Ragini VermaMar 12, 2020 14:08:52 IST
Aditya Sawant aka Dynamo is one of India’s most popular streamers with over six million subscribers on YouTube. Once known for being an emulator player — playing PUBG Mobile on PC via an emulator — he recently made the switch to mobile-only streaming, and his popularity continues to grow.
Sawant has also expanded his interests to owning a gaming clan and encouraging up-and-coming gamers in India. At Tech2 Innovate, Network18 Digital Videos Head Ragini Verma sat down with him to discuss the impact of gaming in India. They talk about how life had changed for him after he became a gamer, how one can make gaming a full-time career, and how gamers maintain their physical and mental wellbeing. They also discuss his ‘philosophical’ Instagram captions and the origins of his now-famous catchphrase, ‘patt se headshot’. Below is the entire exchange:
Editor’s note: Some responses have been edited for style and brevity
Ragini: At 1UP gaming, when we had first reached out to you for an interview, you (Aditya) were at 400k subs, by the time we shot it, you already reached 800k, and when we rolled it out you had touched the magical one million mark. Today, after a little over a year, you are 6.3 million strong. What does that number mean to you?
Aditya: Basically, I have been working hard on this. When we met we were just 400k, a lot of things happened in life. We worked on content as well, streaming as well, games, and a lot of other things. Timing is key for me. I had set the timings of morning, evening and night. So, three times a day. So, obviously, if one person does one thing at a time, I was doing three things at one time, so I am reaping three times the benefit.
Ragini: There was no shortage in your hard work.
Aditya: Yes, obviously. My life changed upside down, totally. I was like an outdoor kind of guy, football, table tennis. I have played football at national level, table tennis at state level, badminton at state level, and basketball as well. I was an outdoor games guy. I tried streaming, but didn’t find much success. But, when I saw there was potential in YouTube with the increase in views and subscribers, I started to structure my content. I started studying content, how people react and respond to it. That really helped me a lot. As I said, my life totally changed after that.
Ragini: I think people might look at gaming and say it is so easy, you just play games and you do that as a profession. You touched upon how much hard work went into getting a huge following. Why don’t you talk about the kind of daily investment that goes into this? What kind of things do you need to sacrifice, the skills you need to develop and hone to make this your bread and butter?
Aditya: I am a business management student. I know how to manage time. If you manage your college and studies well, then you are left with a lot of time, if you don’t have extra classes. If you can manage all of that well, then you are left with lots of time to work on YouTube. If you are a content creator or a streamer, you get a lot of time at night, probably 2–3 hrs to do streaming. I have tried streaming at night, so from my personal experience, I can say that. From morning to evening, if your schedule is packed with classes, then at night from seven pm to ten pm or eight pm to eleven pm, you can do streaming depending on your schedule. If you can manage your time well, and focus on the streaming carefully, results will appear automatically.
Ragini: So hard work really pays. Adi, we have to talk about that really bold move you have made. You moved from emulator to mobile, at your peak. Talk what prompted this move and made you finally decide to bite the bullet.
Aditya: At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. When we met and filmed the video, back then I was playing on an emulator. I had given one year to it. After one year of practice, suddenly I moved to mobile. You observe everything drastically. There were many problems as well. Suppose you are used to a particular screen resolution for a year now, you can see your enemies clearly. Then if you shift to a 5–6 inch phone, that gives a lot of problems. Then your hand movements. If you’re playing on PC, you have to just use 3–4 fingers and your mouse, which is very easy.
A lot of people say playing on an emulator is very tough. When you advance in the game, you start to get tougher lobbies. And then you realise from starting to a certain level, things are not that hard.
But when you shift to mobile, you have to develop your skills from scratch. It takes a lot of time (to develop skills). But if you are very focused on it… let me give you an example. It took me a maximum of 2–3 weeks to develop the speed. It took one week for the settings, one week for gyro and one week for just practice. So, it took a maximum of 3–4 weeks or a maximum of one month and then, you saw the gameplay.
Ragini: And you are doing quite well there.
Ragini: We saw some of that today, it was wonderful. To a lot of people, they play games to unwind and it is a hobby. Now that you do this as a profession, has it changed how you feel about gaming?
Ragini: Really? You still enjoy it as much and don’t feel the pressure?
Aditya: First I started playing to get out of the pressure of exams, studying, etc. As I had said, time management is the key. Whatever time I had left at the end of the day, I would devote fully to gaming. I knew that I had completed all that I had to do, I needed to reduce my stress levels and just get into the game, And it happens even today if you are bored, it becomes a common reason (to game). It sometimes might be (that you game) if you are tired. Most people go to sleep or do something else, but I just start playing because that gives me stress relief and it is better for me.
Ragini: Talk also about how you keep your lifestyle healthy, because gaming addiction is a known concern. I have personally met some boys addicted to gaming. There are also lifestyle issues, whether mental or physical that can come out of it. Where do you draw the line?
Aditya: As I said, I used to stream three times a day. As RawKnee said, we enjoy all these things. It is common. It really used to affect my body earlier. I am wearing glasses right now, because my eyes are red. My eyes always remain red. You can’t explain these things to your mom and dad, because they think you are sitting in front of PC 24 hrs in a day, so it is affecting your health.
So for now, your schedule should be to first stream, then go for a walk. What I do, I go cycling for timepass, just cycling. Go cycling because it is good for your health. You can also go for a walk with your dog. These things are refreshing for me, but I am not able to do it everyday, but I try to do it at least 3–4 times a week. This is enough for me.
Ragini: I loved the frames that you put up on Instagram, and I think you have great skill, but do you know he (Aditya) puts a lot of philosophical quotes with his posts on Instagram? My question is, how do you come up with those?
Aditya: Google. You can say like 10–20 percent.
Ragini: Google? They’re not coming from your heart?
Aditya: If I see something is matching with my thoughts, I just copy it.
Ragini: Cut, copy and paste and there you go. But, yeah it is a lot of fun. Now I want to talk about a career in gaming, you have a clan. How is it to be the owner of a clan and what kind of responsibilities does it entail?
Aditya: I have a clan you said, right?
Aditya: Okay, my first point is I never imagined that I would go into an esports career. First, I used to play for myself. Then we made a small clan, only 3–4 people, all streamers. The partnership between four people was liked by the audiences, like alpha, beta players. I saw that the underdog players are lacking a platform, okay. So, I thought if I have a platform, which is big enough, I have an audience of six million, I stream as well. I also have a good enough Instagram account, so why not give them chances? We thought we will make a clan and expand it, not into an emulator thing, but a 90 percent mobile thing.
We will give chances to mobile players. It doesn’t matter what your ranking is. It also does not matter whether you win or lose. You just practice and I will give you a chance and platform.
You just go ahead. This is the whole thing behind the Hydra clan.
Ragini: What does ‘gacho gacho’ mean?
Aditya: So, technically it has no meaning. First of all, I had a friend whose surname was the same and the rhyming was gacho gacho. So I used to tease him, wherever he used to go. I don’t know how it came out during the stream
Ragini: I think you need to connect with him and also make your fans meet the real ‘gacho gacho’.
Ragini: And we will reveal that at some other stage. When did you realise that ‘patt se headshot’ would become such a thing? Do you recall the first time you used the phrase?
Aditya: Uh, I guess no…but, then the sound of the gun. Like, if you are using AWM, the sound is very loud. So if you are using it with a suppressor, it doesn’t make that sound patttt.., one can say that. So I don’t know why, whenever I get a headshot, or if I am firing randomly, I give a word to that. It is working great.
Ragini: It has become a thing, and how.
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