Tirth Mehta: Unfortunately, the Hearthstone community is pretty much abandoned by not only the government but...

In a conversation with SportsLumo, Tirth talked about how he started out Hearthstone, his plan for the 2022 Asian Games, among other things to assure a medal for the country.

Tirthe Mehta in action at the 2018 Asian Games. (Credits: ESFI)

Esports has found a place for itself in the upcoming 2022 Asian Games, and not just that, it will be a medal event, rather than just being an exhibition event. This means that the medals Indian Esports team wins, will get counted in the final medal tally of the country. Not just that, the Indian team will have the 2018 edition’s bronze medal winner, Tirth Mehta in the team, competing in Hearthstone.

This time around, Tirth Mehta will be accompanied by a whole Indian contingent, comprising of fellow Esports and sports athletes. Not just that, he will also have the hopes of many young Indians who wish to make a name for themselves in the rising Esports ecosystem in India.

In a conversation with SportsLumo, Tirth talked about how he started out Hearthstone, his plan for the 2022 Asian Games, among other things to assure a medal for the country.

How did you get acquainted with hearthstone at a time when the whole country was going gaga over storyboard, fps and battle royale formats?

Fortunately for me, when I started playing Hearthstone, I had very little information about the esports scene in general. I looked around for potential esports titles around 2014 that didn’t rely on low latency to perform well and found none until Hearthstone was showcased in late 2014. The good thing about a turn-based game is that it doesn’t matter where you are from, you can still compete at an international stage with zero disadvantages. This is one of the major reasons behind my acquaintance with Hearthstone.

What do you plan to do differently next year?

Last year, I didn’t have a practice group going into the tournament. I was just testing out the strategies against other friends but this time there is a group of players who have all been actively practising and preparing for the upcoming tournaments. Being a part of such a group is going to be really impactful. I also would have less time for preparation for the upcoming tournaments because of my full-time job, but hopefully, the help from the group will offset that.

Preparation for Tirth Mehta

How did you qualify for the event last time? And what do you plan to do differently this time to better your performance since this time it won’t just be an exhibition event?

Last time, I had to go through the qualification tournaments. First was the National Qualifiers and then the Regional Qualifiers. I still confidently feel that India is the best nation among all the nations in the region, so the toughest part would be to win the National Qualifiers since the competition is fierce this time. I will be practising with the group this time which is the major change, but the goal isn’t to improve myself specifically – the goal here is to improve the overall skill level of the Indian Hearthstone players so this time we can ensure that we bring the Gold from Asian Games.

Do you feel some kind of performance pressure, knowing a lot of young athletes are looking at you as a role model?

Other athletes being inspired by me is a booster for me and not something that would put me under pressure. It inspires me to perform at my level best.

Will winning medals next year change Indian people’s approach towards esports?

I believe the approach of the general public is already shifting to accept esports legibility. Winning medals is a core part of making the masses accept esports, but just that won’t help without the support from the government and the communities surrounding the esports scene.

Do you think you’ve been helped enough by the government ahead of Asian Games 2022?

Unfortunately, the Hearthstone community is pretty much abandoned by not only the government but also the esports organizations present in India. I hope that the government will take some initiative to help the esports scene grow, but more importantly, it is also on the organizations already active in the scene to start the process. I am still hopeful for that, but the Hearthstone community is also not reliant on it since we have been thriving without much support regardless.

Esports in Asian Games

In an official statement by the OCA, they said “The Olympic Council of Asia has announced the titles for the debut of esports as an official medal sport at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September 2022.”

OCA has announced 8 new titles and a few exhibition titles for the Asia-wide event. The addition of Esports in this grand event only goes on to show how popular Esports has become in the Asian continent. The announcement was made at the Chefs de Mission Seminar video conference for the 19th Asian Games.



WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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