While gaming is now a household hobby in India thanks to PUBG Mobile, competitive e-sports is something that’s still a niche. Yes, there are pro players in the country who take part in international tournaments for CS:GO, Dota and the likes, but can gaming really be a career option in India? This is a question that has been raised a lot, but never could be answered because while engineering and economics courses have a vast array of tutorials and courses to choose from, there really isn’t anything available for professional gaming. Well, until now.
ASUS is starting a first of its kind initiative in India called the ROG Academy which in partnership with SoStronk aims to find six highly skilled and professional CS:GO players. The objective is to build a team that can rank at least in the top10 in Asia. And that’s no easy task.
What is ROG Academy?
ROG Academy is a three month intensive incubation program for eSports. The program aims to build professional teams for each of the eSports games, starting with Counter Strike: Global Offensive. ASUS has delegated the coaching duties to SoStronk, a Bengaluru-based startup that hosts servers for tournaments. The curriculum has been designed by the SoStronk team along with members of AFK Gaming.
The three-month program will starts with a thorough selection process that will identify six individuals with the potential to make it big in the game. The program will train the six players for the role of either the game leader, sniper, lurker and the likes. The end goal according to SoStronk CEO Prashant Prabhakar is to “build a kickass Counterstrike team that can, if not be the best in India, be definitely competitive with the top three in India and with the top10 in South East Asia.”
ASUS will award the whole team and sum of Rs 1,00,000 once the 3-month training program is completed successfully. The players will also receive a stipend of Rs 15,000 along with bonuses on a monthly basis during the training. Furthermore, the six players will continue to represent ASUS ROG for additional 3 months while participating in tournaments.
ROG Academy Course Design
The three-month training program will include both theoretical and practical modules that will look to build the skills needed to become a pro CS:GO player. The modules range from 30 to 90 minutes, each dealing with a single aspect of the sport –
It’s going to be a full time course that is designed to be conducted virtually. ASUS will also arrange rigs for the trainees and the trainers that the company said will be in line with what professionals use in tournaments. Each player has to attend six hours of classes in the morning and evening from Monday to Friday.
The modules will be data driven and will evaluate on aspects essential for pro-gaming. At the end of each session, the program will award players with what it calls a Map Preparedness Score. The theory modules will delve into things like creating a default formation, creating and evolving momentum in the game, along with peer reviews and scrims.
The Selection Process
Excited to become a pro CS:GO player in India? Here’s where the journey starts. You need to sign up using a Google Form where the personal details like your name, Alias, age, city and the likes. You also have to identify the role you wish to be trained for – In Game Leader, Passive or Aggressive Rifler or Awper. Once you select the role, you will then have to self-evaluate on factors that define the role. So if you are a sniper or an Awper, you have to evaluate yourself on things like repositioning, inventory management and more. Once the submissions are in, the coaches and the SoStronk team will evaluate the responses and shortlist around 100 entries. These 100 players will then go to the SoStronk platform and play mixed matches on CS:GO. By the end of it, with 20 players remaining, the program will have a four-team tournament out of which the best six players will be picked for further training. The results will be decided by a jury composed of people from the SoStronk team, AFK Gaming and ASUS executives.
So if this unique eSports incubation program piques your curiosity, head over to this link and sign up and maybe you can become one of the best CS:GO players in the country. The registration window is open from 1st Feb to 10th Feb.