Talk to anyone in the esports community and it’s impossible to come across someone who hasn’t heard of ‘8bit Thug.’ A pro gamer, an entrepreneur, a streamer and an inspiration to millions, Animesh Agarwal aka 8bit thug is a visionary who aims at making esports the biggest industry in India.
It’s not easy for a bright 22-year-old to choose esports as a professional career. When asked about it, Agarwal says, “My parents were very supportive. And there was one simple reason for it. I was a CA finalist and I was also pursuing CFA and FRM, so academically, I was pretty sorted and I did everything that my parents wanted. I just asked them for a year’s break and I assured them that if gaming did not work out, I’ll be back. My planning ensured that there were no lapses for my parents to discourage me from pursuing esports.”
The gamer’s vision for esports and his entrepreneurial ventures are well-known. However, over the past one year, we saw his sensitive side and generosity at a time when people were battling for their lives.
The pro gamer did everything he could to make a mark for himself in esports. He participated in numerous charity streams and independently raised funds for charity streams on his YouTube channel. We asked about his experience of participating in the charity stream hosted by Mobile Premier League (MPL). He says, “MPL stepping up with such a huge donation was something that enhanced the whole experience. Playing with my colleagues from S8UL and from the community was great fun, but ultimately the cause was to help the people affected by COVID-19. I’m glad that we could raise close to ₹25 Lakh. Another team donated ₹25 Lakh from their prize and MPL added ₹50 Lakh. For me it was more about the cause; we all came together and the sentiment of helping our people was the best part about the stream.”
Apart from streaming, Agarwal is also instrumental in helping people on a personal front. When asked about the same, with a lot of hesitation, the pro gamer says, “I collaborated with Hemkunt Foundation, and donated close to 50 cylinders. I made personal donations of ₹1 Lakh each to around 3 different initiatives. Apart from that, I’m also donating twice my YouTube income for the month of May. Not only me, all the influencers have been very instrumental in amplifying the requirements whenever plasma or oxygen was needed.
Initially, I used to be in tears when a lot of people reached out to me to say, ‘Thug, because of you we got what was required and now my father is finally breathing or my mother is finally breathing because of you. Let me tell you, that feeling really helps. The satisfaction it gives is truly unmatchable.”
It is overwhelming to see how a pro gamer is empathizing with people who were struck by COVID-19. His generosity and determination to help the community is unparalleled. And for all the budding gamers and streamers out there, Agarwal has one piece of advice. He says, “Come and play, there is a lot of scope. If you have the skills, you will get noticed. But always keep a back-up, study hard. You don’t need to pursue gaming by giving up your education and bothering your parents. Play in your free time. Everyone started somewhere, so don’t fear starting.”
Catch Thug get candid about his story from a professional player to an entrepreneur and about his team 8bit (now S8UL) only in Gutshot Magazine’s June 2021 E-magazine.
Amarylisa Gonsalves is a Content Writer at Gutshot Magazine. Advancing from a marketing background, she found her calling in writing. She takes delight in exploring genres and is a curious learner. Patient and ambivert, she believes in letting her work speak for itself. Apart from content writing, she finds solace in writing poetry by manifesting herself through words. Additionally, she adores indulging in travelling, drawing and DIY crafts.
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