Moin Ejaz

Moin Ejaz is a 30 year old professional esports player from India. In the most recent development Moin led the Indian DOTA 2 team as the captain in the Commonwealth Esports Championship to win a Bronze Medal for the country.

How many years have you spent in the esports industry as a professional and what is your current role?
I’ve been playing Dota 2 for almost 7 years. Throughout my career as a professional player, my team an I managed to win almost all the events and tournaments hosted in India. We also represented India in multiple international events. Sadly, ever since Covid struck, the Dota scene in India went silent and is nearly considered dead due to no events being held as well as teams having trouble getting sponsors. Everyone I know left Dota and started pursuing other careers or going pro in other games instead. As for myself, I’m still staying loyal towards Dota and I’m also currently looking forward to form a team that is capable of competing in international events.
What did you study in high school and college, did you always want to take this professional path?
I’ve been interested in computer science since I the age of 7 years. I studied computer science in college and spent majority of my free time playing Dota 2. My team and I ended up getting a sponsor and I had to move to the bootcamp located in Mumbai in order to practice and stay together with my team members. I had to make a choice between pursuing my gaming career or continuing my studies. In the end, I chose to pursue my gaming career because I was very much into it and we were also doing pretty well as a team.
What online games do you play and how much time do you dedicate to your practice?
Besides Dota 2, I also play Valorant as it helps me blow off some steam when I’m on a losing streak in Dota. I play Dota for about 6 hours a day.
What are the main differences, according to you between playing certain games online v. offline ?
When you’re playing from home, you’re using your own setup which you’re familiar and comfy with. However, it feels completely different to play in a LAN event as you’ll be playing in front of the crowd with many pairs of eyes watching you. It’s easy to feel anxious and nervous when people are staring, even I feel that way sometimes, especially when you have to play on a completely new setup.
If you were given a chance to convey player sentiments to regulators, government, and journals that always project gaming in a negative light associated with addiction and lethargy, what is the one thing you would like to say?
Gaming can improve a person’s quick reflexes and fast decision making and it’s a good escape if you’re having a stressful day. Off-late gamers are being viewed as criminals specially with certain states levying fines and imprisonment on the playing of online skill games with money. Today there are so many formats of online games that we play, to put a blanket ban on them and then call professional players criminals does not seem fair. As a gamer my only request would be to keep in mind that we play and practise to win medals for the country and it inappropriate to term as criminals.
As a user, what are the few things that you feel you need player protection from when you are playing on an online portal?
When we play online games, a lot of things get neglected from a user safety perspective, this includes data privacy, offensive language, and sometimes even thefts of tokens and wins within game plays. The lack of a redressal mechanism sometimes makes it difficult for gamers to retrieve the same.
Any other thoughts on skill-based online gaming as a profession and livelihood?
Esports is growing rapidly all over the world the players can earn a salary up to as cricketers if they’re very good at the games.

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