I was very determined to get some people on board who are worth it, says Anushka Mukherjee, founder of PV Esports: PV Esports and Team IND have recently announced a collaboration. Aryan 'Ba3a' Kumar and Rohit Singh of Gamzo sat down with Anushka Mukherjee, the founder of PV Esports to talk about the collaboration, the organisation's journey till now, and future plans. Here is an excerpt from the interview.
Gaming is not considered a full-time profession in India and yet how did Anushka Mukherjee get introduced to it. How did your family support you in this venture?
I have been very fond of gaming since I was young. After school, I used to play COD, Battlefield, and FIFA. We used to have these LAN events when I was in college, and I was pretty much active and engaged with the gaming scenario. However, not as a competitive player but as someone who was enjoying it thoroughly, having fun and chilling with her friends. I used to read a lot of articles related to esports, I noticed that the scene has a grown a lot in recent years. Mobile games specifically.
I thought if I enjoy doing something, why not be serious about, and do something for the community. Talking about my family, right now I am at an age where my family is quite supportive of what my decisions are. They don't completely understand the idea of gaming, however hard I try to pitch. But when they see me working hard, they say if you are confident enough, go and prove yourself.
As you rightly said, we are noticing a steep growth in the gaming sector. Where do you want to see esports in the next 5 years?
For me, esports in the next 5 years. I want it to get at par with the conventional sport. I want esports to reach that level where their parents don't mind if someone wants to pursue esports as a full time career, just like doctors are engineers. That would be a dream for many of us who are not getting support from our family.
Can you tell us how PV Esports started, a bit about the journey of your organization, hurdles faced by your team and how you guys outshined them?
It's quite nostalgic, you know. When I entered into gaming, I used to handle few lineups, and I was getting to know how things work. I never thought about making a clan of my own then. It's so hard, I don't know how others see it but I faced a lot of difficulties as a girl. People didn't even used to take me seriously. Even though I said the exact same point, the preference was given to the other people. I have gone through all this, and it's very hard for me to work for or just work by the side of people who don't respect their colleagues. I thought let's ditch the shit, and started the whole thing on my own.
I gathered people who have these values in them and who respect others. My aim was to work and grow together. I created PV Esports alongside Adarsh [Rawat], and another person who still is and will always be a close and dear brother to me, that is Avinash. He passed away a few months ago. It was basically Avinash's dream to see PV Esports grow and be at par with the other A-tier organisations.
Now, it's about these two people and others as well who are working with me, and not just me. Specifically Avinash, even now, I just want to make his dream come true. We have a huge frame of his in our Bootcamp. He was the person who was always ready, always cheerful, and he just loved the idea of being in esports and he wanted to do something as a player himself.
It's very difficult for a new organisation to properly form itself, go through every hurdle, and make a place for themselves in the community. It's very competitive. What keeps us going is the passion, and the will and the want to do something new for the community everyday. We have certain plans made. We want to do something that other organisations are not doing. They are just going for the tournaments, scrims, going for branding. But what are they doing for the betterment of the community in the actuality? These are the things that they are doing for themselves.
Every deck I go through, everyone I meet, I ask what is their aim. They say, to do something for the community. I say, great. But what are you doing. Then they are like, we have these kids, they are playing amazing, they play with few other people and are giving them chance to grind with them.
Doing that is not what you do for the community. You are actually doing it for yourself and showing the you are doing it for the community. That is where I wanted to make a difference. We have a lot of coming up projects right now, which will prove the point!
You said that you had to face some gender based discrimination. So, how did you react to it? What do you think that we are lacking as a community to be more inclusive?
Gender discriminations is not something that only we [in esports] are facing, it's also there when you go out for work. However, it's a thing of past, now it's becoming better because people are understanding and they are quite thoughtful about it. I know so many people in the community who are supporting their female counterparts, respecting their views, and helping them grow infact.
I won't generalise the thing but I would say that still there are few people who are yet to understand that you need to look beyond the gender. I am very emotional person. I was not very loud about it. It's just that I believe in sending out messages. I have been writing out my viewpoints and sending them over to people, and making them understand.
PV Esports has announced a huge collaboration with Insidious Esports BGMI Roster, TeamIND. Can you tell us what led to this collaboration, and a bit brief about the same as much has not been announced publicly?
I was very determined to get some people on board who are worth it and who have not got much chance to collaborate with brands. Most importantly, they must have values that we have. After going through our research, we came to a conclusion that we want someone who don't have negative impacts on the community and who don't engage in useless controversies.
Then we came across Team IND. For me, I had been following Snax [Raj 'Snax' Varma] for a long time now. I really like the way he used to publish tutorials, and basic tips and tricks, for the people who actually wanted to learn from him. The team also seems very genuine. They have been working hard and surviving themselves without support for a long time. This is the only team which has been intact after all those drama. Our values kind of matched and the whole thing just clicked when we had a chat.
I can't reveal the other details right now (laughs) but you can tune in to our Instagram live today at 10 pm to know more.
Does PV Esports plan to form an all women lineup in BGMI?
I have been actually aiming at getting girl gamers onboard. I have been doing my researches on that as well. I have plans regarding that and I am yet to finalise on the lineup. So yeah, we are looking forward to it. Let's see what happens.
With a BGMI roster already signed, are you planning to expand to other titles as well? What are your future plans for PV Esports?
Other lineups are kind of there. Maybe we will drop a bomb now and then, you never know. When we started with this, we targeted the most loved games. So, we are might drop the news maybe tomorrow, the day after, you never know.
I am getting a vibe that PV Esports is also getting a Valorant roster, me being a huge Valorant fan.
Then you will be glad with our announcement. Let's see when we are planning to do that though. No leaks for now!