One of South Asia’s hottest prospects and the Head of Esports at Global Esports sat down with VALO2ASIA to talk about South Asia vs. the rest of Asia, SkRossi’s meteoric rise to fame, and how it all started for him in the first place.
One of South Asia’s standout prospects in 2021, Ganesh “SkRossi” Gangadhar, has been powering Global Esports through countless victories in the domestic scene and collecting numerous MVPs to his name along the way. With SkRossi, Global Esports has established themselves as one of the highest-caliber teams in South Asia to this day.
Prior to his time in VALORANT, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was his go-to game. SkRossi was a solid player who played for some of the finest CS:GO teams around until it was time for people to switch away in favour of the more stable and maintained ecosystem of Riot’s first-person shooter. Despite arriving late to the party, his shift to VALORANT had a significant impact on his career trajectory.
Prior to the start of the VALORANT Conquerors Championship Qualifiers, SkRossi, together with Vatsal Uniyal as the Head of Esports at Global Esports, spoke to VALO2ASIA about a variety of topics, from SkRossi’s time in CS:GO, the organization’s decision to pick him up, and the lessons the team has learned this year in order to make 2022 a better and more fruitful year for Global Esports and the scene.
VALO2ASIA: Hey Ganesh & Vatsal! Thank you for having us here today. First and foremost, if you could introduce yourself to those who are still unfamiliar with you.
SkRossi: Hello everyone! My name is Ganesh Gangadhar, AKA SkRossi, and I play VALORANT professionally for Global Esports. I love to stream games on my YouTube channel and watch anime.
Vatsal: Hello! My name is Vatsal Uniyal & I head the esports division at Global Esports. I’m an ex-professional athlete myself and represented India in the Overwatch World Cup 2019.
VALO2ASIA: How did you get interested in playing FPS games in the first place, SkRossi?
SkRossi: I started my gaming journey by playing Dota 2 — I was really good at that game and I still love that game over any game titles. For me, I was not interested in any of these [FPS games], to be honest, it was just my friends who forced me to try them, and I quickly got better than a lot of people around me. Eventually, I decided to compete [professionally] to challenge better players and teams.
VALO2ASIA: Could you walk us through Global Esports’ decision on signing SkRossi as the first player to GE’s VALORANT roster, Vatsal?
Vatsal: Back in 2019, when our CS:GO roster was transitioning to VALORANT, we had one of the finest players in the region in our team, but he was keen on continuing with CS:GO. He was the primary Jett player for the roster. We had few options for who would fill the Duelist/Operator role for the team but Bhavin “HellrangeR” Kotwani was in conversation with Rossi who had also switched from CS:GO to Valorant during that time. Rossi was playing Jett during that phase and was doing well, and was one of the rising stars, so getting him on board was not a difficult decision.
During this time, we were still in the building phase, since our primary duelist left the team, a lot of individuals started to question us about ‘Why SkRossi?’, and how this would impact the team. But we knew we had to give the team some time and they would surely prove themselves because every individual has the hunger to win and wants to prove themselves.
VALO2ASIA: Why SkRossi?
Vatsal: Skrossi has been one of the finest FPS players in the region and has represented India in different FPS titles. I have been following him from his CS:GO days where his alias was ‘superk1d’ and had the same aggressive playstyle. And that was the main thing for me to get him onboard. Sometimes he gets rewarded for his aggressive playstyle, yet sometimes also gets punished for the same. But the important thing is, he is never scared to make mistakes and is willing to learn from the mistakes and get better.
SkRossi placed 14th in the annual VALO2ASIA Awards, nominated by the Board of Judges of the event. Learn more about his placement below:
READ MORE: The VALO2ASIA Awards – Top 20 Asian Players of 2021
VALO2ASIA: Prior to joining Global Esports, you were a part of BL4ZE Esports CS:GO division, which was one of the highest-ranked teams in South Asia. But after deciding to transition to VALORANT, what was on your mind? Did you put pressure on yourself to be on top once more? Or did you not anticipate the GE lineup to be one of the best in South Asia, SkRossi?
SkRossi: My goal was always to be the best in SEA first, then the world. In GE we started with setting the goal to be the best in SEA because being the best in India won’t take us anywhere or won’t prove anything and I had no pressure, we still don’t even now. I just enjoy playing VALORANT and being the best in SEA for now.
VALO2ASIA: If we could turn back the time, would you still transition to VALORANT late in October or would you want to get in earlier? And why do you pick that?
SkRossi: I am very happy with my decision. The last year has given me so much and I’ve worked hard for every bit of it. The main reason for my transition from CS:GO to VALORANT was that I didn’t start the game at the right time — people were already ahead of me in every possible way and I decided to switch as soon as possible to VALORANT to begin with the rest of the players in the world. And I was under contract till October 2020 to play CS:GO, so can’t help it [laughs]
VALO2ASIA: Now let’s get back to the last big event GE attended: VCT APAC LCQ. What were your expectations coming into LCQ? Was the competition stronger or weaker than you expected?
SkRossi: Coming into LCQ I personally thought that we could lose only to Paper Rex and NUTURN Gaming and win against all the other teams. So yeah, the expectations were high and the competition was tougher. It was also our first time to experience playing other region teams in a tournament — we could’ve done much better if we were in a good shape. Hopefully, we perform well in the future
VALO2ASIA: Overall, do you feel satisfied with the 7th-8th placings?
SkRossi: No, not happy at all. Our potential is more than a 7th-8th place — It’s all about finding the right grip and playing with complete confidence. With a good game plan, we can do much more in the coming events.
VALO2ASIA: shinobi was the coach of the team. What areas did shinobi improve to the team’s starting kit in facing tougher opponents?
SkRossi: We started working with shinobi when we had 15 to 20 days left for the VCT Asia-Pacific Last Chance Qualifier. I wish we had more time to learn from him, to be honest. Shinobi showed us the thought process behind every setup and how it will affect the players if even one doesn’t follow the game plan and helped us to understand the game better and to see the game from a different perspective.
Vatsal: I saw every single player grow to a better version of themselves in those 15-20 days [with shinobi]. Their approach to every situation and how to react in certain situations have made them mentally strong on how to approach things.
Looking back at your experience playing against non-South Asian teams, in your opinion, how big is the gap between South Asia and the rest of the competition in APAC? Like what is lacking for South Asian teams to be better than the others?
SkRossi: The gap isn’t that big. I think what we lack is grinding the game for more hours, discipline, and confidence with a good game plan. We saw SEA players play crazy amounts of PUGs even after the team’s practice. They are so much more confident than us, and that’s what we need to work on.
VALO2ASIA: And how to decrease that gap?
SkRossi: Keep grinding till you reach that level, make sure we are learning from each and every game we play and to not do the same mistakes we do, and be confident in whatever decisions we make in-game. Also playing against SEA teams very often in tournaments will definitely help us realize things we need to work on to get better.
For SkRossi: If you can have one wish granted by Riot Games regarding the game, the VCT, or anything related to VALORANT, what will be your wish?
SkRossi: I want the Operator how it was at the beginning of VALORANT, which had less switch time after every shot and with good movement speed.
VALO2ASIA: What is Global Esports’ goal heading into the 2022 season? And any confirmed plan of bootcamping overseas in near future?
Vatsal: The main goal for me and the team would be to play and win at the highest level of the competition which is for sure the Masters and Champions event.
We have few plans of setting up a bootcamp overseas but since there are a lot of COVID-19 restrictions we are still trying to figure out logistics and making sure our players do not suffer in any way possible and they get the best environment to compete.
For SkRossi & Vatsal: Is there anything you want to say to GE fans at home?
SkRossi: Thank you all for the love and support. I know it’s hard for you guys when we don’t perform well but don’t lose hope. Always remember we are trying our best to get better every day, competition is very tough outside, there are a lot of skilled players and teams soon we will be one of them, I promise!
Vatsal: Thank you for supporting Global Esports in all the situations, winning or losing. Our goal is to be the best and I’m sure we will do whatever it takes.