Twenty-year-old Santanu Basu loves soccer and fast cars but he has neither zoomed along a racing track nor kicked around in a football field. But next month, Basu a second-year engineering student from Kolkata will be competing with the fastest drivers from around the world, trying to race past them at every bend on a virtual track. The youngster will represent India at the World Cyber Games (WCG) the world cup for computer games which will see 78 countries participating in China. He is the first from the city to qualify for the championship that carries a prize money of $ 470,000.
This week, Santanu made it to the Indian contingent through a fiercely contested national meet in Chennai. Held at Blur the biggest cyber gaming centre in India the nationals had more than 300 taking part from around the country. Even though Santanu took part in both car racing (asphalt 4) and soccer (fifa) games, he couldn't qualify for the latter. But he topped in car racing, edging past his nearest competitor from Mumbai by a mere two seconds. Winner of several cyber competitions in the country, the Techno India student got hooked to computer games when he was in school. An injury confined him to bed for several months with only his computer for company.