From being just a leisure activity to becoming a career full of possibilities, the gaming industry in India boomed with the arrival of PUBG mobile and more such online multiplayer games that followed and made it a Billion Dollar Industry. Games like PUBG got millions of youngsters in India engrossed with multiplayer gaming as they showcased their skills and passion for gaming without investing in expensive gaming PCs and by just using their mobile phones. Since then, YouTube became a hub for showcasing exceptional gameplays and creators started getting viral overnight. As a product of this, a guy from Mumbai rose to the occasion and had an instant connection with the Indian audience. He is none other than Naman Mathur aka SouL MortaL whose story we are bringing to you through this awesome blog!
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There’s Nothing Like an Overnight Success!
Naman was fond of games since his childhood and loved playing games like Mario, Contra, Dangerous Dave and many more. As he grew older, he got more interested in San Andreas and Counter Strike. After completing his 12th standard examinations, Naman decided to pursue BCom and during this time, he often spent hours playing multiplayer games like Mini Militia and Fortnite. He also befriended many online players while gaming. Militia appealed to him the most of all games which also featured in his first-ever video on Youtube on 15th September 2016.
Although the videos were not getting much recognition, Naman kept uploading gameplay videos of Mini Militia, almost every single day. Then arrived the game changer! On 9th February 2018, the PC game PUBG’s mobile version was released in India. The game was exceptional, with never to be seen graphics and smooth controls, Naman loved it! Slowly and gradually he kept getting better at it and started to learn the mechanics of the game. Along with this, he also continued putting out content on Youtube. He used to make videos about tips and tricks related to the game and the audience were in awe to see him have such amazing game sense.
Fun Fact: Naman’s first In-Game name for pubg mobile was “Bolshcak”
Finding his Breakthrough
Keeping the popularity in perspective, PUBG mobile came up with a tournament called PUBG Mobile Star Challenge. Naman’s team was not able to qualify for the tournament but during that time he met SOUL Vicky, who was a member of the clan SOUL in PUBG. They became good friends and eventually, Naman joined SOUL and changed his name to the iconic “SouL MortaL”. Mortal quickly became #3 in PUBG Mobile rankings for the Asia region. Amongst millions of people playing the game in Asia, while a fair amount of players also hacked their way up the rankings, it was a remarkable feat that made Naman a well-known player in the gaming community and amongst the Indian audience. Here on, it was only a matter of one video which would push him leaps and bound towards success. His video “Every PUBG player will watch this Ending” just did that for him. The video was an instant hit and as of today’s date, has over 16 Million views.
On 19th November, 2018, Mortal started Live Streaming on Youtube and gained thousands of viewers every single day. He was pushing the boundaries of Live Streaming in India and also broke several previous records.
Golden Era for Team Soul and Mortal
As Mortal continued gaining fame in the gaming community. He was approached by a fellow gamer and a businessman named Animesh Agarwal, popularly known as 8Bit Thug. He offered Naman aka SouL MortaL a deal and was eager to act as a catalyst to Mortal’s journey. Saying yes to that offer was one of the best decisions that Mortal ever made. Because he later admitted that Animesh is not just an incredible business partner and manager but also a brother to him.
Alongside all these, there were PUBG Mobile tournaments happening frequently and Mortal was in search of a serious competitive lineup. Thug helped him set up a lineup for such tournaments and the team consisted of four players: SouL MortaL, Viper, Owais, Ronak. This was a dream team and won the heart of millions.
The team was not just about winning trophies but also showed the prime example of friendship. The team not only won National level tournaments but also represented India at the international level. There was a time when Team Soul was unbeatable and the bonding these players shared was unimaginable.
Check Out: Career as a YouTuber
Stepping Down as a Player
After a successful year, the performance of Team Soul was dropping constantly. They tried tweaking a little bit, changing roles, but nothing seemed to do any better to the situation. Finally, after putting up an unsatisfactory performance in one of the international level tournaments (PMSC 2019), things started to change. Friendships were affected and the blame was put on each other. Owais and Ronak believed that the low performance by the team was a result of the huge focus that Mortal put on streaming. They felt he was too busy with handling his Youtube channel then practising hard to win trophies. SouL MortaL then made a heartbreaking decision of leaving competitive tournaments and carrying on with only streaming. The most celebrated player in the community, taking such a decision, came out of utter shock. Owais and Ronak tried sticking together and continuing with Viper, they brought in highly skilled players like ScoutOP to the team, but still were not successful. Hence, Owais and Ronak finally decided to leave Soul and join some other clan, leaving Viper alone at Soul.
The Friendship, The Resurrection!!
As the team went through a breakup with almost all its members leaving, many wondered why Viper didn’t leave Team Soul? Well, it was his friendship with Mortal and loyalty to the millions of fans out there that made him stay at Soul. He missed tournaments and was not able to find players for the team. SouL Mortal could not just sit there and see these things happening to his friend in front of his own eyes. He had to step in and came back for Viper. All the fans, every single person in the gaming community was waiting for this moment, to see the veteran take on the battlefield again. This time things were different, they brought in two new players, named Regaltos and Cluthgod. These two players were aggressive and were not afraid to take on any other teams in the game. Team Soul made a brilliant comeback and finished second in their first tournament after the return of Mortal and got the opportunity to represent India at an international level for the second time. Mortal, Viper and Regaltos had become the core of the team. On the spot of the fourth player, they kept trying different players such as Sangwan, Blaezi, Aman.
However, one can’t always stay on the top. New teams came along, new kids with exceptional talents were emerging in the scene. Team Soul was finding it hard to maintain its legacy. Mortal was under constant criticism for the team’s low performance in tournaments. But Team Soul was more than just winning tournaments. It was about the family that consisted of these players and their fans. Whoever became a part of Soul, was hailed by the audience. Team Soul kept fighting to prove their metal in the battleground. Though struggling every now and then, they kept reminding people why they once sat on the throne.
The Ban of PUBG
PUBG, the game that put SouL MortaL on the map was banned by the Indian Government on 2nd September 2020. It was a shock for all the gaming organizations and gamers. Suddenly, the very pillars of the Indian Gaming Community were destroyed. The competitive players were affected the most as most of them did not focus on creating a Youtube audience.
In this scenario, suddenly, where Naman aka SouL MortaL was criticised to focus more on his YouTube channel rather than the tournament, now his decision was appreciated. People realised that back then Mortal was way ahead of its time and now had a subscriber base of over 6 million on YouTube. For this to happen, Animesh Agarwal aka 8Bit Thug played a huge part. His relationship with Mortal could be seen with the incredible work they have carried out with the organisation they run i.e, 8Bit and Soul. Their players live under the same gaming house and create content for their audience. In fact, their organisation now exists under the same name – S8UL, under the ownership of Naman Mathur (Mortal), Animesh Aggarwal (8Bit Thug) and Lokesh Jain (Goldy Bhai).
Each of the members of S8UL has established youtube channels and have gained a large number of their own fan base.
A Bright Future
SouL MortaL today is one of the biggest gamers not just in India but across the globe. Even after the ban of PUBG mobile, he continues playing games like Valorant, Among Us, PUBG Pc, and many more. He has helped the audience embrace this shift in the gaming community and has actively experimented with his content on Youtube. S8Ul plans on hiring new players and expanding their reach in tournaments of different games. Hence, the future seems bright for Mortal and his friends.
Crediting His Success to the Family
Mortal’s mother gets the maximum credit for his success. His father left this world when he was four years old. Ever since then his mother took care of him and his brother. Mortal said in an interview, it was difficult for a single mother to manage the expenses of two kids in a huge city like Mumbai. His mother would make tiffin for students and earn money through it. All of her struggles have been truly worth it as Mortal has become a popular face in the country. Moreover, his family just keeps getting bigger and bigger!
It is true that gaming skills made Mortal famous, but his humbleness and down to earth attitude is what helped him gain a place in people’s hearts. He is seen to be an extremely positive influencer and he tends to keep his streams family-friendly, free from usage of explicit words or content, so that even kids can watch his content. He has a strong support of his fanbase, which he calls “Mortal Army”! Want to pursue a career in gaming? Our counsellors at Leverage Edu are here to help you find the best course and university as per your preferences! Sign up for a free session now!