With an ever-expanding Indian gaming scene, we have increasingly great achievements and talents. Today, we shall look at one the recent additions to the line-up of gamers in India who went on to make their passion their profession. Meet Anand ‘Warhog’ Tapadia and Siddharth ‘gopya’ Gopujkar, two DotA gamers who also happen to have started MaG Gaming, one of the few genuine gaming related start-ups running straight from the heart of a gamer.
“We started it in March, although the actual idea of MaG Gaming was in my mind when I used to work in my family business”, as Warhog begins to narrate his tryst with his destiny. “The thought of doing something for eSports in India was always there, and one fine day I met ‘gopya’ who was my friend’s friend in a planned meeting. We discussed our possibilities and as our first initiative, we thought of doing a small tournament online. And that was the inception of MaG Gaming and First Blood, their online tourney.”
Siddharth chips in, “Anand actually was spreading the word among his DotA friends on doing something for the community. Within his circle of LANnies was one of my friends who used to play with me and knew about my intentions. This led from one thing to another, from meeting him to starting a team of 4. And I guess, that is how it all started”. Today, having finished two of the biggest online tourneys in India namely First Blood and Double Damage with one going on as we read, namely the Kaolin Cup, MaG Gaming is surely one of India’s premier eSports organizations truly espousing their motto: Esports Unleashed!
“We got a very good response from First Blood, with almost 160 teams registering for it. We decided to keep it an amateur tourney, thereby banning neckBREAK and Team Elunes. And RoaR E-sports from Hyderabad won the first tournament,” as Warhog talks about their first leap into the scene. “The road obviously was not a simple one, with one of the main problems being that it was we who put all the money in it,” said Siddharth when we began discussing the initial problems they faced starting an eSports company which is something not seen by many in India to be a viable future option. “By the time we started the second tournament, we as MaG Gaming started getting some visibility and attention as an entity making their foray. However, one of the major problems that we faced initially and we face now and will have to face later too would have to be that of the sponsors,” as we began venturing into a whole new topic.
Siddharth adds in- “For the first tournament, we went on to approach a lot of potential sponsors, before finally getting Logitech on board. Yet so, for Double Damage again half of the prize money flew out from our pockets since sponsors mainly give us the goodies, although it was r4id-force who were kind enough to chip in the other half.” He says, “Esports in India is untapped, but all that the sponsors look at is conversion rates. And since the Indian masses aren’t really keen in spending money from their pockets to buy products for the sponsors, their return from supporting tournaments keeps decreasing.” With a swell G2A sponsorship currently which they have got from what Siddharth quotes is due to ‘having a widespread coverage and awareness about the South-Asian scene’, we are sure to expect a lot more from these guys.
We then moved on to talk about their next milestone achievement in the form of a sub-continent level online tourney named ‘Double Damage’. “Before starting it, we roughly had a 2 month’s gap where we dug deep and bought some statistics to the table. The outcome was the decision of doing a sub-continent level tourney, since we already did something for India why not for our neighbours too,” Warhog spoke. “It wasn’t only India, but almost everything from the left of Thailand in eSports is completely untapped. Three reasons drove this vision namely bringing something for those countries too, adding our exposure to the scene and getting a tougher competition too,” with Siddharth heaving a sigh. “Due to an entry fee, we got around 90 teams but with all the top teams from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan registering. However, the highlight of this tourney will always remain G2A themselves approaching us in September to build a partnership due to all those points we last said.”
We then decided to take a more personal approach towards this interview to get the readers a different perspective altogether about the company that is MaG Gaming. Talking about family and work Warhog begins, “When we started it, it was just me who would work it full time. As of now I still divide time with 70% MaG Gaming and 30% into family business. Although I used to be full time into MaG Gaming, it was gopya who took the big leap and gave up his job at Tata Technologies in September, once we had our path clear.” “You have asked about our parents. We never got any kind of opposition. Take for example Anand’s father and brother who are always behind our backs telling us to plan everything and move ahead. But there has never been any kind of opposition,” as Siddharth added.
Warhog later continues, “There however was a fair share of apprehensions involved even from my side and my father’s during the initial stages considering the fact that I would be taking a leap into something which itself is not settled. There was the initial pressure but eventually when he saw the teamwork, the community and most importantly the results which led to complete support.” When asked for advice for the gamers regarding the stereotypical non-supporting parents, Warhog answers, “You have to make your parents first believe there is something in this and you are the one who is going to do it. Unless you show them something is in it for you too in the near future, you cannot expect their blind support.”
Putting in some thoughts into the current scene, the future and where it is from the time when MaG Gaming was an unknown organization, Warhog narrates, “From the time we started which was last March, we saw people who were there in the DotA scene such as AFKGaming. But there wasn’t enough content or rather a platform for amateur teams to play on. From what we feel, after we have entered, there has been a rise for this part of the community to play on. VGF collaborating with a university to make their event is really nice. You see that in our Kaolin Cup too we have a sponsor that is the Ajeenkya University. Sponsors and brands are showing much more interest than the past such as our latest sponsor G2A and many more which shows that many people outside the gaming world are also coming into eSports.”
Siddharth concludes, “We also had absolutely no idea about how the scene is, or rather knew very little about it. We have now gotten to know the industry a lot better having developed pretty decent contacts. Like Anand says from the organisers point of view, the orthodox guy who approaches you in eSports is changing.”
We conclude our interview with a final shoutout from Siddharth. “Mad shoutout to the MaG Gaming team who always are ready for a new challenge and the gaming community in the subcontinent region who’ve shown their support”.
We, at ASidCast would like to thank Siddharth and Anand for their time and wish them all the best for the future with their endeavor, MaG Gaming.
To follow MaG Gaming on Facebook click on this link.
To know more about The Kaolin Cup watch this YouTube video by them.
Also, don’t forget to check out MaG Gaming’s YouTube channel right here.