Sometime in 2004, 15-year-old Ankit Panth was walking home from school in the northern Mumbai suburb of Borivali when he came across a shop with black-tinted glass and posters of video games plastered on it. It was like catnip to a teenager. Panth entered.
It was a gaming parlour, brimming with youngsters sitting in front of computer screens yelling at each other in what probably felt like a foreign language. Eager to find out more, Panth took money from his parents on the pretext of buying food and returned to play Counter-Strike – one of the most popular first-person shooter games in the world at the time. Soon, he was hooked.
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