TSM India’s AquaNox

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Interview With TSM India’s AquaNox: “BGMI will always be the top one”

Moin Khot
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The Esports Club New State Open, the first-ever LAN event for New State Mobile in India, is just around the corner. Sixteen teams, eight from the group stage and eight invited teams, will compete against each other on 19th and 20th November for a humongous prize pool of INR 10,50,000 ($12,894 USD).

AFK Gaming had the opportunity to sit down with TSM India’s professional Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) player, Harsh “AquaNox” Rao. AquaNox became a part of TSM India in July 2021. Since then, he has established himself as one of the strongest BGMI players. With his inclusion in the team, TSM India has won multiple titles and was at its pinnacle for quite some time before the game’s ban.

AquaNox and TSM India are finally back to LANs at the TEC Arena

LAN events were on halt in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions and to ensure the safety of the players. As soon as the LAN tournaments resumed, the government of India blocked BGMI under Section 69A of the IT Act 2000 after a couple of LAN tournaments.

The return to LAN events has AquaNox beaming with excitement. “LAN has a very competitive environment. Every team thinks about how they can beat all other teams. So, every other day you get a different approach from every other team. I find it very interesting. It improves the competitive experience, and you feel like playing more,” he said. “The LAN event is happening after such a long time, so we will meet many of our friends and spend time together. Obviously, LAN is very helpful for every team, and everyone enjoys it too.”

“In a LAN setting, you give your 200% percent. However, you can’t pay much attention in an online setting. You can’t predict what other teams would do even if you want to. But in LAN, you can understand the mindset of your opponent teams. So, you can adapt to that thing accordingly on LAN,” he explained.

TSM India will be competing against 15 of the best New State Mobile teams from across India in the New State Open. But that hasn’t haunted AquaNox’s expectations. He revealed that he and his team plan to win the tournament. “Most of the time, we ended up in the second position. This time we will try our best to rank first or atleast come in the top 3 in this event. Hopefully, it will be good. We will give our best,” he said.

TSM India has been hard at work in its bootcamp to help achieve this goal and are intent on making TSM India better than ever. “We always have fun in the TSM India bootcamp. All the players and content creators usually sit together and discuss what we can do better. We always try to figure out what changes we can make in the gameplay to make a better TSM India than the previous one,” he said. “We keep motivating each other and never point out the mistakes of others. Even if we point out, we make sure to solve those mistakes. So, our mindset is always to get the first rank, nothing else.”

Thoughts on New State Mobile

Aquanox believes that New State Mobile has a bright future in esports. “Honestly, I haven’t played New State Mobile much because BGMI might return. Now, I am exploring other games as well, so I have played New State Mobile but not much,” he said. Following this, he added, “It seems that New State Mobile has a bright future. There are a lot of good players in the game, and it is very different from BGMI. The game is interesting, but at the same time, it is also a little difficult. BGMI is a slow-paced game, whereas New State Mobile is a fast-paced game like PC games. Maybe that’s why many people don’t like it, but it is really good for esports.”

However AquaNox believes that it will be hard for New State Mobile to become as big as BGMI or PUBG Mobile. He replied, “It will be difficult because BGMI has a huge fan following. On the other hand, New State Mobile was recently released. It seems New State Mobile is planned for the future. It might become popular in the future as it is a very mechanical game. But BGMI will always be the top one.”

TSM India will fight against the best New State Mobile teams at the New State Open. During the interview, AquaNox revealed the teams he is looking forward to playing against. He replied, “We don’t usually have any such thing. But few teams, like Team SouL and Team XO, make us feel like competing against them. We give our best, and they give their best. Then, we think about how we can adapt to their new strategy. So, these two teams feel aggressive and versatile, like every player makes the most out of their role.”

It is interesting to see Aquanox being so ready to adapt to different titles when called for. So we were curious about his preference for PC esports titles and which title he would compete in. “Valorant or CS:GO, anytime,” he said without any hesitation. “Because I used to play CS 1.6 professionally and have also played its LAN tournaments, but my PC wasn’t that good. When BGMI was suspended, I thought about becoming a Valorant professional player.” Following this, he added, “From the beginning, I believed that I could give my best in competitive gaming, whether it is a PC game or a mobile game. With the amount of work I put in, if I grind enough, I can even go pro in PC gaming. That’s my mindset.”

We asked AquaNox whether he watches Valorant esports and, if he does, which three players are his favorite. He replied, “Yes, I do watch. The first would be Forsaken ( Paper Rex) because his aim is very strong. Then, I would say SkRossi (Global Esports), obviously. The third would be Boaster (Fnatic).”

Words for fans and aspiring pros

AquaNox also shared his advice for aspiring pro players who want to pursue a career in esports. He said, “It is all about hard work and patience. Don’t think about the results; work hard and keep patience. If you are working hard, the results will come. Never think about results. Just think about giving your best, and improve daily. Think about how you can improve, approach esports, and explore, like talking with other players or joining teams. Patience is very important. If you lose patience, then everything will go in vain. Continue your hard work, it might take a year, but it will all be worth it. The same happened with me; it took me one entire year. You have to wait and keep working hard. The future is very bright in esports.”

Following this, AquaNox talked about his fans. “Fans have been very supportive. Whatever happens, even in downfall, they have been supportive. When we win, they support us a lot. Because of them, we get motivation and morale boosts. Seeing an unknown person supporting you boosts your morale and confidence, making you work hard and play even better to strengthen your fanbase. It is a great feeling when fans show support and love. I can’t express it in words. There’s a special corner in my heart for them,” he said.

Aquanox’s thoughts on BGMI’s Return

Finally, we couldn’t let go of AquaNox without speaking about BGMI’s potential return. We asked him if he has anything to share with fans who are eagerly waiting for the game to return.

He said, “According to what I have heard, BGMI will return. The founder of Orangutan Gaming also publicly revealed that the game would return. So hopefully, let’s see if it comes in the next two months. If it does not get banned again, esports will grow a lot to the next level.”

Following this, he added, “Also, I think PC esports will also start to grow; it already has. I want PC esports to grow more in India because it’s my favorite. If I get free time, I start watching any PC esports tournament. I find it very interesting, and it keeps me going in esports.”


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Moin is the newest addition to AFK Gaming. Being an avid gamer, he loves to cover what’s happening in the Indian gaming community.

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