Naman Mathur,22 aka MortaL is a known name in the Indian gaming scene. Recently, he touched another milestone of playing live in front of 1.45 Lakh audience. This makes him the only Indian gamer to be watched by such a huge live audience on YouTube.
A resident of Navi Mumbai, MortaL started his own YouTube channel in 2015 and posted video clips of various games. His videos of tips and tricks of PUBG mobile gave him a lot of traction and has 3.43 million subscribers. Today he is the owner of Team SouL which recently got qualified for PMCO Global 2019. In an exclusive interview with GuruGamer correspondent Imran Fazal, MortaL shared about his future plans and how he manages to keep his stream family-friendly. Read the excerpts.
You have a huge fan base in India and abroad. So how did you start gaming?
I was active on YouTube since 2015 but I played other games such as Mini Militia. I used to play with college friends and a small gaming community. I used to post videos sometimes once or thrice in a week. It was just for fun and I was never serious about YouTube and gaming. I was focusing completely on my studies.
After my B.Com exams, PUBG Mobile was launched and I started playing the game on my Apple iPad. After some time I uploaded tips and tricks video of PUBG Mobile which went viral and so I kept posting the videos. On November 19, 2018, I started streaming PUBG Mobile and since then my channel grew and my first stream had 23k live audience.
Gaming in India is not considered as a serious business. How did your family support you in the journey?
Earlier, my family was not supportive of the idea that I wanted to enter the gaming industry. They did give me a year to prove that I was pretty sure about game streaming as a profession. It has been a year now and they are happy about the decision. I will stick to gaming and participating in the PUBG Mobile tournaments.
Talking about earnings, How much does MortaL earns in a month?
It depends on how much money a streamer can make. I would say at an average per month would be Rs 7 Lakh which is only via YouTube. Every month is different. It depends on donations and love is given by the audience. While brand and sponsorship earnings are different. I would say October was the month in which I have earned more.
Game streamers are brutally trolled by the audience. How do you deal with trolls?
I simply ignore trolls. At times trolls often pay money to ask questions but I never reply to them. I do not respond to controversial questions. The person can retract the donation made and can get a refund from YouTube. I do not believe in getting into controversies. Our moderators are active and they keep the chat clear throughout the stream. If a person keeps on repeating such things, he is first given a timeout and if necessary can be banned.
There are many streamers who often use expletives while streaming. Do you think there should be censorship on such content?
I always ensure to keep my stream family-friendly. I don't think censorship would be the solution. Even if a minor is viewing adult content can create a fake id and watch such streams. YouTube should bring in rules and regulations to control the underage audience from watching adult content on YouTube. Today, abuses of livestream have become very common. But I and my teammates always ensure to keep my stream family-friendly which can also be viewed on the television screens with the entire family.
People who watch you while streaming can recognize you in public places. How do you deal with fandom?
People recognize me and whenever I go out in public places, people come with requests of a selfie. I have never hidden or covered my face. Fans come and meet, click pictures and leave. I happily pose with them for pictures and its good that my work has been recognized by people from all age groups.
Your team has been qualified for PMCO global. What are your plans for Team SouL?
I plan to turn team SouL into a proper organization. The resources are minimal right now. But in the future, we surely want to grow big in the Indian gaming industry. Mentor Animesh Agarwal aka 8Bit_Thug and teammate Yash Soni aka SouL Viper have always been at my side and we as a team are going strong. We plan to show our gameplay in the upcoming PMCO global tournaments and win it.