players

Teams like XQF and TOP Esports have already established that they are a tier above the rest

Image Credit: Tencent

I guess this comes from the fact that in India there is a heavy focus on content and views and the line between being a professional player and streamer is somewhat blurry. 

Yes definitely. I think in China there is a clear line between esports and streamers and everyone respects that. It’s what makes the Chinese teams so good. In North America as well, the teams are allowed to have some private scrims.

Do you think that teams in other regions are more professional due to the existence of established organizations with proper teams, managers and contracts?

Yes, absolutely it makes a difference. In India, earlier people were not investing that much into esports and generally, players would leave teams leading to frequent roster shuffles. But hopefully now with the new organizations coming in, they have exit clauses and such, so players will have to think twice before leaving.

If you could choose an organization to represent which one would you choose?

Cloud9 was always my dream org as I always used to admire players like Shroud, Stewie2k and Skadoodle when I was younger.

Interview with ScoutOP, one of India's top PUBG Mobile players

Scout says that popular Twitch streamer and ex-pro Shroud is his inspiration

You recently said that you would try and focus on esports more and tone down on streaming. Tell us a bit more about this decision. 

So for me, I get my pride from professional esports. Some people have goals like wanting to be the biggest streamer but for me, it’s different because I get my satisfaction when playing competitively and winning. 

What do you think Team X has that no other team has?

Experience would be the first thing as all the 4 players have been playing tournaments since the start and we have seen the game change and grow. So yea, experience-wise we are definitely at the top.

What do you think Scout stands for as a brand, as a player and as a person?

The first thing I would like to say is that Scout and Tanmay are very different. Scout as a player is not the same as Tanmay off stream. For me, Scout is a guy who is focusing on esports and wants to win. So I like to say that Scout is my job and Tanmay is my life. 

Do you think Scout the streamer is different from Scout the professional player?

So now I am going to cut down on streaming as I mentioned earlier but anyway, I will take it a bit more easy and I think I can ignore the haters better now. One thing I realized was that if there are 100 people who are saying bad things then there are 1 lakh people who are supporting me. Because of these 100 people I started getting agitated and ended up angering my fans also. So now I will focus on the people who love and support me.

If you could change one thing about the PUBG Mobile community in India what would it be?

The main thing is I would like to let people know that there is a big difference between an esports professional and a streamer. All over the world, I feel that esports players get more respect but in India, it’s the opposite. Players grind every day to try and be the best while a streamer's job is to entertain. There is a very big difference. I personally think being an esports player is a lot harder than being a streamer. 

Thanks for the interview Scout. Do you have anything you want to say to your fans?

I would like to say thanks for all the support and keep believing in us.

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Shounak has been one of AFK Gaming’s longest-serving esports journalists. From Dota, to Counter Strike and now Mobile Titles, you can rely on him to bring you the latest scoop and news from the world of esports.

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