Antidote calls on Riot Games to give South Asian Valorant more opportunities
One of the most popular Valorant icons in the South Asian circuit, Sabyasachi ‘Antidote’ Bose, has spoken to Dexerto about his transition from CS:GO and his future endeavors.
Ever since professional gaming started to grow in India, one player who has generated a lot of buzz in the country is Antidote. From being one of the best AWPers during the Counter-Strike days to currently being one of the best leaders in Valorant, Antidote has established himself as one of India’s most prominent esports figures.
2022 is shaping up to be one of the best years in Antidote’s career. His team, Enigma Gaming, qualified for the VCT APAC Stage 2 Challengers, in which they went head-to-head against some of the best teams in the region.
Enigma didn’t make it out of the play-in stage following close losses to Made in Thailand and CERBERUS Esports, but for Antidote and his team, it was still a valuable experience.
Antidote did not always have a smooth ride
Chatting to Dexerto about his journey, he noted that his career was “slippery and rough” at the beginning before things eventually started to get better.
“After starting with Counter-Strike 1.6 in 2011, I eventually shifted to CS:GO in 2015 and represented India in multiple national and international tournaments,” he said. “I think I became one of the best AWPers in India during that time.”
It was in 2020 that Antidote realized that the CSGO scene in India had become stagnant, with only a handful of teams facing each other on a regular basis. Thankfully for him, Valorant was released that same year, catapulting Indian esports to greater heights.
“I lost my motivation to continue with CSGO during that time and luckily Valorant launched and most of the ex-CSGO players shifted to the new game and it instantly clicked,” he said.
His first Valorant team, Velocity Gaming, went undefeated in the game’s debut year and held their own internationally, finishing PVP Esports Final in third place. After that, he took up the in-game role to focus more on crunch strategies and plays while giving younger, more mechanically gifted players room to shine.
“I know I can lead a side, I can make a winning team,” he said.
When Antidote represented his country via OpTic Gaming’s Indian venture, a cursed event shook the entire Indian gaming scene after Nikhil ‘forsaken’ Kumawat was caught cheating at the eXTREMESLAND 2018 Asia Finals in Shanghai, China. However, Antidote and the other players weren’t taken aback by the incident and continued to work hard.
- Read more: VCT 2022 Stage 2 Challengers NA & Europe
“We performed well and won [a map] against pro100 in Dreamhack, one of the best teams in the world, on LAN,” he said. “I don’t think that incident has done major damage to the Indian scene.”
Thriving LAN scene in India
Recently, Skyesports hosted a regional event on LAN called Champions Series, which saw Global Esports and Enigma Gaming qualify for the APAC Stage 2 Challengers. Like many other Indian players, Antidote came away from the event immensely impressed.
“All the tournament organizers are doing an amazing job, they’re bringing the LAN environment back in India.”
Antidote added that South Asia has proved its worth in terms of viewership numbers, and called on Riot to give the region more chances to compete abroad.
“We have already proved that we have the numbers here,” he said. “South Asia is one of the most viewed regions in the community, so Riot should give us more opportunities.”