The South Asian Free Fire esports scene has been on an exponential rise in popularity for some time now. Not only has the title been able to amass millions of viewers during official tournaments, but it has also grown substantially in terms of community participation.
This was one of the biggest reasons why the renowned esports organization Team SoloMid wanted to expand in the region with its Free Fire roster. It was only recently that they signed the entirety of the Sixth Sense squad, who, at the time, was deemed to be one of the most successful Free Fire rosters in India.
The formation of TSM.FTX has created quite an impact on the nation’s mobile esports scene. In a conversation with Abhishek Mallick of Sportskeeda Esports, Jayesh “MR JAY” Yadav opens up about some of the vision that went behind the sign-up and what fans can expect from the squad in the coming months.
Here is an excerpt of the interview.
Q. Jayesh, can we start by having you tell us a bit about yourself? How did your whole professional Free Fire career get started? What was your life like before that?
Jayesh: Hello! My name is Jayesh Yadav, and I am from Delhi. My Free Fire career officially took off when my team and I finished 3rd in the Free Fire India championship 2020 fall.
As for my life before Free Fire, it’s nothing interesting, to be honest. I was pursuing a career in professional badminton before Garena’s IP became my true calling.
Q. So why Free Fire? With so many battle royale titles in the mobile market, what about Garena’s game made you invest so much of your blood and sweat?
Jayesh: When I started playing Free Fire, I wasn’t all that serious about the game. I just tried it out because my younger brother wanted me to, and it was free-to-play.
It was only when I started meeting all kinds of people and creating a bond with them, did I start getting hooked to the game and the community.
Q. What’s the atmosphere like back at home? What do your folks think about your vocation, and were they supportive from the get-go?
Jayesh: Though my family always supported me financially, when it came to my passion for being a Free Fire esports professional, they did not back me up initially, and neither do I have their backing right now.
Q. With the Sixth Sense roster coming under the TSM FTX banner, what has the transition been like for you and the team? Did you face many difficulties initially, or was it all smooth sailing?
Jayesh: When we joined TSM.FTX, a lot of things changed for me, the most important of which was my role in the game.
During my time in Sixth Sense, I played the role of the sniper, but for TSM, I will be more on the front lines and take up the position of the rusher. This was quite a significant change for me but not an entirely tricky transition to make.
Q. Sixth Sense was indeed one of the most dominant Free Fire rosters in the region. Now, under the new TSM FTX management, can you some light on some expectations the organization has from you and the rest of the roster?
Jayesh: Since TSM signed us right before the Pro League started, they did not want to disrupt or change too many things. Hence, it was a period for the org to get to know our team better and learn more about the Indian Free Fire scene.
TSM is currently searching for a team house for us and has mentioned that they will be implementing practice regimes that some of the top competitive teams across the world utilize. The org is known to have a winning culture, and it wants us to be the best Free Fire roster in India.
Q. With the new movie, have your team strategies and player roles changed? Or will you guys be putting into play the same thing you did when playing for Sixth Sense?
Jayesh: Yes! We will be more or less practicing the same thing that we did in Sixth Sense and keep improving on that, as that strategy has been quite successful for us thus far.
However, we will also try to experiment a bit and try out things like position changes, unique flanking, and engage strategies that we have not tried before.
Q. For esports athletes, mental and physical burnout is becoming a growing issue. Health problems are at an all-time high in the Indian esports industry, and the lack of awareness often leads to irreparable damage. What are some of the steps that TSM FTX is taking to keep their players fit physically and mentally?
Jayesh: Since we haven’t moved to our team house just yet, I feel that this question is something I can answer sometime down the road.
But I can assure the community by saying that TSM takes mental and physical burnout rather seriously.
It is something that they constantly work on with each of their competitive rosters around the world.
Q. With Battlegrounds Mobile India finally making its appearance, how do you think this will affect the mobile esports market? Will there be a significant impact on Free Fire in terms of both viewership and community participation?
Jayesh: I feel Battlegrounds Mobile India’s arrival can have a small ripple effect on the Free Fire scene. However, the bottom line is the same as with PUBG Mobile, that these titles from Krafton and Garena have two completely different player and audience bases.
I also think that a bit of competition between the two is healthy, and it can ultimately help the Indian esports scene grow exponentially.
Q. What would you like to see from Free Fire in the future? What are some of the changes that you feel Garena should implement moving forward?
Jayesh: I would like to request Garena to remove some of the prevalent glitches in the game for some time now. Some of the sniper glitches are pretty frustrating to deal with, and though I am glad that Garena is helping out the scene by introducing tournament after tournament, I would still like to request the publisher to do something about the bugs.
Q. Is there anything you would like to tell your fans about your upcoming venture and what they can expect from the organization in the coming months?
Jayesh: There is not much planned from our side right now, but fans will soon see us appearing in the World Series. And I can promise that TSM.FTX will be unpredictable and will most definitely catch the competition by surprise.