Anand and Swastik: Meet the first twins in competitive esports in India

By winning the Conquest Free Fire Open Season this year, the Dushing brothers have now finished in top four in four Free Fire Majors across the last two years.

Anand and Swastik are the only twins in competitive esports in India. - SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Competitive sports have seen some legendary twins, from the Waugh brothers (Steve and Mark) in cricket to the Bryan Brothers (Mike and Bob) in tennis.

India may not have famous twins in sports so far, the Dushing brothers - Anand Madhukar Dushing and Swastik Madhukar Dushing - are creating a name for themselves in esports. They are the only twins in competitive esports in the country.

The twins, who won the Conquest Free Fire Open Season this year and finished in top four in four Free Fire Majors across the last two years, spoke about their journey into e-gaming in an interaction with Sportstar.

They will be next in action in the World Esports Cup (WEC’21), the premier Free Fire tournament in South-Asia with a prize pool of ₹75 lakh, which will see esports athletes from India, Pakistan and Nepal lock horns starting December 7.

Q. When did your interest for esports begin and did you begin with Free Fire?

A. No. We got into mobile gaming in 2017, when we were in Std. IX and we started with Clash of Clans and then moved on to BGMI (Battleground Mobile India, previously known as PUBG). When we were in Class XI, we used to play both CoC and PUBG, but there weren’t many people in our area playing on phone.

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Then in the school holidays, one of our friends showed us this game and proposed that we should create a squad and play. That is when we began playing Free Fire.

How many hours did you dedicate to the game initially?

Initially (in 2019), we used to play for just two hours and the phone wasn’t ours. It was our elder sister’s phone (a Samsung J7) and we used to get one hour each.

When did you decide to get into this professionally and how difficult was it to convince your parents regarding the same?

We saw the Free Fire League in 2019 and we thought of getting into esports professionally since we were interested (in the sport). But our parents would never have agreed to it, so, we told our sister and she convinced them.

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When my sister had told my parents, they did not have any expectations from us in the field of esports, but they did support us as much as they could. They said: ‘Do what you like doing,’ and we gave a lot of time after that to the game - we used to play for 10 hours, practising with the squad.

Who are the other members of your squad?

Vadehr Anil Devashibhai (aka WIZARDO), Jogesh Saral Pandey (aka BHEEM) and Prakash Vaghela (aka RadheTKR) are the other members of the squad.

How difficult was it to continue playing at a time when you had board exams?

During the board exams, we used to come home after the exams and sit to play; we used to play in the [auto-rickshaw]; our parents did not object a lot then.

Then COVID-19 came and our parents said try and stay indoors as much as possible and we continued playing, sitting at home. Then came IC Fall (Free Fire India Championship 2020 Fall) and we finished within top four. That was our first major tournament.

What went wrong in the Free Fire League 2019 and can you tell us about the hacking incident that led to your ban the following year?

We gave our best (in FFITL 2019) in the four games that we played, but in the first game, two of our team members got hit on the airstrip and we fell short by four points. As a result, we got eliminated.

The hacking incident happened with Prakash Vaghela, who is now the IGL (In-game leader) of our team. He was with another team (Nawabzade) then and he had given his ID to another player in a tournament, someone who used to play using hacks. That’s why he was banned for a year, which affected our team in turn.

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