FIFA is a game with an undeniable speed of growth in India. Every passing day the game manages to gain more and more attention. The same couldn’t be said about the game before late 2019. It did not get sufficient attention back in the time. So, the FIFA E-sports community was small and to some extent, isolated.
But that didn’t stop Lokmanyu Chaturvedi from giving his all. He kept persevering through and through. In fact, it would be no overstatement to call him a pioneer of professional FIFA in India. Even today, Lokamanyu is a famed player of the game.
He has won many tournaments and also represented India whenever the opportunity arose. Dedicating your whole self to the game is what makes you a great player. Lokmanyu solidified FIFA’s presence in India and then, India’s presence in FIFA.
We at The12thMan had the pleasure to be in conversation with Lokmanyu recently. We talked about his amazing journey, his achievements, and of course, FIFA. If you’re a FIFA player looking to make it big, his story could be a great push in the right direction. Let’s jump right into it.
Q/A session with Lokmanyu
Q: You were recently selected to represent India in an international FIFA championship (FIFAe Nations Series 2021.) How was your experience?
A: It was great. I was a part of the 4 man squad which participated in the FIFAe Nations Series. It was great for me to be a part of the squad. We finished third, it was just a step away from securing our place in the FIFAe Nations Cup Grand Finals in Denmark. But I believe we’ve made a statement, and we’ll be back next year, much stronger. I’ll be a part of the national team for the whole year and there’ll be matches for the Indian team in the future too.
Q: So, when did you start playing FIFA? What drew you to the game?
A: I started playing FIFA while studying for my B.Com. I started playing casually with friends as anyone would. Got to participate in a contest with small prize money and ended up beating a lot of good players. So I started participating in more tournaments and winning them too. This was in 2017, back when FIFA wasn’t a big thing in India. Ever since then, I have aimed to draw attention to FIFA in India.
As stated earlier, Lokmanyu is a true pioneer. To start a game for fun and then build a dream to make it a big thing in your country. It’s not an easy thought, let alone an easy plan to enact. But he did it just right. Even if it meant not being able to make any money out of it, he stuck by.
Q: So, as you mentioned, FIFA wasn’t a big thing when you started. Does that mean you had to find other means for income? Do you still have a side job that helps with the bills?
A: Yes, I’m working with a sports company. Though I’ve taken up FIFA more seriously ever since the pandemic hit. Thing is, there are no organizations that are willing to sign players on a salary. We need that kind of infrastructure where athletes are on a salary so they can compete throughout the season. They can work knowing that they are secure financially for the talent they have. Being backed by the organization they represent like real-life football or cricket players would be a great change.
Apart from playing, he has also been a caster for Nodwin Gaming’s ESL India Premiership Winter Season. It’s probably his fame in the FIFA community that granted him the opportunity. And he’s not the one to miss an opportunity when he gets one.
Q: You were a match caster for a tournament recently. How was that experience?
A: It was amazing. It was an experience I’ll never forget. After the Nodwin Gaming opportunity came up, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to work directly with FIFA. I was a zone reporter for the FIFAe Club World Cup and the FIFAe Nations Cup. Then I had the opportunity to work with AIFF to actually cast the matches of the FIFAe Nations Cup. Later, I also got the chance to work with Borussia Dortmund Esports as a presenter on their official Twitch channel. So yeah, it was a great experience and I couldn’t be more grateful for all the opportunities.
Soon, the conversation was coming to an end. So, I had to ask a final question. Lokmanyu has been in the industry for years and his experience is invaluable. So, his advice would be a great asset for players looking to make it big in FIFA.
Q: What are some of your tips for new players?
A: I think my first tip would be to find what you’re good at. Really find your place, your role in the game. As you know, it’s quite competitive these days so you need to be headstrong. Personally, I never wanted to pursue an MBA right after college. I felt like I could do something different in the field of FIFA E-sports in India. So I have pushed my timeline on doing the MBA in the future or maybe not do it at all. It all depends on how successful I am in this field of FIFA E-sports. I’ve been one of the top players in the country for a long time because of my hard work and the grind I’ve put in. I want to keep it that way by staying a pioneer in the FIFA E-sports industry in India. Both, as a professional player and a FIFA personality.
A man of passion and unforgiving determination. Lokmanyu truly deserves all the fame and achievements he’s gotten. It was an absolute pleasure talking to him and I hope he keeps representing India ever forward
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