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"Anybody Saying Mobile Gaming Is Not Big Is Very Ignorant About The Fact That It Is," MambaSR

I got a chance to talk to Ranjit "MambaSR" Patel where I asked about his opinions on the mobile gaming, South Asia esports scene, and more while getting to know his journey to being a successful caster.
"Anybody Saying Mobile Gaming Is Not Big Is Very Ignorant About The Fact That It Is," MambaSR

Ranjit Patel aka MambaSR is one of the most reputed presenters, commentators, and analysts in the world of esports. From playing games casually in his childhood to streaming and eventually growing into casting, he has experienced everything. 

Besides this, he has done over 150 tournaments across various titles, including PUBG Mobile, Valorant, Free Fire, and more, at the age of 25. He is currently living in India and is one of the best talents that South Asia has. 

I recently got a chance to chat with him, where he discussed his journey, ways to enter the casting career, his views about the esports ecosystem in South Asia, the growth of the mobile esports scene, and more.

Nobody can explain these topics better than a caster and I have summed up all of MambaSR's thoughts below.

Interview with MambaSR

MambaSR is one of the most successful casters in South Asia.
MambaSR is one of the most successful casters in South Asia. (Picture: MambaSR)

Everybody knows you as MambaSR, but what is the story behind it. Who is Ranjit Patel and how has your journey been from Ranjit Patel to MambaSR?

MambaSR - I have always been an active kid ever since I remember; I would do whatever I liked, be it indoor games or outdoor games. I think I got my first PC back in 2007 and a year before that I got my PlayStation when I broke my leg. I was more into racing games like Formula 1 and I got introduced to an FPS game through PlayStation and my brother liked it as well so we used to play together, but I didn't particularly enjoy it.

But then we moved to this new place, and I got introduced to Counter-Strike by my neighbor, and I was like it was an okayish game, but my brother liked it, so I asked for a copy of the game and came back home and installed it on my PC but my brother didn't have time to play it. I was like I brought the copy for you and installed it, so at least play it.

So, I started playing it offline with bots and the game kind of grew on me and so did the FPS genre. After that I started playing online and that's how I made my first set of friends online. That's how my transition into the gaming and esports world began around 2007, especially esports as I was already gaming since way before.

From there I got drawn more and more in and then I used to compete back in the day and now I commentate but that's how my journey was from Ranjit Patel to MambaSR.

You mentioned that you started playing games back in 2007 and you also have a YouTube channel where you used to stream a lot. Why did you not go forward with it and instead chose to cast?

MambaSR - Actually, I have another YouTube channel that is about 13 years old and my first video on YouTube was back in 2009 and it was a magic trick that I uploaded. I always liked content creation, but at the same time, I also saw it as a way to supplement my passion for gaming, as back in the day, gaming was not cheap like buying peripherals.

It's still not cheap, and back then, I wanted to be able to afford it by myself, but I also loved content creation, so I started making videos. Then I made a new channel in 2014, where I started over with Battlefield and then CS:GO, and then I did stream but there were four things happening at the same time.

I was making content, I was in college, I started casting, and I was competing professionally as well. Now, you can't do so many things at the same time, so I decided to drop streaming as I got pretty burned out and I don't have 36 hours in a day. But if I had, I would definitely do it.

Everyone knows how to be an esports player; like perform in tournaments, prove your worth, and an org might approach you. But what about casting? How can one enter this field?

MambaSR - I think the bottom line is that you will need to put yourself out there in the public. You make sure that you work on your skills and then you make a showreel.

For example, you can take 10 rounds of any tournament from anywhere like YouTube, create a showreel of you casting including intro, outro, pretend to have a conversation with somebody, and show that you are camera friendly and presentable.

Once you have recorded it, you start emailing organizers or you can also reach them out via social media, and it's that simple. I have seen a lot of casters also get picked up from YouTube whether they are having only 2 viewers. You will just have to put yourself out there.

When you are casting, what is your thought process, as you have to talk about what's happening, analyze the game, give your opinions, and interact with people at the same time instantly?

MambaSR - I like this question but I don't think people will like the answer as back then there were two types of casters, play by play casters who would read the information on the screen, and then there were casters who used to analyze the play.

Now the line between the two has been blurred and being able to come up with words, you train for it, it doesn't just happen. Apart from that, you need a pretty good understanding of the game to be able to anticipate what is going to happen.

We make a decision tree and prepare about all the possibilities in the back of my head. So, if you already know what is going to happen, building the story will be easier and all you have to do is find the right words. You just need to practice enough. 

MambaSR shares details about entering the field of casting.
MambaSR shares details about entering the field of casting. (Picture: MambaSR)

If you get a chance, which tournament would you like to cast and with whom?

MambaSR -I think for me, it will always be the most premier tournament of any title that I am casting. For example, for Counter-Strike, it will be Counter-Strike Major which would be a dream come true, for Valorant it will be an international stage tournament like Copenhagen.

With whom, I don't have any preferences, but if there's one person I could think of on the top of my head is bleh, he has been a long time friend. Somebody I have always looked up to.

He has always been very helpful and he is a fun character to be around and with him it would be a lot of fun because we vibe off the camera as well and he's a great character. So, if I could do it with him, I think that's potentially the best thing that will ever happen.

Keeping the hype aside, do you think mobile esports is growing? Especially after PUBG Mobile and Free Fire getting banned?

MambaSR - So, PUBG Mobile was banned and Free Fire, I am not sure what the officials' stand is. But yes, it is growing, and I know PC gamers look down upon mobile gaming as if it's not real.

But it doesn't matter what their opinion is. Numbers don't lie, for example, we are 1.3 Billion people in India and I believe there was a report in 2018 where only 600 to 800 million people had access to the internet. So, around 600 million people didn't have an idea of what internet is.

Even with that, we still saw such crazy numbers when not many people knew about Gaming and Esports and Free Fire World Series held in Singapore became the most-watched esports tournament, and we clocked out at 1.9 Million concurrent viewers on just the Hindi stream.

At that time, it was a world record for maximum number of viewers on a single stream for any single language. It beat every single PC title out there, though it was later broken by Worlds. 

So, it's not just growing; it's driving the growth of esports and its awareness because that's the only reason why so many people are watching esports and anybody who says it's not that big is very ignorant about the fact that it is. Look at reports and numbers, they don't lie.

What do love and hate the most about South Asian esports?

MambaSR - What I love the most is the passion that we carry, but it can sometimes turn into hatred for players who don't perform. I have seen it when I have been casting some international events, and when an Indian team fails to perform, there is a lot of hate. I understand from where they are coming from but it's not the right thing to do. 

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Featured image courtesy of the MambaSR.