Owais BGMI Redemption Arc: Fighting Depression, Creating His Own Team, Aiming for the Top
Falling of a pedestal, only to carve a new way to the top.
It is very difficult in the world of esports to stay on top and keep delivering consistently for a long period of time. The moment a player or team takes over the throne, a spotlight is cast on them. Your successes and failures are amplified. The longer one stays at the top, greater is the pressure that comes along with it.
Mohammed “Owais” Lakhani, a former PUBG Mobile star who is amongst the most notable faces amongst mobile esports in India, has experienced this ride firsthand. He has witnessed the peak of competitive gaming and all the glory that comes along with it, while also having faced the trials when the tide turns.
From dominating the game with Team SouL and Fnatic during the initial days of his career, to facing a slump with Galaxy Racer (now Nigma Galaxy), fighting through a challenging period in his life, and starting from scratch with a new BGMI team, Owais like any true athlete has been through the wringer which is part and parcel of competitive gaming.
While Owais continues putting in the work towards redeeming himself, AFK Gaming had a chance to catch up with him and recollect his journey following his departure from Nigma Galaxy, how Team Enigma Forever (TEF) came to be, the turbulent journey in BGMI which is still underway, and thoughts on the future.
Time after Galaxy Racer: Owais fights depression with the help of BGMI
It is always tough for a player to adjust to changes and sometimes it leads to a difference in opinion between the team and its management. A was made by UAE-based esports organization Galaxy Racer, now Nigma Galaxy, in September 2021 to bench multiple players from its roster which included Owais.
The decision was met with a lot of hate, as varying opinions flooded social media, and a benched Owais was left to ponder over his next steps. It had been a tough year for him on the competitive front and this only furthered the pressure on him.
It was probably the lowest point in his career and forced Owais to take a break from everything, distancing himself from competitive BGMI for around a month. Even after, though he had returned to playing BGMI, the player was not fully invested until much later.
Maintaining privacy on the matter, Owais did mention that he had slipped into a state of depression and it was at this point that he turned towards gaming once again. He wanted to get out of the mental rut that was consuming him and BGMI proved to be his guardian and savior.
“Whenever I sat down to play, I was in my own element. Also, you never realize how quickly time passes when completely engrossed in the game,” mentioned Owais when speaking about how BGMI healed him slowly, over a period of time.
As Owais started to move out of an unhealthy mental space, he decided to build a new BGMI lineup from scratch, gathering his friends under the banner of ‘Team Enigma Forever’ (TEF) and the grind began without any sort of backing from an esports organization. “This was a team that I built on my own as I recovered from the rut and got the motivation to hit the stage for playing BGMI competitively once again,” said Owais.
Journey with TEF: Owais marks his return to competitive BGMI
It was not the fairy tale start that one usually dreams of as Team Enigma Forever faced multiple challenges in the initial days with losses piling up for the first couple of months. The level of competition had increased significantly, and since the lineup had only recently come together, there was still a lot to be done before TEF could start collecting some silverware.
Till the end of 2021, the best placement achieved by TEF was the fifth position at the Battlegrounds Mobile India Series (BGIS) 2021: The Grind, which was the official scrimmage session hosted by Krafton ahead of the biggest tournament of the year, BGIS 2021.
“There were many ups and downs on our journey, as we faced multiple problems,” said Owais explaining the challenges TEF faced, “We did not get direct invites for tournaments, so we had to work hard and toil through the qualifiers. As TEF was not associated with or had the backing of any esports organization, we faced financial difficulties since no one was being paid a salary. We did not have proper devices to play on and faced various other technical issues.”
Despite these hardships, TEF has fought hard to show significant growth this season so far, finishing as a runner-up at the VE Winter Masters 2022, followed by a fourth-place finish at the Skyesports Pro League. However, a win still continues to elude them.
Talking about how this turnaround has been possible, Owais revealed that during their tough times there was only one thought on everyone’s mind, “We have to keep trying, keep performing, and keep improving. One day we will persevere and be rewarded for our hard work.”
The self-belief and morale boost seems to be working well for the side as they continue to overcome their barriers one by one and face the best possible opponents head-on.
Personally, Owais believes that “As long as you are trying your best and continue to put in the hard work, somewhere along the line you will start performing better and even win tournaments. We do not let the lack of results demotivate us and we keep pushing forward.”
TEF is yet to win a BGMI tournament, but this does not seem to faze Owais, who is looking on the bright side, “While we did not secure any wins, our performance has improved due to continued practice, and victory will eventually come our way as we overcome every difficulty that we currently face.”
That being said, Owais is not the kind of player who blindly preaches positivity without trying to figure out the cause behind the issue. He addressed that the lack of a coach or analyst hampers their preparation for any particular tournament. This is because, with no one to point out the mistakes they are committing while playing, players are forced to conduct their own post-game analysis which is counterproductive.
“We do our own post-game analysis and as each player on TEF views the performance differently we miss the key points to focus on. This can be crucial and help in turning the tide in our favor. Having a coach/analyst who can bring in new plans and ideas really helps in such situations,” points out Owais.
Future of TEF: Owais continues the search for an organization
At this point in time, Team Enigma Forever might not be considered among the absolute best BGMI teams in the country but their journey to become one some time in the future has already begun. Certain changes have already been made to achieve this goal, like the addition of players like Daljit "Daljitsk" Singh and Nick "Nexxus" Chandela, who helped TEF perform exceedingly well in various tournaments in March.
“Daljit is the best player we could have asked for as he fits his role perfectly, bringing with him team balance that we lacked initially,” expressed Owais, while also mentioning the continued search for the perfect fourth player, something that TEF has been missing for quite some time now.
Other than finding a fourth player - which is a priority for the side, TEF is also actively seeking support from esports organizations that can sponsor them, along with signing a coach or analyst to help them take things to the next level.
For now, despite missing out on a chance to qualify for Battlegrounds Mobile India Pro Series (BMPS) Season 1 by a margin of just three points, TEF seems to be on the right path. The team just needs to find a permanent fourth player that would allow it to stabilize its lineup and focus on its preparations for the upcoming BMPS Season 2.
A series of good performances in the next few months could potentially attract the attention of some top esports organizations who could end up signing the organization under its banner. All this is far easier said than done, but TEF has already shown immense growth in the last eight months and definitely has the potential of achieving a lot more in the next eight if things fall in place for them as they continue to grind through the BGMI circuit.