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From Vedang “Vedzz” Chavan to Ashish “Ash” Bhatnagar, Orangutan Esports has been making talented additions to their Battlegrounds Mobile India Series (BGMI) roster. The star-studded lineup is looking to shine in the upcoming tournament.

Ashish has come from being a prized player on Team Fnatic to now being the in-game leader (IGL) of Orangutan Esports’ BGMI roster. In conversation with Throneofgadget Esports’ Debolina Banerjee, Ash talks about his journey in the esports world and how he has his eyes set on the BGMI Series 2021.

Q. Hello Ashish! You have been involved in the professional esports scenario for quite a while now. Can you tell us a bit about your journey and what has changed in the last couple of years?

I started playing when I was in Grade 10. In Grade 11, I bought an iPad and started playing Critical Ops competitively. Eventually, thanks to all the hype in India about PUBG Mobile, I tried my hand at it. By Season 3 of the game, I decided that I wanted to play it at a competitive level.

Back then, I was a part of Team CsPG and we secured second place in a tournament called Fighting League in December 2018. After that, Team 8bit approached us and I was with them for a year.

I was then approached by Team Fnatic and our team won the PUBG Mobile All Stars India 2019 within a month of my joining. In the same year, we stood eighth in the Peacekeeper Elite Championship 2019 in China. After a year with Fnatic, PUBG Mobile got banned in India and around January 2021, our team made an exit from the scene.

During the ban, I continued to play with different teams, such as Team Raptors. This was mainly because it was important for me to remain in touch with the game in case it came back. When it finally made a comeback, as BGMI, I was looking for other professional organizations to join.

The major change in the last couple of years has to be the PUBG ban. I was part of a good lineup and all of that suddenly came to a standstill.

Q. You have been a part of Team Fnatic for about one-and-a-half years. What lessons have you learned from your previous team? What are you going to miss the most about it?

My journey with Team Fnatic taught me everything about the importance of teamwork, both inside and outside the game. The fact that I was part of the team definitely increased the responsibilities and pressure that came with it. I have to live up to a certain name and standard.

I am going to miss my team members from Team Fnatic the most. Over those one-and-a-half years, we developed a very strong bond between ourselves.

Q. You recently joined the Orangutan Esports roster. What is it about this roster that appeals to you the most?

Every player on the BGMI roster of Orangutan Esports comes with his own set of strengths and experiences. We have both budding talents as well as gamers who have been playing professionally for a while now. The team has an insane amount of energy and we bring fresh perspectives to the game.

Q. You are endowed with the responsibility of being the IGL of Orangutan Esports. How are you planning on motivating your teammates so that they can perform well? With whom is your synergy the best?

Being an IGL is a new role for me. Our BGMI team’s equation is such that all of us are constantly motivating each other to do our best. Additionally, I now make sure to regularly sit with each of my teammates to discuss BGMI gameplay and strategies. We can also discuss if there’s anything he or I can do to improve our performance as a team. It is important to remember that the main goal is to win. Any decision I make as an IGL is to take the team one step closer to victory.

I think my synergy with every teammate is good. My equation with each of them is different, of course. For example, Believe is the most chill person on our team, so everytime we’re under pressure, he kind of lightens the mood with a joke or something.

Q. Being the in-game leader of a popular roster comes with its fair share of responsibilities. What example are you trying to set as IGL?

There are definitely a lot of responsibilities that come with my role. And like I said earlier, winning is our main goal. As a result, I ensure that all the team members have a winning mentality.

Keeping my team together both inside and outside the game is crucial for me. From having a five-minute conversation before a tournament to sitting with the team after a long day, I want to make sure we are all headed towards a common goal. Making sure there is clear communication within the team is also important to me.

Q. The BGMI–AIEL 2021 qualifier is around the corner. Is Team Orangutan planning on taking part? What are the other tournaments that are on the cards?

Yes, we will definitely be taking part in the BGMI-AIEL 2021 qualifiers. It will be a great opportunity for the team. As for the other tournaments, we will have the BGMI Series 2021 coming up soon, so we’re looking forward to killing it there as well.

Q. When PUBG Mobile was banned in India, it came as a shock to battle royale enthusiasts. Now that BGMI is here, do you think it’s lived up to the expectations?

Definitely! During the ban, everyone was eagerly waiting for the game to make a comeback. I think it’s only going to get bigger and better from here on with BGMI.

Q. BGMI is one of those battle royale games that requires constant grinding. How much time do you dedicate towards the game daily?

My day starts at 11 am and that is when we start training. This goes on for at least an hour or two. 2 pm onwards, we start playing scrims or are pre-occupied with tournaments, if any. Next, we usually have back-to-back matches until 10 or 11 pm. To compile the time spent, I would have to go with 10 to 11 hours a day on a daily basis.

Q. Many players on the internet are rooting for BGMI Lite. What are your thoughts about this? Do you think that BGMI will run smoothly on low-end devices?

Many people who play BGMI have low-end devices and hence can’t enjoy the game to its full potential. BGMI Lite will definitely fill this gap and let more people enjoy the game.

Q. You also have a YouTube channel, ASH, that has over 45,000 subscribers. How do you plan on making your channel grow? What kind of videos can followers expect?

I will continue to stream regularly and showcase my best gameplay. Along with all my gaming content, followers can also expect content that will give them an insight into what I do along with my team.

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Edited by Sandeep Banerjee

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