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Hitesh Khorwal eyes the top prize at the 13th Esports World Championships

Tekken 7 athlete Hitesh Khorwal talks about his journey and his aims for 13th Esports World Championships in an interaction with The Bridge.

Esports World Championships Tekken 7 Hitesh Khorwal

Hitesh Khorwal prefers playing with Leroy Smith


Abhijit Nair

Published: 9 Nov 2021 1:52 PM GMT

Esports in India is slowly but steadily forcing its way into mainstream attention. With each passing day more and more people are discovering the potential, the gaming industry holds and are trying to leave the stigma associated with it behind.

Though it might not be completely in the mainstream, India has thousands of gamers who play various games professionally. Much like any other sport, esports is as competitive as it can get and you need to be the absolute best to reach the top.

One amongst the many who has managed to carve a name for himself in the Indian esports sector is the country's best Tekken 7 athlete, Hitesh Khorwal.

Hailing from the national capital of Delhi, Khorwal will be seen representing India at the 13th Esports World Championships Final in Eilat, Israel later this month.

Hitesh Khorwal had finished third in the Regional finals and made it to the World Championships only after a Pakistani athlete withdrew from the event. The youngster, however, is confident of putting up a much better show in Israel.

"The Regional finals was always going to be a tough task for me as I had to take on some of the best in the South Asian region. Due to some poor decision making and events, I was unable to perform on top of my skillset and it ultimately showed in the result. But now, I have been given a second opportunity to show my talent and I cannot be any happier. The World Championships is going to be even tougher, but I have a firm belief in my abilities that and I would perform to my full potential," Khorwal said in an interaction with The Bridge.

The Delhi lad is quite determined to do well at the World Championships and spends close to five hours practising for the Finals.

"To be honest there is nothing unique to point out about my practice sessions. I spend close to 5 hours a day practising the game at my friend's house. We mainly just try to improve our gameplay and try and analyse the opponent."

Tekken gives one a wide array of characters to choose from to play the game. Hitesh though loves to stick with Leroy – an American martial artist which was introduced in the Tekken 7 for the first time.

"I prefer playing defensive, but then most of the time it comes down to the in-game situation. I play a lot with Leroy, mainly because I am a big fan of the IP Man film series and Leroy too performs Wing Chun like IP Man," Hitesh aka rcool states.

While some gamers spend a lot of time in giving themselves a stylish in-game name, Hitesh admits he did not think much about it.

"rcool is just my email address. The very first time I logged into the game, it gave me this gamertag and it has stuck since then. Now the entire Tekken community knows me as rcool, and I love it," he says.

Khorwal is an avid gamer and has played multiple games casually. He first played Tekken in 2010 but started playing it professionally only after Tekken 7 was launched in 2017.

"I got into Tekken in 2010 when I went to an arcade shop. Entering the professional scene came much later in 2017 when Tekken 7 was launched and I could sense a rise in gaming competitions. I have played many games casually including the likes of King of fighter, Streetfighter, God of war, Resident Evil, Mega Man, Last of Us, Uncharted, and others," he explains.

The Indian esports industry is mainly dominated by battle-royale and First-Person Perspective (FPP) games, then what makes Hitesh Khorwal stick to an arcade game like Tekken?

"I have always loved arcade games. As mentioned I have played Street Fighter and King of Fighter as well, but I just love Tekken's graphics and 3D mechanism. In my opinion Tekken is one of the hardest games to master. This combined with its one versus one feature keeps me hooked," Hitesh clarifies.

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