Aether United: Our Origin
Esports is a very new addition to the entertainment field and it is growing quickly. It offers entertainment to the masses, similar to other major industries. Likewise, as it grows larger and its audience grows, the growing pains of esports are apparent as well. For example, fans are often not allowed provide any feedback for the management of their favorite teams, consequently causing them to feel excluded and uncared for. Another example is that fans are unable to see the inner workings of a team. One shocking example was seen in early 2017 when “Tainted Minds”, a League of Legend’s team in Australia, were accused of withholding proper living conditions from their players. The massive outcry from the players caused esport fans to band together to protest such an outrage. Both Tainted Minds staff and the players gave varying viewpoints on the incident and there was a lot of confusion and anger. I for one, believe that instances like these greatly disrupt the core values of esports, entertainment and satisfaction. The founders of Aether United noticed this incident and decided it was time something had to be done. As fellow fanatics of esports, we knew that Tainted Minds, and many other teams, were keeping a very important right from their esports fans: The ability to have a clear view of a team’s management, void of curtains and lies. As founders, we decided to take this one step further and we created the Aether United brand. Not only do we ensure transparency within the brand, we also allow our fans to have a say in certain aspects of our management as well.
Aether United is as a project that brings two, previously separate, industries together. In most esports and traditional sports, the fans are merely spectators that do not interact with their teams. As esport fans ourselves, we saw the need for fans to have an actual impact on their favorite teams, especially when they made bad team decisions. For example, during MSI (a large League of Legends tournament), TSM (One of the best North American teams) made many bad decisions that ultimately ended in their loss at the tournament. We, along with many other TSM fans saw this and felt changes needed to be made, but there was no outlet, no way for our thoughts and aspirations to reach TSM. To them, we are merely numbers, statistics to their product. This is wrong. With Aether United, fans are directly responsible for making team decisions. Our aspiration is to allow the fans large scale decisions that definitely affect the course of the team and their connection with it, while the managing team can focus on the busy work that often plague teams and cause them to perform worse and make poorer decisions.
It is important to realize that with Aether United, there is no wall between fans and the team. The Seattle Seahawks (American Football Team) proclaim that their fans are the “12th Man”. However, these fans are not actually part of the team. On the other hand, Aether United fans are literally part of the team. Aether United is created by esport fans for esport fans. Simply stating that the fans are part of our team doesn’t portray our dedication to our fans. Instead, we truly believe that we are a team together.