If you haven’t heard this name already you must be pretty new in the Indian Counter-Strike scene.
“It all started in 2008.” as captain Ankit ‘V3nom’ Panth reminisces. “I use to play as a substitute for team wolf during those days along with my friend and co-founder of Team Brutality Aakash ‘RiX’ More. At that time reliance zapak weekly events use to happen and we weren’t doing that good, so one day this idea to build a new team came to my mind and I asked RiX that can we make this happen. He gave me the confidence and then we both together started hunting players for our new team which we named Brutality.” Today, Team Brutality is a feared name in the Counter-Strike scene of India and South-East Asia, being one of the very few teams and organizations to have stuck around for the past 8 wonderful years. “We didn’t know how far we would go at that point but our passion, dedication and friendship led us to many victories and also being one of India’s most loved Counter Strike teams and Esports organisation,” as the captain adds on.
We didn’t know how far we would go at that point but our passion, dedication and friendship led us to many victories and also being one of India’s most loved Counter Strike teams and Esports organisation
Coming back to 2016, the current Indian scene surely is now leaps ahead what we Indians had to go thru when it was in its infant stages. Having seen the ups and downs for the past 8 years and before in the E-sports circuit, Ankit refers to Brutality’s initial phase into the scene as “a road full of speed breakers”. “As we all are aware during those days the Esports culture was not that well known in our country so it became very difficult for us to approach sponsors and make them believe in our vision to grow Esports and our plans to become one of the popular teams who could represent our country in various international tournaments,” as he shares his experience during those testing times. “Thank god we have passed those times and now for us at least it has become a lot easier to survive in this industry because of the trust and belief of our sponsors upon us.” And here we are, already with a 4.5 lakh tourney coming up this February where we are expected to watch Team Brutality in action, and with many more to come.
They, however are not new to playing on big stakes. Having attended almost every big scale event held in India while making their presence felt at quite a few international online tournaments as well as making their presence felt in an International LAN event, V3nom expresses, “We have played many international tournaments online but recently in 2015 we made our International LAN debut in Dubai for the game evolution tournament. It was a good experience and we learned a lot.” Speaking about the emotions and pride that one carries with the Indian flag, he has this to say: “The emotions when you carry your flag on the international stage cannot be explained with words. While saying this I still am getting goosebumps remembering those times. It’s always a special feeling which any sports player has to experience once in his lifetime.”
Moving a little away from their inspirational journey, we delved a bit into few recent ‘happenings’ in the Indian CounterStrike scene, about which let me bring you up-to-date. Few Counter-Strike players from India who have seen glory in their days as well as their fair share of hate and criticism reportedly decided on coming out of, what some people are of the view of a so-called ‘retirement’ and made a team to contest for the upcoming slot for the IEMs. While some people are not hesitating to call them ‘opportunists’ while some feel that it is entirely up to the player to decide when to play and when to not, and that no one can control it, Team Brutality had this to state:
We are a very small community which is trying hard to get some recognition on the global radar of Esports
“I guess you are referring to the recent player shuffle controversy that happened just before an International tournament, Intel Extreme Masters. I normally don’t get into these kind of things as I find people here a bit immature who might not take my statements in the correct way but since you have asked. It didn’t affect us in anyway but I know a few people who got affected by this at the very last moment. I am an emotional person and for me relationships are above everything else so I would like to answer this question my way. I am no one to allow, disallow or make fun of the players who had retired and have made a comeback, be it for this International tournament only or if they want to keep this team for a long run. Even if they lose and want to retire again until another International or big national tournament pops up, I won’t mind. It’s their life they can do whatever they want and they have the rights to do so. They all are my friends and maybe have achieved a lot more than me in this field. My only request to them would be try and don’t make other people suffer because if you hurt others you are anyways not going to succeed in the long run.”
He goes on to say, “We are a very small community which is trying hard to get some recognition on the global radar of Esports. This won’t happen consistently unless we start putting that extra effort to solve problems and build a friendly team which is ready to compete on the international platforms. As I said earlier the players have the right to do whatever they want with their lives and have every right to decide whom they want to play with but they should understand this one simple thing, that they are the only few stars that we have in our country, our young generation looks upto them and wants to play like them someday. They already know where our country stands in competing with these big international giants of Esports and they should also understand, that what we are fighting for here is the bigger picture. We only have a handful of players whom I won’t call professional but who can play the game better and among those handful of players we keep rotating or switching. We all should realise that our goal in the end is to perform in international tournaments and not to win few local Indian events among ourselves after which you feel like you are on top of this world because you defeated you ex teammates, won over their ego and proved that you are still better than them. I have seen teams practising for a long time and then suddenly few things in their camp go wrong and at that same point of time there’s an announcement for an International event or a big Indian event which becomes the final nail in their coffin to be.”
“Instead of sorting things out and being emotional about your time spent with your friends in that team where you had given so much time and had worked hard to build it from scratch to where its currently standing, people often take the easy way out and leave to make their own road of success which eventually is never going to make them happy or give the results they seek. I would like to give an example of my team itself. Our core 3 have always stuck together. I won’t deny, even we have faced hard times but in the end it depends on how you handle these situations. It’s very difficult to find people with same mentality as yours and I am glad that I found RiX and Kundya to be my pillars who have supported me in every way possible. We 3 together have seen rough times where we were constantly losing tournaments and were facing player problems but we stuck together and came out of it. Life does teach you many things and all of our experience has helped us create this brand which is one of the finest team/Esports organisation of our country. So my only advice, that is if I can give them would be, make whichever team you want, take the best or the worst players but just stick with them because time will make the worst better and the best amazing. Always remember problems can be solved, when you want them to solve.”
Realigning the interview back to the players, we moved on to ask about the juggle that their life is when one has to handle their own businesses while trying to defuse a bomb when an enemy AWPer is still alive. “The core members Ankit ‘V3nom’ Panth, Aakash ‘RiX’ More and Arun ‘Kundya’ Kandpal have their own businesses which they manage along with playing professional counter strike,” V3nom adds in. He quotes “Brutality for us will be our baby which we have seen growing from the beginning for which our passion and love can never die.” It is indeed praise-worthy to hear such beautiful words coming from the consummate professionals of the scene currently at the top of their careers. “Our other businesses also comes in handy for us to sustain ourselves in this field which looks promising in the coming future,” as he gives us more clarity on this aspect of Brutality.
Brutality for us will be our baby which we have seen growing from the beginning for which our passion and love can never die.
For all the aspiring Counter-Strike players and for those who have persistently spammed Brutality’s Facebook wall and messages for tips and tricks to success, whether in the reel life or the real life, we decided to finally break the shell regarding frequently asked questions about their sponsors. “I still remember me going to our first sponsor Gunnar Optiks office and meeting them,” as V3nom begins to narrate his tryst with their ‘backbone’. “This was in 2013 when I first approached them and fixed a meeting. As soon as I went there they greeted me with a smile and took me to the conference room. In the first hour of our meeting I was just listening to the complaints they had from the players previously whom they had sponsored.
They gave me an explanation on why they didn’t want to sponsor an Indian Esports team anymore and to be frank it sounded completely legitimate to me at that point. There were remarks of being completely unprofessional and not delivering what they had promised. After hearing all that I made them a promise that if they trusted me and my ideas I would never let them down. I will always be thankful to them for believing in me and supporting my team because after we gained their trust I have never looked back. After Gunnars we added 7 more brands to our armory such as Antec, Zotac, G2A, LXG, Esportsclothing, Madcatz and SoStronk as our sponsors and we still have few more lined up for 2016 which we will reveal soon. My relationship with these brands has been special because I have managed to convince them that not the brands or players can alone do something in this field at least in India but together we might be able to build a system which will help both of us in future. Our partners have helped us with their top end products and a little monetary help. Our title sponsor SoStronk covers our travel and stay within India which is always helpful. I would once again like to thank all of these gentlemen for helping us reach the heights of where we stand today.” We hope that this candid sharing by the Brutals serve as a simple reminder to the gaming community. Respect your sponsor, and you shall receive the same. His humble yet ambitious approach I believe is what drives sponsors under the Brutality flag.
As we neared towards the end of the interview, Brutality had quite the shoutouts. “For 2016 we have few plans in the pipeline and if everything goes right we might get some funding which will enable us to look into other options such as getting new squads in our organisation, making a team with youngsters of our country etc. So let’s hope for the best and if we get the support of our fans which we always do and your readers we might just be able to do this. Shoutouts to all our 8 sponsors for being there with us and believing in the Brutality dream, Gunnar Optiks, Antec, Zotac, Madcatz, Esportclothing, G2A, Sostronk and LXG gaming lounge, our 7000+ Facebook fans, around 200 Instagram, 200 Youtube and almost 400 Twitter followers for supporting and believing in Brutality. If it wasn’t for these guys we wouldn’t have been here. Last but not the least the team of Asidcast for giving us this platform and for the interview.”
We, at ASidcast would like to thank Team Brutality for their time and wish all the best for the future.