SoStronk: Leading Competitive eSports Platfrom Built by Gamers for Gamers

Prashant Prabhakar,Co-Founder & CEO

Prashant Prabhakar

Co-Founder & CEO

In today's digital age, several of our cultural experiences have undergone an online metamorphosis. With the internet becoming such an indispensable element of our social fabric almost every facet of our communal lifestyle has been revamped to its online equivalent. This progress has spurred the evolution of our traditional ideas into exciting and innovative forms and eSports embodies just that. India has been seeing a lot of action in the eSports sector. The sector is among the bright spots for investors focusing on India, where the youth dominated population has a major role in making it popular. As the middle class gains rapid access to smart objects, online gaming, professional eSports, and mobile gaming, is becoming a burgeoning industry with opportunities galore for startups in the eSports sector. Despite this rising popularity, somewhere the evolution of the sector is still in its early stages if compared to mature eSports markets such as Germany, Sweden, Denmark, the US, Russia, China, S.Korea and Australia. There is a tremendous growth to be had whether that is sporting with teams and players competing at world class levels or from the governing side with unions for players/teams, support from the government in recognizing eSports and taxing accordingly. In a nutshell, there is still quite a lot left to do for India to become an eSports nation.

"SOSTRONK'S match making is about using algorithms that create the fairest matchups(5 versus 5) by factoring in things such as their skill level, their overall team level,the server location, the composition of the lobby(2 friends and 3 friends) versus five friends amongst others"

Bangalore-based SoStronk is taking some key steps in that direction. India has the third largest tournament ecosystem behind China & South Korea when it comes to the number of tournaments and prize money on the line. SoStronk is proud to be one of the primary tech catalysts in enabling the entire tournament circuit since its launch. It has run more than 80 percent of the online tournaments in India last year. Designed by passionate eSports fanatics, who wish to be a massive catalyst in pushing the evolution of eSports in India, Asia and globally, the SoSotronk platform offers the complete package when it comes to eSports players, viewers & sponsors. "We support CSGO primarily and are launching into PUBGM, PUBGLite and Rainbow 6 shortly. We stick to what we have always been good at which are firstperson shooters. A game of DOTA2 and a game of Counter Strike are like comparing the sports of Cricket and Football. The reason we support CSGO is that it has been a top 3 eSport for over two decades(it was launched in 1999) and has historically been the biggest monetizing and activity lever among all eSports for third party playing platforms like ourselves," deciphers Prashant Prabhakar, Co-Founder & CEO, SoStronk.

Founded by Prashant Prabhakar(CEO)and Karan Misra (CTO), SoStronk has a B2C arm where it gives service offerings to competitive gamers for a subscription. The company has recently delved into the concept of Smart Matchmaking. SoStronk's match making is about using algorithms that create the fairest matchups (5 versus 5) by factoring in things such as their skill level,their overall team level, the server location, the composition of the lobby(2 friends and 3 friends) versus five friends, amongst others. He asserts, "The key disruptive element for us is our Impact Rating, a statistic we created on our own to measure the overall impact of a player in a game, this statistic was used by PGL in the
CSGO world championships to pick the MVP in each game".

Chasing the Vision
The concept of SoStronk testifies a tale of friendship and fervour. The concept germinated with one concurring idea that eventually grew to be a great success in business. The journey dates back to early 2005 when Prashant as a young lad was growing up in Singapore trying to be a professional gamer in the best Singaporean team. He met Karan Misra online as he was at that point representing the best Indian team. They became friends and as with all things in lives went our separate ways but stayed in touch for the better part of a decade. Prashant continued his professional gaming journey very seriously and throughout his academic years at New York University, he was lucky enough to have hit his goals of being a professional gamer,of playing at the highest levels. At this point, he was utilizing platforms similar to SoStronk in the US & EU and he realized that the Asian ecosystem as a whole lacked this and it was a crucial market opportunity. Seizing the opportunity, Prashant zeroed in upon creating SoStronk. "Karan in the meantime was always a techie and he had been programming since he was 12 years old. He went on to join Thought Works and became a Senior Architect throughout his journey there. He was always a very intelligent person both in game and out of the game,"he exclaims. With seeds and friendships sowed decades ago and after they had both lived through their respective journeys, the duo decided to reap the benefits by partnering up and starting SoStronk. This marked the beginning.

We are now less than 10,000 subscribers from breaking even on our monthly run-rate and have seen a growth in active users' month on month averaging at 30 percent

SoStronk crossed the threshold early on with the eSports market in India being in a nascent stage. The Indian gamer audiences back then were not much into eSports and even adoption of technology was quite less. Naturally, the team was not much confident not to expand into mature markets. Even when few global partners approached them to enable them in the US or EU, they hesitated because of the existing competitors there. “We have come a long way from there. We have already hyper localized our services in SEA (with servers in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taipei with Jakarta soon to come)and we are primed to launch into EU & AU/NZ within this quarter,” he mentions.

SoStronk is blessed with a knowledgeable team of developers who leave no stone unturned to carve a niche in the industry. With their support, SoStronk has grown tremendously over the last couple of years. “We are now less than 10,000 subscribers from breaking even on our monthly run-rate and have seen a growth in active users’ month on month averaging at 30 percent. With our diversification plans both geographically and with new games we hope to be a global player within the eSports ecosystem in the next two years and the dominant mainstay in the Indian market,” adds Prashant.

The company has closed bridge funding and preseries A rounds with strategic investors in the space this year. It is in talks with many private and family investors as well as VC’s regarding its Series A funding. “Our short term is to use our first product which is a ‘playing’ platform in SoStronk and make it a global mainstay that supports all key eSports titles. Also, in the long run, we wish to be one of the prominent tech companies in the eSports space globally. We have MVP’s outlined in betting, fantasy and coaching and will be moving towards them and building a whole suite of products going forward after our Series A,” he concludes.

Prashant Prabhakar
Co-Founder & CEO
Turning a decade long passion into an entrepreneurial roadmap; competitive video gaming as a semiprofessional gamer to startup entrepreneur leading and building a team focused on esports. Prashant went'all in'at the esports table a while back. He is a true visionary in the space. He strongly believes in the leadership lessons earned on the virtual server as a shotcaller is equally applicable in the entrepreneurial workspace.

The Eminence Of SOSTRONK
Team. Tech. Domain those are the three pillars that disrupt sostronk from the other players in the market in india. There isn't a better curated development team working within esports in india today and there isn't a better curated domain team either. "we have carefully selected only the best for our core team experts who like me have had exposure to mature markets of esports in NA & EU and bring with them that expertise here.

We are the only platform that has consistently worked with global giants such as ESL dream hack and PGL running some of the most prestigious tournament circuits in the world."

Sostronk's technology is globally competitive."we only lookat the industry leaders in US & EU as the benchmark for us to measure ourselves against. One of the achievements for our technology is that a single tournament director can simultaneously run 4-5 tournaments that span entire geographies and time zones. There is a reason that with zero outbound marketing we have got the entire tournament gigs in the space we show up, we teach, run and save events. There have been n number of times when a 'competitor' has dropped the ball and we were bought in last minute to save circuits.