I went from playing Counter-Strike on my sofa to being a pro athlete competing for hundreds of thousands of pounds | The Sun

A MAN has revealed how he went from playing Counter-Strike on his sofa to being a pro athlete competing for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Ishpreet Singh Chadha, 27, was India's top-ranked gamer for two years.

He started playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2017 after a leg injury stopped him from pursuing his first love – snooker.

The youngster signed a contract with India's top gaming team Entity eSports.

Ishpreet told the BBC: "We had at least 400 to 500 people watching us live.

"Thousands on the internet as well, a lot of screaming and hype when you're playing.

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But Ishpreet was dropped by the team after covid-19 struck – so he picked up snooker again.

He won the Indian national championships last year and will play in the European Masters in Germany this week – his biggest tournament yet.

Ishpreet said that his experience as a pro gamer helps him stay calm while playing in front of big crowds.

One of only two Indian players on the international snooker circuit, Ishpreet has now moved to the UK without having ever visited the country before.

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He has settled in Sheffield, home of World Championships venue The Crucible.

Ishpreet said that the secret of his success is his mum Bobby, who has moved to the UK with him.

He said: "People actually respect snooker in the UK. It's not considered a proper sport in India, like cricket is.

"I'm leaving myself with no choice but to play snooker.

"Not having a backup is something people should try at least once in their life.

"When your back's against the wall it's a time where you can learn so much about yourself.

"I'll either win or I'll learn. There's no losing."

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