EM Exclusive, Nagaland
Nagaland gamer takes online gaming to next level
DIMAPUR — When majority of the Naga populace are yet to come to terms with the concept of online gaming as a profession, this passionate player from Nagaland decided to take his interest to another level.
Minlen Singson founded the Third World Mafia (TWM), an esports team based in Bengaluru, three years ago.
The esports sector in India and beyond has been gaining momentum in recent times and even recognised as a medalled event at the 19th Asian Games.
In a telephonic conversation with Eastern Mirror, Singsong shared that, for the first time, the team recently got the chance to participate in the competitive level.
Now, they have qualified for the BGIS 2023 semi-finals, scheduled from October 4 to the 7th, where India’s top 32 teams will compete for the final spot.
The team has been preparing for the upcoming semis and practices from 3 pm to 10 pm every day.
From various tournaments they took part in the last few months, the TWM members pooled a total of INR 4.7 lakh (some of which are yet to be released), a commendable achievement.
To name a few, the TWM were declared champions of BGMI Sikkim Series Season 2, won first position in DS Wifi Championship and second position in Dimension Cup Season 3.
They also won the Thug Amateur league champions 2023, Heatwave 1.0 and Panda King Tournament.
The TWM players are Ngurang Takar also known as ‘TWMxNINZAE,’ Samuel Nabam aka ‘TWMxSAMzzz,’ Kezhangutuo Metha (TWMxLOBSTER), Mrinal CR (TWMxDESTINY), Dzieseser Souhu (TWMxFreyzey), and the founder Minlen Singson (TWMXALFA.)
Among them, three are from Nagaland, one from Assam and two from Arunachal Pradesh.
They also have content creators, YouTube streamers, a coach, a manager and others, totalling 26 members.
He is said to have scouted more players from Nagaland but the prospective players could not go far due to the lack of dedication and patience.
Otherwise, he wanted to give first preference to people from the state as communication, the key while gaming, also becomes a problem when teammates are from different communities and states.
How it all began
Sharing his early days as a gamer, Singson confided that it was when he was studying at Science College, Jotsoma, he developed an interest in playing games like Dota and Counter-Strike, but did not realise the potential of esports back then.
“In Nagaland, we have always been following traditional way of education. Even in education, we don’t get to choose. Parents are still making decisions for their kids… Our parents always come with a decision for us and they get heartbroken if we don’t agree,” he said.
He started as a player but over the years due to decreasing muscle memory and reflexes, he decided to give a chance to the younger generations, and switched over to building and managing the team.
Besides being the manager and owner of the TWM Gaming Nagaland, Singson also works at an IT company in Bengaluru.
The major drawback, he shared, is that players cannot compete without high-end devices and not everybody is rich enough to buy such devices.
The players also face internet and electricity problems, which comes in the way of smooth and uninterrupted gaming.
However, his players are now getting regular salaries per month in addition to getting 80% of the tournament wins and other incentives and facilities.
Scope of esports
Esports has been already recognised as a game in the Indian Olympic Association and the country is participating in many prestigious tournaments globally.
“There are a lot of teenagers who are also earning through playing esports games. It will be good if Nagas can also utilise platforms where tournaments happen every day and earn from them instead of playing casual gaming,” he said.
He also noted that in states like Mizoram, Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh, their governments are supporting esports to the boost esports tourism.