Farewell Interview with a Reaper fueled by passion

There are only a handful of people in Bangladesh who have had success in the international Esports scene. One of them is our very own Aga Rafsan Chowdhury aka RVxReaper, who represented the country in the biggest stage in games like Warcraft 3 and StarCraft. So how did a Bangladeshi guy, who lacked a lot of resources went on to become a pro gamer? What made him the person he is today and why is he leaving the Esports scene despite his undying love for it? Let us find out. 945284_10152835066745475_1800310954_n Zenith: So Reaper, let’s start with the basic questions shall we? How did you get into gaming and when did you make the transition from a casual to a pro? Reaper: Well my earliest memory of getting in touch with a competitive game would actually be playing Unreal Tournament with my friends in a random gaming café. Even though I never played Unreal Tournament competitively at an international level, it was the game that first gave me the taste of what a competitive game can represent. Later on I started playing Warcraft 3 and due to being naturally good with games that involved micro, I was able to get a grip on it fairly easily and went on to playing it competitively at the highest level. Zenith: So in Warcraft 3, were you among the Elite players from the get go? Reaper: No, early on I was not among the strongest players and there were only a handful people who were actually capable of competing at a high level, which were Barish, Jishnu and Newaz. Zenith: So where did you come in? Since you were not among the Tier 1 players of our country, how did you catch up and eventually surpass all of them? Reaper: Well I would say that I started getting better after WCG 2008, ironically I was not planning to attend it that year but my friend executioner asked me to participate in the event and I was like oh what the hell, I will give it a shot. The first few matches went fairly smooth for me, I won them with relative ease until I faced GGAIM. Who surprised me with a tower rush, it was the first time I saw that tactic and it was the last time I ever lost a game in Bangladesh. It became the turning point for me where I realized that the skill gap between me and the actual pros were relatively big and I promised myself that I would comeback as a stronger player and as you guys know I went on to win the national championships for the next 2 years in a row. Zenith: Yeah, you went on to make quite a name for yourself from there. Competing with some of the best players in the world and consistency putting our country in the board for Esports. However like many Warcraft 3 players, you also transitioned to StarCraft. How did that happen? grubby for real 2 Reaper: Well I was traveling back to Bangladesh with other Warcraft 3 players and they were all discussing strats regarding StarCraft. The whole bus was buzzing with the hype of this new game that would become the face of Esports and I was looking really lost, until Grubby came to me and asked which race I was going to play. I replied to him saying that I was not yet serious about transitioning to StarCraft due to all the latency issues I would have to face in StarCraft from Bangladesh. Then Grubby asked me, Ok then! Which race should I play? And I was like, why on earth is a legend like him asking me this? I assumed he was being sarcastic so I answered ‘If you want to play, play Protoss’ and to my surprise he answered ‘All right fine, I will play Protoss’. So I asked him ‘Are you sure? Just because I said so? And he replied yeah Why not? I then replied that well in that case I will be using Terran, so I can stimpack into your army :D. Anyways after that conversation he actually started playing Protoss and did relatively well. Which in turn motivated me to also get into StarCraft, hence the transition later Zenith: Well . Later as time went by you got better at the game and had decent success, winning events like Bangladesh StarCraft Championship 2 and SteelSeries Weekend Warzone and making it as far as Quarter-Finals in StarCraft 2 Global Tournament etc. but despite all this success, I remember you going into a slump later on and telling me how it was a mix of arrogance and distraction that really bought down your performance, I would like to know more about that. So tell me what was this distraction and how did that turn into arrogance? dota addiction Reaper: Well this distraction was Dota! I think it is safe to say that Dota was the game that I loved the most and it was also the game that kept me from reaching my true potential in all other games. I could never really stop playing it due to the undying love I have for it and it took me a while to realize, but some games are simply not meant for you. As for arrogance, it also came from Dota, there was a time when I was giving Dota the highest priority and eventually got better at it. At that time I had this mentality where I used to think I was the best player in our country and the only guys capable of beating me were high level international players, which to some extend were true. But due to my arrogance I was not able to see others sneaking up on me and before I knew it , other players had caught up and unfortunately due to my arrogance or toxicity , I never managed to get a team where I would be able to hone my skills further. The result? I never made it far enough in Dota and in the process also threw away whatever motivation I had in other games. Zenith: Are you really saying that despite everything you got from Warcraft 3 and StarCraft, Dota always had the highest priority? Reaper: Yes I am, it is funny actually. Even when I was competing at important events I would not be able to control myself from playing Dota. I would always end up playing it more than the games I actually had potential towards Zenith: Okay, but you have to agree that StarCraft and Warcraft 3 gave you things Dota never could. You should have embraced them more seriously don’t you think? bd power Reaper: Yeah obviously, which in turn makes me feel bad about that fact that I never really gave them the importance I should have. If it weren’t for those games I would never have such great friends, fame and success. Zenith: What would you say were the biggest moments for you in the 2 major games that you played (excluding Dota of course) WCG NATIONAL Reaper: Well in WarCraft 3 my biggest win will always be the WCG National qualifiers, because that allowed me to do everything else that followed. Internationally my most cherished win would be vs Bly in ZOTAC quarterfinals. As for StarCraft I think it would have to be ‘SteelSeries Weekend Warzone’, because in that event I was underestimated greatly, since I was just a Diamond instead of Grandmaster. So winning that meant a lot to me, as I was able to prove to the world that ranks do not properly define a players skills. Though later I was able to make Grandmasters with 250 ping from Bangladesh on EU servers, which meant a great deal to me. Zenith: But later on you decided that it is time for you to leave StarCraft and tried your hand at HearthStone, things didn’t go your way and later you decided to retire from gaming. What happened exactly and what made you take this decision? keep-calm-and-enjoy-retirement-3 Reaper: Well honestly the answer behind leaving StarCraft is frustration, one entire season I was rank 1 masters. Later when I resumed playing the next season I went on a relatively high win streak with a score of 64-12 and despite that I was not being promoted. Do not know why that happened, because if the standard ELO system was followed I should have been promoted. So that frustrated me a lot and I decided well this is it for me, Blizzard doesn’t like me or something: p! And I simply quit playing StarCraft. Obviously I later tried playing Hearthstone but things didn’t quite work out and some personal problems started to show up at the same time, so I decided that this is it for me and gaming. As much as I love the game it is time to accept that every good thing come to an end. Zenith: Well fair enough, it is your decision and I respect that you recognized what needed to be done. However since you spent such a long time in Esports and followed so many different games, I would like to know which players inspired you to keep pushing so others can also embody the fire that you had for competitive gaming Reaper: Well in no particular order I would like to name 2 players from each game I follow, these players have all equally inspired me and I think they are legends who can inspire anyone who has a love for competitive gaming. MOON FOR REAL Warcraft 3 – PyrodynamicsGrubby and Moon StarCraft – Startalebomber Counter Strike – Carn League of Legends – Bjergsen Street Fighter 4 – Daigo Umehara Zenith: Let’s talk about players from Bangladesh, which players in our country do you think can carry our local Esports scene to an international level one day ? Reaper: Well there is obviously Ayman, Closer and Davin for Dota 2, for Counter Strike it would have to be Xntric and Saimon , for Fifa it would have to be Ontu and Akash. For Hearthstone it would have to be you and Frozen. So these are my picks for people who have the potential to push the Esports scene of our country to a higher level. Zenith: Ok finally, is there any parting words you would like to leave to the friends, fans and the community in general? Reaper: Well RV Gaming is obviously like family to me, no matter what happens I will always cheer them on and expect great things from them. So yeah no matter what happens RV Gaming will always have my undying love because they dared to think of the Esports scene and push it in a way that no other organization would. Also I have some excelled friends that I would like to give a shootouts to, these guys are Galib, Shateel, Pyrodynamicx, Tamim, Farhad and Rana from Evolution. As for the community in general I would like to say that there are more conflicts among ourselves than I would like, we should act as one and help each other grow if we ever want to see ourselves competing with the giants. At this point the gap is way too big between us and the international scene in most games, so please guys do not hate each other and try to help each other out. So I hope even our rivals such as Void, Evolution Gaming and others can coexist together and help the scene grow. More power to Esports!