escudo: "The Indian CS:GO scene needs young talent"

In this interview, we spoke with Francisco "escudo" Mascarenhas. He has played for top tier esports teams in India such as Brutality and Entity all at the young age of 15. Currently, escudo is on the hunt for a team. Additionally, escudo streams CS:GO and other titles such as PUBG on his YouTube Channel 

Escudo, as you know, many teenagers of your age dream to make it onto premier esports teams such as Brutality and Entity Gaming. Since you have already done this process, what advice would you give to fellow 16-year-old players who want to make it big in esports, especially in India?
In my opinion, India offers a lot more opportunities for players to get into esports compared to other Asian countries. In India, there are tournaments constantly taking place in which players can participate in. The best advice for teenagers who want to make it big in esports is that firstly, you shouldn't think too much about the future and just go with the flow, make sure you enjoy what you are doing. I am sure that you will not be getting the best results all the time, the losses may demotivate you. However, remember to always seek knowledge, not results, by winning or losing you are still learning. It is necessary to be committed to the esport. However, the game can be mentally and physically draining so make sure to make time for other hobbies that you like. Lastly, the thing that I consider most important is to never make enemies in the community and always try to make friends.

You've been in India to play with Entity and traveled to multiple places to play at events. How has your experience been in India?
I still remember that I couldn’t even believe I was in India for the first few days I was there. I loved traveling to events, it was a surreal experience. While at events, I met so many great people, players from the other teams who I have played online with for years and most importantly, I met my fans who have always supported me through thick and thin.
 Overall, India was a life lesson, I come from a place where generally people have no struggles, life is easy here, I was honestly getting bored of the lifestyle and needed a change and India was just the place for me. Personally, I had no problems with India, because I am someone that believes that all of us should try our best to adapt especially in a new environment which I did perfectly.
My best memory in India was when I was given the opportunity to be on the analyst desk for Dew Arena 2019, a big shout out to NODWIN.

What can we expect from you in 2020 in terms of your professional CS:GO career?
Honestly, I don’t know what to expect. I am not a fan of setting goals or having expectations, I am just going with the flow right now, taking one thing at a time. I believe that everything happens for the best.

If you could name a few players who will make waves in the Indian scene, who would they be?
In my opinion, the Indian CS:GO community needs young talent who would replace the players who are now becoming old. In my opinion,Rishi “RvK” Vijayakumar and Jayesh “thorn” Jayanth are definitely players who will make waves, RvK is an overall talented player who still hasn’t got his big shot and is just around my age. I find thorn to be a very humble person, he personally came to me for advice and I think he is going on the right path although he has a lot of things to learn, let’s see.

It’s not public knowledge but you have taken a break from your education to pursue your dreams in esports. Can you shed some light on that decision? How has life changed for you since then?
Yes, it’s true, I have taken a break from pursuing my education currently. This decision allows me to put more time into the game, life still carries on to be the same pretty much. I will definitely come back to my education with no doubts, it’s something that I believe is essential.

Do you think in India CS:GO or other titles such as R6 will witness a boom as PUBG-M has?
I don’t think that CS:GO and Rainbow Six Siege will have a boom like PUBG-M. However, I believe that CS:GO and Rainbow Six Siege, in the next 2 to 3 years, will have higher viewership than PUBG-M

If you could make an all-star team of Indian players, something like your dream project. Which players would that be?
My dream team would be:
Agneya “Marzil” Koushik
Simar “-psy.” Sethi
Tejas “Ace” Sawant
Anuj “Amaterasu” Sharma
These are my picks for my dream team. I don’t have any reason to pick these players but I would love to see them playing under the same banner.

Recently Riot announced an FPS called Valorant also known as Project A. The game has been dubbed as the “CS:GO,killer”. What do you think about that?
I really don’t think that it will be the “CS:GO, killer”. Personally, I believe that CS:GO players will not appreciate the style of the game. I could compare this game to something like PUBG-PC or Fortnite. In the beginning, a lot of players will jump to try this game, leading to a drop in CS’ player count. However, the hype will die out eventually and they will come back to playing CS. Right now, if you compare the viewership of PUBG-PC and CS:GO, there is a huge difference. CS:GO is and will always be the king of esports. I will definitely try the game as a player
Something you would like to tell your fans?
These past days, I have been getting multiple messages from teenagers and their parents and ask me how they should get their parents to support their dream to become an esports player. In my opinion, this situation is very easy to fix. The onus of this problem is mainly on the child himself, not on the parents. At the end of the day, you cannot randomly approach your parents and ask them to support your esports career and allow them to let you drop your studies. This is where the problem lies, you cannot ask your parents to support a career you have not shown any results in and ask them to support you blindly. I believe it is wrong to expect this from anyone. Especially in India, there has been rapid growth in the middle class. The middle-class parents have struggled really hard to achieve stability and expect their children to follow the same path. On top of this, you ask your parents to support you in a field that is not followed by your parents and is still at an early stage. In my opinion, you should do what your parents want you to do- study well and do your homework and get good grades. If you manage your time well, you will have around 2-3 hours to game or for your leisure- where you can focus on the game if that’s what you want. Additionally, esports is not for everyone. It isn’t guaranteed that you will make it big in esports. You just have to play the game, don’t dream too much, the results will follow automatically. Just keep grinding, play tournaments, get experience and show your parents what you have done with esports. You need something to back your dream to go pro in esports, the field is not as rosy as you think it is. One important factor of making esports career is to sit down, be patient with your parents and explain what esports is actually in them. If you can get them to understand what esports is, they will lean towards supporting you.
All in all, just keep grinding, show your parents your results and they will support you if you show some promise with the game.
Lastly, I want to thank all of you for sticking with me through thick and thin, I am extremely grateful to have loyal fans like you guys

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