Indian contingent is preparing for the 2022 Asian Games and League of Legends India Captain Akshaj Shenoy and his team Samarth Arvind Trivedi, Mihir Ranjan, Aditya Selvaraj, Aakash Shandilya and Sanindhya Malik are also gearing themselves, and are warming up for the Games, whenever the dates come out. Shenoy talks about the kind of help they are getting from ESFI, and what can be done better and the responsibility that it is; representing the country. Akshaj Shenoy talks exclusively to Sportslumo and opens about Games, team performance, strategy and how big of a deal it is to represent your country.
1. How are the preparations going on?
A- The preparations have been going well but at a slower pace than before since the Asian Games 22′ has indefinitely been postponed. Also, ESFI is in discussion with our team about improving the infrastructure and coaches which will upgrade the level of our game. Representing one’s country is no meager feat and it can take a heavy toll on the health of the individual if one isn’t mentally prepared for the hurdles and challenges, this is why we’re trying to change our outlook towards the tournament from ‘the competitors might be tough to beat’ from ‘we are going to give it our all even though they might be the best’. After all, the best is meant to be dethroned some day and maybe its our turn to reign now.
2. What has changed in your routine now that you’re just not gamers, but athletes?
A- Our routine hasn’t shown much of a change recently but it is bound to be changed to a more hectic and a busy one once the dates have come out for the event. Before we used to play the game in our free time here and there but now since we’re athletes, it is our duty to get in the proper amount of practice, so we religiously play atleast 3-4 hours per day and we spend atleast an hour to analyse what we could have improved upon in that particular day’s session.
3. Does physical training come into play now that you have strenuous practice hours and clarity of mind is needed more than ever?
A- Physical training is for sure needed when an individual spends over 3-4 hours for playing. Physical training is needed to avoid common injuries in the Esports field like the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Tendinitis. Since we’re now Esports athletes, continuous practice is required everyday and sometimes it might take a heavy toll on the minds of the team. Clarity of the mind is needed to stay cool and to generate better results. We as a team have devoted ourselves to the greater cause of representing ones country so it doesn’t really bother us when we’re slightly demotivated or annoyed because we know we’re going to come back stronger.
4. How has this opportunity changed your life?
A- It has changed my life quite a lot I would say! Before I used to get a lot of judgements when I would be playing games all the time even though my grades were good. I would hear comments like, “He’s addicted for sure” and “Games are like drugs”. But now since I get to represent my country at such a large event, their opinion about gaming has changed completely. I have received so much hate but my parents were always there for me and always supported me, so I’m really grateful and happy that I get to make them proud.
5. If you can describe the change of mindset of your team players now that they know they will be representing the country?
A- Like I said, we feel really honoured to be representing our country and to showcase our talent to the world. Before we used to only play tournaments which gave out cash prizes and in-game rewards but now that the country’s dignity and valor is on the line, we know we have to take our skill and performance to the next level. We’re also grateful that Esports is getting even more recognition in India and we know that we have the support of everyone now *smiley face*