ClouDx might just be the most famous eSports personality in India. This Indian Dota2 caster is one of the key figures in the Indian scene, having casted in almost every single large scale tournament that has ever taken place here in the country. We caught up with him for an interview after the conclusion of ESL India Premiership 2016 – The Masters and spoke to him about his Career, The Masters and Dota in General.
Q: Hello ClouDx, can you tell us your Casting and Gaming history?
Hi! I’ve been a gamer for the vast majority of my life now. I started playing competitive Dota somewhere around 2005 and moved over to playing casual Dota 2 around 2012. I started casting around the same time from my bedroom on a terrible internet connection and a Rs.150 microphone.
Q: Do you remember the first game you ever casted? What was it, and have you listened back to it since?
We hosted a small online tournament for some of our forum members in 2012. Out of sheer boredom I decided to fire up a stream and cast some of the matches. Without sugar coating it I can tell you I was absolutely terrible! However, the community was quite supportive at the time and tuned in regardless.
Q: Why and how did you end up settling on the nickname ‘ClouDx’?
One of my all time favourite video game titles is Final Fantasy 7, the protagonist of which is a character named Cloud Strife. Back when we were competing in Indian Dota (Warcraft Dota) tournaments, my team and I had this quirky thing where we would add a multiplier (x1, x2 etc.) everytime we won a tournament to signify that we were getting better. After a while we lost count of the victories so I removed the number from my tag and hence the name ClouDx.
Q: You’ve been involved with The ESL India Premiership since the beginning. What was your favorite tournament of the 9 (6 Starter Cups, 2 Challenger Cups and The Masters) and why?
The Masters was definitely my favorite one - the top eight teams, competing for a massive prize pool, on the largest esports stage that India has witnessed till date, in front of a massive live audience with stellar production value. The matches were great and so were Beyond Infinity and Invisible Wings on their last ever performances. It was a real treat to watch Indian teams go neck in neck versus teams from across our borders.
Q: What did you think of the ESL India Premiership 2016 from a caster perspective?
There are pros and cons but most of the cons are being resolved quite proactively by NODWIN Gaming. As a caster I’m humbled to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the Indian esports revolution that is the ESL India Premiership.
Q: The Council has announced itself on the big stage in a pretty big way. What do you think about them and their meteoric rise to the top tier of Dota?
I have the utmost admiration for those guys. I spent quite a lot of time conversing with them at Challenger Cup #2 and at The Masters and let me tell you, their struggles have been real! I love that they don’t blindly ape the western meta instead choosing to forge their own playstyle with picks like Chen and core Skywrath Mage.
Q: What is the most exciting match you’ve ever seen live?
That’s got to be Na’Vi versus Alliance at TI 3! Watched it live at a friend’s office.
“Esports and Dota in India have entered a phase of consolidation.”
Q: What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in Dota – and eSports in India– since you started out?
Esports and Dota in India have entered a phase of consolidation. Everyone and everything in the ecosystem behaves a lot more professionally than they did a few years ago. Tournaments are striving to achieve international standards, teams are training to beat international competitors, and commentators are casting international matches in official capacity. It’s hard to pin points any one change that stands out among the series of improvements we have witnessed since 2012.
Q: Beyond Infinity were the champions of the ESL India Premiership 2016 – The Masters as well as the Starter Cup #1 and Challenger Cup #1. What more do you think this team is capable of?
Alas Beyond Infinity is no more. Entity Esports – their new avatar holds a lot of promise. They’re all very talented players and No_Chanc3 is a brilliant captain however I believe they’re going to need two things if they really want to take things to the next level. One – a manager that can instill a sense of routine and discipline in them to treat their daily lives at the gaming house like a job. Two – a coach that they respect and listen to that can bring in a fresh perspective to their bootcamp. I believe the squad has already begun to solve problem one with a manager in their ranks however I’m not sure if progress has been made on point two.
Q: Thank you for taking some time out of your tight schedule and for all of your incredibly in-depth answers! Any last words?
A big thank you to everyone that has supported me so far. It’s been great meeting fans and supporters at LANs and I hope I can continue to do justice to the matches that I cast going forward! 2017 is slated to be significantly more exciting for Indian esports. I can’t wait to spill the beans on some of the exciting stuff that’s coming up J