Nishant Patel

Co-Founder & CEO at AFK Gaming

How many years have you spent in the esports industry as a professional and what is your current role?
I have spent ten years in the esports industry, I am currently the co-founder and chief executive officer of AFK Gaming. AFK Gaming is a sincere attempt to build the go-to destination for the world’s quality esports content.
What did you study in high school and college, did you always want to take this professional path?
I studied commerce and finance at the HR College of Commerce in Mumbai, following which I obtained a degree in master of commerce from the University of Mumbai. I also attended summer school at the London School and studied business analysis and valuations. Esports is not something I anticipated following as a professional path while studying. I started my professional career as a research analyst at Credit Analysis and Research Limited.
What online games do you play and how much time do you dedicate to your practice?
I am passionate about and play Dota 2, a couple of hours a week.
What are the main differences, according to you between playing certain games online v. offline games?
The biggest difference between online and offline gaming is the ability to compete and/or interact with others. Online sports enable a player to interact and play with people across boundaries/gender/age.
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?
After spending ten years in the industry I believe, the benefits of online skill-based gaming far outweigh the cons. Addiction, lethargy and other negative effects associated with online skill-based gaming merit a deeper study focused on an individual’s personality, lifestyle and environment.
As a user, what are the few things that you feel you need player protection from when you are playing on an online portal?
Right now in India, the biggest issue that comes to my mind is the misuse of personal data for targeted advertising and sales calls without my consent.
Any other thoughts on skill-based online gaming as a profession and livelihood?
Skill games need to be evaluated based on the physical and intellectual ability required to play a game. Games that include elements of both should be treated and regulated differently.

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