Exclusive: Interview With Total Gaming’s FozyAjay, MafiaBala and JAVABOY
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Conquest Free Fire Open 2020 concluded recently, and now we have the final 12 teams competing for a prize pool of INR 50,00,000 at the Grand Finals. Total Gaming is still in contention to win at the event. AFK Gaming hosted an interview with three team members, including FozyAjay, MafiaBala, and JAVABOY. The team was formerly known as The Mafias, and after achieving success at multiple tournaments, were signed by Total Gaming. They talked about their recent experience at the Snapdragon Conquest event and how they approach competition in the Free Fire scene.
On Their Recent Experience with Snapdragon Conquest and FFIC
Total Gaming is currently competing in the Qualcomm Snapdragon Conquest event which boasts a prize pool of INR 50,00,000. The team is also competing in the Free Fire India Championship which boasts a prize pool of INR 75,00,000. The team is currently in the Top 12 at the Snapdragon Conquest event and they are looking to take home the grand prize. When sharing their experiences about both events they are competing in, they talked about how there is a distinct difference between both events. While the FFIC boasts of a bigger prize pool, Snapdragon Conquest is a better-designed tournament as a whole. FozyAjay explained why he liked the format of this tournament.
“Not always. In the case of FFIC, the group pooling can often lead to some great teams ending up in the same group while other teams get easy groups. It does not necessarily mean that the best teams get to compete in the playoffs. Snapdragon Conquest is a much better format.
Snapdragon Conquest rewards consistent performance. You could be first today in the FFIC and last tomorrow due to some bad matches but Qualcomm’s tournament is a much better format and you can recover from your losses.“
It is evident that the Total Gaming players are happy about how the Snapdragon Conquest is structured around a League system. One of the biggest downsides to having groups at any esports events according to FozyAjay is that it becomes unfair at times. Some of the best teams in the competition might end up in the same group which is what happened with Total Gaming. The team is matched against the likes of Galaxy Racer and Sixth Sense while some of the other groups do not have as stiff of a competition. Some of the best teams may miss out on an opportunity to secure a spot in the playoffs in FFIC’s format which can feel disheartening.
The team is happy with how the Snapdragon Conquest is not punishing and offers more room for improvement throughout the competition. According to Ajay, one bad match can mean the end of the road at an event like the FFIC while the Snapdragon Conquest event feels like a marathon where you get the opportunity to catch up. But when it comes to difficulty, the team feels that both events are equally difficult despite the different formats.
How Total Gaming Approaches Major Tournaments
For events like the FFIC where there are groups, they have to focus on one match at a time. The penalties for losing a single match are much higher and they have to focus heavily on studying their opponent’s rotations and implement the best strategies even though they are competing against fewer teams.
The one thing that sticks out about events like FFIC according to FozyAjay is that there are not “storylines” that can be created throughout the competition. FozyAjay said,
“In the FFIC, the best teams can get matched against each other at times and the competition is divided into small groups, rivalries become difficult to build up. All of the top teams may end up in the same group during the group stage which can feel disheartening as they don’t get an equal opportunity in the long run.”
With teams playing so few matches against each other In a league format similar to that of Snapdragon Conquest is that Total Gaming gets to think about their long-term strategy for the competition instead of being solely focused on one match at a time.
Increasing Competition in The Indian Free Fire Scene And Planning For Success
Total Gaming has been a dominant team in the Indian Free Fire esports circuit but other teams are slowly catching up to them. When being asked about how they plan on tackling potential contenders of being the best Free Fire team in India, FozyAjay revealed that they are not afraid of anyone.
“Total Gaming is capable of beating any team in the competition and we can pull off wins against anyone.”
Ajay talked about how the roster does not care about who they face, they only care about getting the win. The focus is always on performance and they do not get intimidated by teams that are potentially better than them at events.
FozyAjay talked about how they maintain composure during events by relaxing on match days. They do their due diligence and study the opposing teams and figure out a game plan to counter them. The team also practices together but on match days, they choose to take some time off to ensure they are energized before matches and are ready to compete and give their 100%.
How Total Gaming Trains Ahead of Competitions
The most important aspect of Total Gaming’s approach to competing is understanding rotations and strategies that opponents take advantage of and adapt to their playstyles. The practice is very important during events and they focus heavily on identifying weaknesses and improving where they are lacking. The roster is fairly new to the Indian Free Fire scene but they have been performing well thanks to cohesive teamwork and the players are very happy with how far they have come.
“We study our opponents and figure out their rotations and strategies. The practice is also very important to our approach during tournaments. We figure out our weaknesses and work on them to ensure we perform as well as possible on any match day. Our roster is fairly new so we are working on cohesive teamwork.”
FozyAjay talked about his experience with both experienced and inexperienced rosters. According to him, the biggest advantage of having an established roster is that they know the strengths, weaknesses, and playstyles of everyone within the team. He says:
“Building up coordination takes time and we need to practice a lot. Unlike old teams where teammates are aware of each others’ playstyles, it takes time to get accustomed to each other’s work ethic and playstyle in a new team. We are constantly working together to ensure our team is on point. “
JAVABOY is fairly new to the roster and when asked about how well he has been able to gel with the team, he revealed that he is somewhere between the 70% to 80% mark when it comes to coordination. He is confident that a little more time with the team is all he needs to perform optimally and help Total Gaming’s roster win accolades in Free Fire.
When asked about situations where opponents come prepared with their own strategies to counter Total Gaming, the players talked about how esports is a learning experience and all it takes is time and effort to adapt to strategies. Even if a team does catch them off guard and counter their tactics, the team believes that it is capable of making changes on-the-go. If they are unable to beat their opponents, they learn from their mistakes are go in better prepared the next time to ensure victory.
Recent Success and Responsibilities as a Team
FozyAjay revealed, “we are overwhelmed by the massive success achieved by each of the players. We did not get so much recognition when we were under ‘The Mafias’ banner but after switching to Total Gaming we have garnered a loyal fanbase. It is our responsibility to perform as well as possible in every tournament.”
They are very happy with the support they are receiving from fans. The players know that they have to give their best in every match to keep fans happy and they are preparing themselves for great performances, in the long run, to ensure they do not disappoint their fans. They do not want to feel burdened by all the support they receive from fans. Instead, they want to convert it into positive energy and channel it into their gameplay.
Plans Beyond Esports And The Future
FozyAjay revealed that it isn’t impossible to pursue both esports and have a stable career.
“I just completed my degree in Rural Development. I intend to continue studying while also focusing on my career with Total Gaming. I feel balancing time is crucial when it comes to pursuing esports and education at the same time. It just takes commitment and managing responsibilities to find the right balance.”
JAVABOY is currently studying and is in the final year of his Bachelor’s degree in Science. Mafia Bala recently completed his degree and is currently focused on his esports career at Total Gaming.
Total Gaming is currently competing in the FFIC which concludes on March 21st. You can catch them live on the Free Fire Esports India channel on YouTube. They are also part of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Conquest which concludes on March 12th. You can catch the event live on the official tournament YouTube channel here.