Exclusive Digital Cover
Oriental Phoenix team members, Abrar Shahriar Subat , Fardin Hasan and Fahraz Zaman Sparsha , talk about winning the Arena of Valor Bangladesh Championship, the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) and esports industry, and their preparation for the upcoming Arena of Valor South Asia Tournament.
What do you enjoy most about mobile MOBA games? What has drawn you to Arena of Valor?
Abrar Shahriar Subat (Co-leader): When it comes to MOBA, the most enjoyable aspect of it is the strategy that goes behind battling each opponent. Our strategy involves drafting the right heroes (characters in the game) and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents. We thoroughly study our opponents to understand their gameplay, then draft our approach for the match accordingly.
We like playing Arena of Valor because this MOBA game has received a lot of traction in Bangladesh. I have 7 years of experience playing MOBAs, and compared to other MOBAs, Arena of Valor has given us the most opportunities in competitive gaming, particularly in the Bangladeshi market.
Oriental Phoenix was the champion of the Arena of Valor Bangladesh Championship. What has been the best part about winning one of the biggest esports tournaments in Bangladesh’s history?
Abrar Shahriar Subat (Co-leader): We are awestruck and feel blessed by the admiration we received from the entire country. The teams that participated in the Arena of Valor Bangladesh Championship were formidable opponents and have been playing the game for a very long time. Being able to defeat them to win the Championship trophy and lifting it up high has been one of the best moments of my gaming career.
Please tell us about the upcoming Arena of Valor South Asia Tournament and how you are preparing for it.
Abrar Shahriar Subat (Co-leader): The Arena of Valor South Asia Tournament is gearing up to be one the biggest of its kind. Each participating South Asian country will send 3 teams to compete in the tournament. After the qualifier round, teams will be placed in an upper or lower bracket. This is both nerve-wracking and exciting for us because we will be competing against some fantastic teams. Right now, Bangladesh is among the top-ranking teams in the region, but we are continuously striving for improvement. We are analyzing the competition, studying their drafts and reviewing their gameplay. Competing in the Arena of Valor South Asia Tournament will not only be a valuable experience for us but also provides us with an opportunity to represent Bangladesh on a global platform.
What does your gamer tag mean?
Fardin Hasan (Team Member): My gamer tag is PikaPika, and it comes from an anime character. There is a very famous anime called Pokémon, and one of the characters there, called Pikachu, uses this ‘catchphrase.’ I used to be a fan of the anime, and I chose this tag long before I started playing Arena of Valor. But because the tag has almost become my online identity, I kept using it for Arena of Valor.
Did you find it difficult to convince your parents to allow you to participate in gaming tournaments?
Fardin Hasan (Team Member): Initially, it was challenging to explain to our parents the scale and scope of esports and gaming tournaments. We talked to our parents and explained the growing market of esports tournaments and the competitive gaming industry. After we won the Arena of Valor Bangladesh Championship, our parents became a lot more supportive. They have our backs for future tournaments in the country and are also excited for us to participate in upcoming tournaments in our region.
How are you training for the Arena of Valor South Asia Tournament?
Fardin Hasan (Team Member): We usually practice for around 3 hours a day. On weekends, when we have more time on our hands, we push further and train for longer hours. Since we will be facing several new opponents in the Arena of Valor South Asia Tournament, we are focusing on trying different strategies to counter their gameplay. If we see potential in a strategy, we will keep training and hone it down until we have perfected it.
What qualities do you believe one must have to become a valuable team member?
Fahraz Zamin Sparsha (Team Member): I believe respect, dedication and amiability are irreplaceable qualities of an essential team member. The team members of Oriental Phoenix support and understand each other. We work very hard to not only improve our own performance but also constructively criticise each other so we can push each other to become better. In any competitive environment, teams have to face losses. Good team members will see the losses as opportunities to identify the shortcomings and propose strategies to become better at the game.
What would you say is your team’s biggest strength that might give you a competitive advantage in the upcoming Arena of Valor South Asia Tournament?
Fahraz Zamin Sparsha (Team Member):I believe the mentality we have going into the tournament is our biggest strength. We will remain positive but do not want to underestimate our opponents. They are all worthy of being among the top-ranked teams of Arena of Valor. Our approach, therefore, is to be focused and disciplined. We have regular meetings where the team leaders propose a draft and a gameplay strategy. The team leaders are very receptive to the feedback of the team members and encourage us to play according to our strength and confidence. The level of mutual respect we have at Oriental Phoenix has created a strong bond between us, which I believe is an asset that could help us win the Arena of Valor South Asia Tournament.