One Year in esports: From the beginning to the end (?)

Hello everyone,

I promised that I would be making a post about my path in esports so far, from where it all started to where I am right now.

The Beginning: Before Working with Teams

My career in gaming started in November 2012 on LoLPro.com, a Curse website. Liquid112 (or Steve) hired me after a post on Reddit I had done, with the objective of having me improve guides on the website, by adding some math and simple calculations for champion setups.

From there, fast forward a bit and I eventually started making Youtube videos, initially I mainly did LCS highlights (way before most people did) and then I progressively started transitioning away from that and more into some analysis videos, about why player was picking up X champion, or why he was building a different item from everyone else.

These kind of videos were what gave me most of the subscriber count I have today.

However, despite loving to make content, my goal was in reality to work in a team as an analyst, it sounded fascinating and it was really my short term life goal.

I kept working on LoLPro, helping the players get their guides updated and eventually it started leading to something bigger.

Video Editing and my first team

By summer of 2014, I eventually was hired by Curse as a video editor. Things started looking good and I was practically making a living out of it. To much of my parents’ disappointment, I dropped out of my second university course (Audiovisual and Multimedia) to pursue gaming as a full time job, the goal was to get into esports and work with teams.

In late November 2014 I worked my first League of Legends team, EG Soulset. One of their players approached me for help and for 3 weeks I helped them prep for a national LAN. We placed 2nd in that event and I was pretty satisfied with the result, but I wanted to get into the big leagues

Curse to Team Liquid and Analysis

Late 2014/Early 2015 Team Curse became Team Liquid. I retained my functions as a video editor that I had been doing for some months and joined the team as a remote analyst.

Looking back I can’t help but feel how bad I was. It was my first REAL analysis experience, I realize nowadays that I could’ve used that opportunity so much better, but alas, I blew it. I had some pretty tough weeks with both my grandparents in the hospital and my productivity dropped, so in March, Team Liquid let me go.

Brazil

From there I was kinda lost, also somewhat depressed that I had blown such a huge opportunity with an LCS side. After leaving TL I had an offer from INTZ which I declined, pointing them towards Abaxial as a suitable guy they could pick up.

For summer split I mainly had offers from challenger and one LCS offer, but I decided to choose Brazil.

Why? I’m still not sure to this day. I guess it was because I spoke the language, so I had a good market niche, the exposure would also be nice since these teams had huge fan bases. I ended up agreeing to joining Keyd as their coach.

Things didn’t last much there. They had promised to fly me and couldn’t keep their end of the deal supposedly because their paypal was blocked. The 4 hour timezone difference wasn’t helping and I would sleep at my office to be able to watch scrims. Eventually things weren’t progressing and I got fed up. Since there was no site of them making me an onsite coach I left the team after more or less 20 days. At that point Keyd was undefeated and 1st in CBLoL.

The problem with leaving mid split is that my other better offers were essentially gone, luckily for me, INTZ wanted an analyst that could help with comms (since Abaxial is American) so I joined. I have to admit at this point my motivation was probably at an all time low and that’s why things didn’t work out so well.
My parents and I were in a really bad spot in our relationship and I couldn’t prove to them that esports was sustainable, since I had gotten no money from Keyd I had no arguments either.

I stayed with INTZ until the CBLoL finals. I had previously decided that, win or lose, I would leave the team to possibly stop pursuing esports.

Worlds, post Worlds and the upcoming split

After taking a prolonged 2 month break I decided that I was ready to try it once more, I contacted teams, sent resumes and surprisingly got a lot of good offers.

In the end I decided to try out with Splyce, as they were the only team offering me a coaching position out of all the organizations and it seemed like an interesting challenge. I’ve been in Berlin for the last 10 days trialing with the team and in my opinion things went well. In the end, the team didn’t want me as coach but only as an analyst, I wasn’t interested so we parted ways. I won’t go into details as to why they didn’t want me as head coach and why I didn’t want to stay as an analyst as I don’t want to paint the org in a bad light without intention to. Marty is a super great guy and I wish him and the boys the best of luck for the upcoming split, but it’s going to be a very hard uphill battle!

The End?

So with this, I briefly considered my options and what teams I could still pursue roles as an analyst. In the end I decided that it isn’t worth it and at least for the time being you won’t see me associated to any team.

esports is still very young, and volatile. If you think it’s hard for players I’d say staff members generally have it just as bad or worse. There’s not much job security and the pay isn’t that great if you’re not a head coach or you land yourself in a pretty wealthy organization.

That said, you will still see me around. This week I’ll likely be announcing what I’m doing next. It’s still related to gaming, just not coaching/analysis in esports.

Special thanks to:

  • Steve Arhancet (LiQuiD112). He sent me a PC from Las Vegas and always made sure I had conditions to work. I’d be nowhere if it wasn’t for him, also thanks to all the lolpro staff and players I had the pleasure of working with.
  • Montecristo and Thoorin: For inviting me to join for an episode Summoning Insight. It was a fantastic experience and gave me a lot of exposure and also motivation to keep going.
  • Other people in esports that I interact with frequently (Hermit, Naser, Dominick, Kelsey, Emily, Noogs, Froskurinn, Teps, Bee Sin, Agent, Qiluk etc; you know who you are): For constantly being there to give me motivation, advice or really just to be there to hear me vent, you guys are awesome!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you guys in the rift. Shakarez signing out