Mortal and Sid Reflect on the Past-Present-Future of Team SouL in BGMI

Team SouL has some big plans for the 2022 season.

Aditya Singh Rawat
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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Past-Present-Future Of Team SouL In BGMI</p></div>
Past-Present-Future Of Team SouL In BGMI


AFK Gaming

SouL was one of the first teams to enter BGMI as a competitive title, announcing its star-studded lineup on 7th July 2021, just six days after the game's official launch.
The inaugural year of competitive BGMI has clearly not been kind to SouL, as despite an early start they failed to make an impact. However, the new mystery lineup recently spotted playing under their banner has already started making waves.
AFK Gaming caught up with the team’s manager Sid along with owner Mortal, to discuss what lies ahead for SouL in 2022 while also reflecting on their actions in the past.

Krafton’s release of Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) was probably one of Indian esports’ biggest developments in 2021. The mobile battle royale took the Indian gaming community by storm. Its success was evident by the fact that BGMI ended up winning the ‘Best Game’ award on Google Play’s Best of 2021 awards. On the competitive side of things, the biggest BGMI tournament to date - iQOO Battlegrounds Mobile India Series 2021 (BGIS), secured a peak of over 460,000 concurrent viewers and a total watch time of 15.29M hours, making it clear that the title is here to stay.

One of the earliest adopters of the game as a competitive title was Team SouL, owned by S8UL Esports, who announced its BGMI lineup on 7th July 2021, just six days after the official launch.

Team SouL with over 141,000 followers on Instagram and almost 860,000 subscribers on YouTube is already a huge brand in Indian mobile esports. Their initial star-studded lineup featured some of the biggest names in BGMI, an attempt to restore the old legacy under a new title, and though the project failed to produce results it did create a lot of buzz.

Roughly three months after the announcement, cracks started to appear in the lineup. The team was not performing up to the lofty expectations that it had set for itself and was forced to undergo a lot of roster changes. From October onwards, Team SouL started trying out different lineups, changing its team every tournament, leading up to BGIS 2021. Unfortunately, due to the absence of a stable roster, they failed to qualify for the main event despite receiving a direct invite.

Stepping into 2022 with a new BGMI competitive season on the horizon, Team SouL is starting with a clean slate. To discuss what lies ahead while also reflecting on their actions of the past, AFK Gaming caught up with the team’s manager Siddhant “Sid” Joshi along with owner Naman “Mortal“ Mathur, one of the most popular gaming personalities from India.

New Year, New Me: Upcoming BGMI Roster and Goals for 2022

Team SouL might have not caught a lot of attention in the recently concluded BGIS 2021, but it still managed to make waves outside of it. A mystery lineup under the banner of SouL was recently spotted playing in scrims hosted by Upthrust Esports which made many in the mobile community very curious. This lineup was aggressive which is completely opposite to how the team operated last year, and the team dominated their opponents on the server.

Talking about this unknown team which has already impressed a lot of fans, MortaL explained that he had a discussion with Sid and Aman "AMAN" Jain, while also having a personal chat with Animesh “Thug” Agarwal to decide Team SouL’s goals and aspirations heading into the next season.

“We came to a conclusion that SouL needs a new lineup which is very aggressive and whose approach is solely taking kills, that’s all, without bothering about placement,” states Mortal. Once this decision was made, AMAN started scouting players for the new lineup and came up with a list of six or seven candidates that fit their profile. Immediately, Mortal and Sid began discussing the right combination of four or five players to try out for their team.

Though the names of two new players have been revealed since MortaL spoke to AFK Gaming, the remainder of the roster is still shrouded in a veil of secrecy. The first members of Team SouL’s BGMI roster for 2022 are Sahil “Omega” Jakhar and Akshat “AkshaT” Goel, making their way over from Chemin Esports.

While the complete lineup is yet to be revealed, what this team needs to achieve in 2022 is already set in stone. With a new roster scrimming under their banner and turning heads, SouL’s future looks promising and on that note, Mortal aims for them to lift at least one trophy this year. While agreeing with his vision, Sid has set out a lot more ambitious goals for himself and the team.

“My personal goal for 2022 is complete dominance in everything that we do, be it content, esports, or anything else. I will not be happy with a minimum of one trophy this year. There are 12 months in a year, many events are going to take place and we are going to win a lot of trophies, winning just one will not work,” says Sid while adding that he has been with SouL for about six months now and his hunger for victory is on a whole different level this year.

Sid's expectations from 2022 for Team SouL in BGMI

AFK Gaming

Reflecting on the past: Making amends for the new season

SouL Esports definitely did not have expect to crash and burn the way they did last year, as their initial star-studded lineup went for a toss in its three months together.

  • Naman “Mortal“ Mathur - IGL

  • Tanmay “Sc0utOP” Singh - Scout, Support

  • Harmandeep “Mavi” Singh - IGL, Assaulter

  • Yash “Viper” Soni - Support

  • Parv “ReGaLToS” Singh - Assaulter

The squad did not win a single tournament together, out of the 17 events in which they competed together. They only managed a single-digit finish at one of the events; fifth place at iNSANE Summer Split. This was a clear indication that some changes were required in order for the team to succeed.

Shortly after, both Sc0utOP and Mavi parted ways with the team to revive TeamXSpark. At that time Mortal had acknowledged that things were not working out for Team SouL by stating,

I can only see black clouds over here that’s all. The thing is there will be a new team soon, it's a mutual decision because the sync is not there. We have tried a lot but there are synergy issues in the team and everyone is not able to perform to their full potential.
Naman “Mortal“ Mathur

However, there was no permanent lineup after this point that SouL played with for the remainder of 2021. They kept rotating their lineup every other tournament, utilizing a lot of temporary players, maybe in a bid to scout and try out different players and roster iterations. This further affected their overall team performance and the organization never really recovered, continuing its slump till the end of the season. This included its failure to make it to the grand final stage of BGIS 2021 despite receiving a direct invite for the event.

“BGIS obviously did not go as planned because it was the worst possible 3 to 4 months that we could go through. Nothing was going our way, whatever we wanted to do was just not happening, we were facing some problem every couple of days. But we somehow managed to compile a team of four players and practiced. So to be honest, overall I am not too disappointed with the way they played,” explained Sid, while owning up to the fact that 2021 was a failure on their part as they could not achieve what they were supposed to.

But things are already starting to look bright for Team SouL for the year ahead, as the mysterious lineup playing under their banner was spotted dominating all the other teams at the scrims hosted by Upthrust Esports. Multiple clips from the scrim session have since gone viral across the Indian mobile gaming community, impressing many while spurring a lot of interest in this lineup.

The management has already laid out their plans and goals for the upcoming season, acknowledging that they have learned from their failures and their mistakes by analyzing the team’s gameplay and player selection process, amongst other things. SouL plans to ignore the short-term benefits and completely focus on the long-term gains by creating new stars for the community.

Sid admitted that things were a bit ‘casual’ with the team last year, but he is feeling motivated for the new season. To achieve their goals he has changed his schedule accordingly. Now he wakes up anywhere between 10 AM to 12 PM, joining the team directly at around 1:00-1:30 PM when the scims start, watching all the matches while streaming simultaneously, followed by necessary discussions with the team.

“I usually don’t interfere a lot in team matters. I only go when it is needed because I feel like a hierarchy or exclusivity is necessary to be maintained in a team. People like me or Thug should not always be accessible to the players otherwise seriousness takes a hit,” says Sid while adding that “I am not here to make a relationship with any player, so I interfere a lot less than I am supposed to.”

Sid is positive about Team SouL's future in BGMI

AFK Gaming

He accepts that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, for which necessary practice sessions will be taking place along with its detailed analysis. This core process will be repeated to refine the team’s capabilities by working on their weaknesses. SouL will also be changing the way they approach scrims and is currently committed to bringing in more clarity by implementing a set plan and structure which will help them in executing an objective-driven scrimmage session.

There is a training regime which has already been prepared and set for the team, there is no free flow. We are trying to do the same during scrims, follow a flow because that is something which most of the Indian teams are missing, they play scrims just for the sake of it.
Siddhant “Sid” Joshi

The inaugural year of competitive BGMI has clearly not been kind to Team SouL, who despite a super early start failed to make an impact. On the other hand, they might have made a good decision by realizing early that the roster they had set out with was not the right fit. They utilized the remainder of the year to work on plans for the next season while trying out different players as substitutes across multiple tournaments. Eventually they came to the realization that the passive gameplay being adopted by them was probably not the right way to proceed.

SouL’s management has already set out a certain practice schedule, training structure, and goals for the 2022 season. It will be interesting to see how this new approach works out for the organization.

Team SouL’s BGMI lineup for 2022 is as follows,

  • Sahil “Omega“ Jakhar - IGL

  • Akshat “AkshaT” Goel - Assaulter

Aditya Kumar on behalf of AFK Gaming had an extended chat with both Sid and Mortal touching on more interesting topics where they talk about the stone-pelting incident that recently occurred at the S8UL content house, Mortal revealing his interest to compete professionally in a new title, Sid sharing his experience with the organization so far, and much more!

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Aditya is the in-house CS:GO writer at AFK Gaming. While his understanding of the esports space is not restricted by geographical borders, his current focus lies in the Asian region. Understands and follows almost all major esport titles.