Choosing Umang aka ThePainkiller as IVG’s Gamer of the Year for 2009 wasn’t a very tough decision; in fact, it was unanimous. So when I asked him for a picture of himself for this feature (one that wasn’t taken in a bathroom) and he refused, I had no choice but to bribe a constable from the Orrissa Police Department to get us his mugshot from the police’s juvenile records. As it turns out, Umang had his run-in with the law when he taped his eyelids to his forehead and ran around scaring unsuspecting residents of his sleepy Cuttack neighbourhood. As you can see, the effects of having his eyes stretched open for a long time are still visible in the mugshot.
Either that or a big, blunt object was being shoved up his ass while that picture was being taken. But enough about the origins of that picture; we’re here to recognise Umang’s achievements as a gamer, and he has had many of those in 2009. Most notable of these have been his Killzone 2 exploits, where his skills earned him a place in the world’s top Killzone 2 clan – Kings of Destruction, where he was their main player for tournament and high Valor matches. He’s won three major Killzone 2 tournaments hosted by IVG members, and he’s been barred from future Killzone 2 tournaments on IVG because he’s guaranteed to win. He won the Gears of War 2 torunament organised by Consoul and Microsoft where he was also picked as the Player of the Tournament. More recently, he’s at the top of every Modern Warfare 2 leaderboard on Xbox LIVE India. I could post his impressive kill-death ratios here, but you get the picture. He’s good.
Most IVG members who are frequently on Xbox LIVE or PSN would have crossed paths with him, and I’m sure you’ll all agree that there isn’t a better competitive console gamer in India. His history of juvenile crime aside, he’s one of the more modest and level-headed guys around, who lets his sniper rifle or torque bow do the talking rather than incessantly screaming into his headset. He’s also one of IVG’s oldest and most active members (he’s still only 17), so it is indeed a pleasure to bestow upon Umang Moda the title of IVG’s Gamer of the Year 2009.