I Fight for a Brighter Tomorrow
For those unfamiliar with my work, my personality, or myself in general, my name is Jacob Wolf, also known by my adopted alias “Brayll.” I’m a reporter, who mainly focuses on the world of esports (electronic sports — video games in a competitive setting.) I am currently a freelancer at the Daily Dot and have previously had freelance employment at Esports Heaven and Gfinity, as well as previous work with GoldPer10.
I’m often criticized for my social media channels, primarily my Twitter. As an extremely extroverted human being, I often voice my opinion and am known to be very straightforward, headstrong, and at times, slightly aggressive. I realize that in my given position and role in the community, that acting this way is extremely unprofessional and although not the worst of actions, it’s something I am actively working to change.
Addressing Common Concerns
As stated previously, I’m given a lot of flack for my use of social media, both in private by my peers and in public by the community. I’ve peaked at brutal in what I say — hurtful at other times and for that, I’m truly regretful. I’m very open with what I have to say and unless given reason not to be, I give every single person I meet the time of day on social media.
I’m very observant of my surroundings and before entering the industry as a content creator, I was amazed at how many personalities were distant from the community that reads, watches, or listens to their work. I initially thought of this to be of elevation of one’s self, of where said person would value themselves above others and thus, not address others of lower “status” (quotations as I don’t believe in this belief, but it was my observation.) Although not entirely wrong in my initial judgement, I realized that with the more controversial you reach with your work (very common in reporting or opinion pieces), the more difficult it is to deal with a massive load of feedback, including positive and negative.
I’ve previously taken criticism/feedback to heart and often times have been defensive, of which actions I now wish I could repent from. Many of my friends are people I’ve met via Twitter or Facebook and become bonded to due to common interests, mostly over constructive criticism of my work. Unfortunately not everyone is so kind and open and I’ve come to realize that I can’t address everyone and it’s best for me not to (for my sanity.)
Another frequent matter that is pinned to my personality is lack of humility. Although a lot of this is unintentionally in my online persona, it holds very little truth to my one-on-one interactions; I value it as a genuine concern, however. Previous experiences in the music industry led me to be a very self-absorbed person before coming to an innate epiphany and restructuring my thought process to reform to a more giving lifestyle. As I’ve matured and grown older, humility has become one of the biggest spots on my personal radar and it’s something I’ve attempted to maintain more and more. I have fallen victim to being overly proud of what I do and it’s mainly because of my background and personal life, of where I was knocked down before I had even begun normal life. This is no excuse, and I apologize for those who have seen my wicked attitude and my selfish personality previously; this was not my intention and is a point of correction for the upcoming future.
My biggest concern and largest issue is that my opinion now holds validity due to who I’ve become in the industry. I didn’t ever expect to receive some of the remarkable support I currently am blessed with and for people to even value what I do. Only five months ago, I was a loud mouth on Twitter with no validity and no experience to truly back up my words. That changed quickly and it is fully my fault for not adjusting rapidly; for this, I am also dearly sorry.
In terms of my recent interaction with Marcus “Dyrus” Hill and Choi “Locodoco” Yoon-sub, my initial statement of Cuong “Flaresz” Ta was not to hurt the feelings of anyone. I have been a long time believer in Cuong and ever since watching him at GamesterGear and LoLPro, I believe he is one of the best up and coming new top laners within North America.
I am by no means a professionally employed League analyst, the likes of Ryanne “Froskurinn” Mohr, John “rnglol” Crichton, or Origen’s Hermit (leaving his full name out by request), of whom I greatly respect; however, I feel that I watch enough League Championship Series and Challenger Series to know enough about Cuong as a whole and his counterpart Hill.
I apologize to both Hill and Choi if I was offensive. This was not my intentions and the reddit thread regarding my statement and Hill’s response was blown very out of proportion.
I won’t address my conflict with other certain personalities within the industry, as I feel that is something that is settled best in private. I’ve attempted to resolve as many issues and clarify my standpoint in individual situations, but sometimes it’s not worth the pain of dealing with an argument that simply can’t be resolved. I’ve made mistakes; however, I have and will continue to attempt to correct my dealings that did not end as I see fit.
The Old Me and the New Me
As many have noticed, I have deleted ALL of my previous tweets up until about 8am EST this morning. Here’s why:
I want a clean slate with a second chance at showing where I want to be in my career. I want to remove my opinions from my social media and have my Twitter be focused primarily on the expansion of my career. No more outlashes, no more breakdowns; it stops here.
In private, I often mention that I have a “dream” for this industry and I think it’s best if I begin to work on that ahead of time. Less than eight months ago, I was like many people I talk to today. I wanted to be “somebody” in esports, but I had no idea where to begin.
I made a resume with previous experiences in the music industry, as well as notable classes I had taken both in high school and college in terms of English/Literature. I submitted this resume to many outfits who had a foothold in the industry. Notable names that come to mind are theScore (prior to their launch of the esports section), Paravine, ggChronicle, Thinkpiece.GG, and my very own current home, the Daily Dot. With no previous experience, I was declined or not responded to at every single aforementioned publication.
One person though gave me a shot. A random Twitter interaction, discussing a piece over why Cloud9’s Hai “Hai” Lam should move to support and Daerek “LemonNation” Hart should move to a coaching position, was my “key” into esports. I had previously read this author’s work and I was quite impressed by his particular outlook and writing style. I had watched him go from an outpost at GosuGamers to being the newly-appointed Editor-in-Chief at Esports Heaven after Richard Lewis’s departure.
This man I’m referring to is none-other-than Michale “DreXxiN” Lalor. After seeing him on Twitter, I decided to reach out one late night and inquire if he was looking for new authors. I found out that he was and I offered my services (free-of-charge) in order to gain experience and feedback from him and the other editing staff at Esports Heaven.
My career’s birth was here. I began to write feature pieces as my role models in the industry have always been Duncan “Thooorin” Shields and Kelsey Moser for as long I can remember. I was also thoroughly impressed with Tyler “Fionn” Erzberger’s work at LoL Esports and Liquid Legends and sought to write in similar vein.
Never did I believe that I would be a reporter and write breaking news regularly; however, that changed shortly after a piece I did on the sudden removal of Ryan “ShorterACE” Nget from Final Five. As a personal friend of Ryan’s, I obtained a statement from him regarding the move and reported on the situation at hand. This was the first baby step in my career to become a reporter and I didn’t even know it.
Weeks later, I received news of something that was very large in weight. The situation I’m referring to is Marcin “Kori” Wolski and his interactions with MeetYourMakers, which left a very sour taste in my mouth. I worked on the piece for 12 consecutive hours, four of which were spent on call with Michale as we weeded through the information and properly constructed a piece around the situation.
Throughout the past four months, I’ve received more and more information from sources about dealings within esports and have reported such. Notable pieces I’d like to mention are:
- The leaking of scrimmage footage of CLG Black by TSM Darkness’s t3azer to Fusion’s Bee Sin
- The Team SoloMid response to the scrim footage situation
- Rekkles leaving Elements and the return of Tabzz
- Incarnati0n and Yusui both receiving tryouts for Cloud9
- Ptr’s falling out with Counter Logic Gaming Counter-Strike
- Escalate Legion Gaming using account sharing in Ranked 5's ladder matches
- PapaSmithy joining OnGameNet’s broadcasting team
This is only a small sample of my previous work in the past few months and all of my recent work can be found on my author profile on the Daily Dot.
So what about the new me?
My dream for esports is quite simple. I want to help others that were in my position less than eight months ago. Every week I meet someone who wants to get into the industry and although most people’s recommendation is “just write,” I’d like to take the time to help others achieve their goals. I’m by no means an industry leader; however, I’d like to work on this dream before I achieve that kind of status. I want to progress this industry more than any of my peers and I believe that is best done by helping other people grow in their careers.
I want to throw away my old habits of being loud on Twitter and Facebook and resort to being straightforward and a role model to others. Enough with the salty, immature bullshit and more about how we as a community can grow together.
I’ll be keeping my Twitter posts strictly to work and interactions with those who seek assistance or want to discuss my work in a civil manner. I feel this is best for my time as a writer and I think with this in mind, I can achieve what I want to.
My post at the Daily Dot will still remain and I will continue to write more pieces as planned. I won’t get defensive anymore, I won’t get upset; in the end, it’s just people’s opinions and I can’t always please everyone, despite wanting to. I can, however, write what I feel is morally honest and highlight what I find interesting within the esports world.
Thanks for all the people who took the time to read this. I’m a firm non-believer in “tl;drs” as I feel they lack the context in the grand scheme of my message. I’ll leave a few shoutouts below, but thank you once again for taking your time!
Shoutouts: Andie Del Ray (Into the Rift/ex-Paravine), Barry Lee (OnGameNet), Brett Lautenbach (William Morris Endeavor), Bryce Blum (Unikrn), Callum Leslie (Daily Dot), Chris Badawi (Misfits), Chris Fields (Enemy eSports), Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles (OnGameNet/Insight on Esports), Daniel Yordanov (SK Gaming), Duncan “Thooorin” Shields (Insight on Esports), Ian Barker (Daily Dot), Jack Etienne (Cloud9), Katherine Stull (LoL Esports), Kelsey Moser (theScore), Kevin Morris (Daily Dot), Kyle Chatterson (theScore), Marcel “Dexter” Feldkamp (Elements), Michale “DreXxin” Lalor (Esports Heaven), Nilu “Dooraven” Kulasingham (theScore), Phil Neubauer (mousesports), Richard Lewis (Daily Dot), Ryan Tang (GoldPer10), Ryanne “Froskurinn” Mohr (Dignitas EU), Samuel Lingle (Daily Dot), Tim Masters (Esports Heaven), and William Turton (Daily Dot).