A little bit of my backstory - I’ve been a part of the Team Liquid community since Brood War. If you’re OG enough, you might remember the Team Liquid vs SC2GG.com rivalry that sprouted up back in like 2008. SC2GG.com was a collective of StarCraft Broodwar commentators who posted videos with English language commentary overlaid on top of professional Korean SC:BW matches. It had a small but passionate community, and the people on our boards had a very real rivalry (or maybe just straight up beef) against the biggest player in StarCraft - Team Liquid.
Back then (and to this day) TL.net was the hub for all things StarCraft. It was where you went to talk about games and strategy, and their threads were seeing thousands of posts on days when live tournaments were happening.
Anyway, back then I wrote fan blogs about Broodward matches on SC2GG.com and was part of a site vs. site clan match against our rivals at Team Liquid. The SC2GG.com team got absolutely destroyed, but JWD and I prepped hard for our match and I think we put on a good show:
I say all of this to underscore that I’ve worked in and around esports for a long time. When StarCraft 2 came out I became a commentator and I was fortunate enough to travel the world and cast events in front of huge crowds in the early days of esports. After that I ran gaming and esports marketing at Red Bull for a number of years before moving to New York where I helped to launch the New York Excelsior. I’ve had a special, and fun career and I’m proud of the journey I've taken.
For the last 2 years I’ve been working with the Business Development teams at Next Generation Esports, and then Esports Engine (NGE was acquired early on in EE’s life). It’s been my job to help grow our small sales team and over the last 2 years we’ve grown the business to be, by my measurements, quite successful. It’s a great team of passionate people who work hard to put on many of the best shows in all of esports.
Also in the past 2 years, on the sides and in the shadows, I’ve been developing a mobile game. It’s not ready yet, but it’s very close and we will probably launch in the next 2-3 months. It’s been an awesome project to be a part of and the whole team is excited about what we’re going to put out into the world. We have no idea how successful we will be, but we really believe in the project. My bosses at EE have always known about this little side project.
3 months ago I told my bosses that I needed to take the next 3 months to focus on launching this game. I’ve been a part of several organizations in my now 13th or so year of getting paid to work on esports stuff. Usually when you say something like that to the people you work for, they give you 2 weeks if they’re gracious, or they tell you to pack your things that same day.
The team at EE told me to take my team, make the best product I can, and reassured me that there would be a place there for me if ever I wanted or needed it. They allowed me to take some paid time off and have given me space to finish my project. There are very few organizations in the world that would do that.
EE is a classy bunch of people and working with them, learning from them, and seeing their hustle has been a real inspiration during a time in my life when I needed it most.
Thanks EE. I love you guys.