Esport has become an emerging platform for India which has fascinated the interest of millennials like never before. In the last decade, the industry has grown leaps and bound. According to the IFSG-KPMG report, it is already worth of INR 43.8 billion and going to reach 118.8 billion by FY23 with the growth rate of CAGR 22.1 percent.
Delhi-based Simar Sethi aka Psy is a 21-year-old eSport gamer who has represented India in 2019 on an international level and has become one of the prominent figures in eSports in the country. “I am the only north-Indian CS:GO (Counter Strike: Global Offensive) player, who has played for a professional team,” he says. Every gamer goes by a unique name and likewise Simar’s name is Psy, which is the short-form of psychedellic.
To answer the question about his favourite player, Simar mentioned, “In my gaming career, the one guy I would love to compete against is my idol Niko and he plays for Faze.”
Simar started his gaming career in 2013 from Mumbai with DOTA 2. Then he shifted to Delhi and that is where his real journey began. It all started on his birthday, “I used to play counter strike 1.5 and was miserable at it. On my birthday one of my friend gifted me CS:GO and since then I am hooked in to it. I used to play at a café called ‘Extreme Gaming Café’ in Delhi. Every night, I used to play there with my friends and ridiculed of being a bad player. Then one day got the rank of Gold Nova 3 after intense grinding. That is how it all began.”
In January 2015, Psy started his professional career with Team Brutality and dominated the circuit throughout the year. Then in 2016, he leaped to team Invisible wings and dominated India once again.
In December 2016, he received an offer from Entity gaming, a professional e-sport organisation based out of India. He worked with them for three years and then in February 2020, he left them. “There is a lot of pressure when you play for an organisation, cause they are taking care of you, giving you salaries and taking you to boot camps, and etc. But I loved being a part of entity gaming. They took care of me from 2017, when I got diagnosed with RSI (Repetitive strain Injury).” he mentioned.
To become a pro-gamer you need a lot of practice, hard work and definitely a schedule for practice. Psy explains, “In total I practice for almost eight to nine hours a day, with a break in-between obviously because of RSI. I am fortunate that my parents were very supportive towards my passion.”
In 2017, after getting diagnosed with RSI he could not qualify for international tournaments. After four years of hard work and trials finally, in 2019 he qualified for international and represented India on ZOWIE tournament, which happened in China.
“My first goal was to play for international tournament and in 2019 I qualified for ZOWIE, China and we defeated one of the best teams from Vietnam with 2:0. That was the best moment of my gaming career.” Simar said. “Also this year on February, I played with one of my best teams (Amaterasu, Ace, Excali, Poki) and as a team it was my last match with them as I left Entity gaming, so all of us gave our best and dominated India once again in 2019 winter season,” Simar adds.
Lastly, After being in the gaming industry for almost five years, Simar believes India has a lot of potential for eSports in the future and the industry will be flourishing. “Definitely eSport is booming in India, previously there used were no such facilities, which we have now. Plus, new talents are coming up, even players from other countries are entering India and also parents are showing their support towards the industry. So, I definitely feel optimistic about it.” concludes Simar.