If I ever saw someone like myself who went from bar management to being the COO of one of the biggest esports teams in the UK in less than a year, I’d have questions.
Firstly, how, why, but mainly how.
So I wanted to write this to answer a few of those.
I won’t lie, I feel like a lot of the past year has been luck.
It’s honestly been a very wild rollercoaster and I’m thankful to everyone I’ve met, worked with, and interacted with in any way.
I’ve made some lifelong friends along the way, and made some horrible mistakes, and learned things I don’t think I would ever have learned in any other job or field. I’m honestly so thankful to Abdiqani for taking me on, he has been a beacon of knowledge and every call I get into with him, I either learn, or I get something new to sink my teeth into! I cannot wait for the next few steps.
Another amazing person, Valgard, I’m sure you’ve all heard some things about him, but I’ve worked with him personally and professionally and I’ve found him nothing but an amazing person. He has always been there to advise me, help me and educate me, sometimes even in the early hours. The number of hours I’ve sat up with him discussing life/business/esports and the world is more than I care to mention.
One more person I’d like to thank is my beautiful partner Akari, AKA “Herb”. She’s been with me for 3 wonderful years now, moving halfway around the world to live with me, she’s been at my side through some really dark times, and in those times she was the only light I could see. Thank you for being my light, my love, and my happiness. And thank you for putting up with me working what seems countless hours, and annoying you with everything esports. I love you, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.
A few others GoatVisuals, Lloydy, Kyntexx, and Jamada have all taught me things that from the outside seemed so simple, but in reality, they were more complex than I ever realized.
To everyone in the UK League scene, thank you for everything this past year.
I’m sorry to those of you who had to deal with me in the beginning, I’m sure it was very taxing to have this new guy, come to you with questions and to bug you in your inbox.
I’ve made some mistakes haven’t we all? At the time, they made me look stupid, I remember messaging some players that probably in hindsight, would never ever be interested in my offer.
But you know, I needed to make these mistakes…
Maybe I should have put myself across better, but I got back up and learned.
I mean damn, I even, in talks with a player, called him by the wrong name and blew the talks just from that. And to that player, I’m still sorry.
Lesson? Don’t work tired and talk to 4+ people at the same time.
So, how did I come from managing bars to working in esports?
I have been playing league since Aatrox came out, then took a break and came back when Yasuo came out.
How did I get into League of Legends?
I was trying to impress a girl…
How did it go? Badly.
I started playing league with friends and playing competitively and climbed from silver to gold to plat. Sadly I was the only one of my friends to get Platinum. I decided the only way to continue to play with my friends was to help them by coaching and explaining what they are doing wrong. I ended up enjoying it more than actually playing. I started doing it for friends, friends of friends, and anyone who was interested.
I then met a Coach on Facebook, he took me from being a self-taught coach, to being a coach, who was getting coached to coach!
A couple of years later I hungered to compete again, and I found Belong by Game, I went to Stratford Spartans, went to tryouts, and made it onto their highest team as their jungler…. Even though I was a support main at the time.
Every game I played, I got DESTROYED, and the game I played on the Belong stream, I think I went 1/7… The VOD still exists out there somewhere…
On a side note, what I found really ridiculous was that before I would play a game, I would shake, uncontrollably.
After the split placing 5th, I came back the next split but asked if I could coach the teams, and hence coaching amateur esports became a new passion.
After Coaching 2 Winning teams and a Runner up for Stratford Spartans I saw the UKEL was coming around the corner, so I quickly messaged teams asking if they needed a coach.
2 Teams got back to me Clique and Lionscreed, No prizes for who I chose.
That’s right, Clique, because they offered me Head Coach, so I worked with some amazing players, Akkers, Praevius, Bendix, OSP, and Santanel.
All of them, amazing and incredibly talented, and the small amount of work I did with them paid off. We went undefeated while I was with them (7-0), however, I only stayed with them for about 5 weeks. I then moved to Lionscreed as an Assistant Coach for the FOC Qualifiers.
After the Qualifiers and in the off-season, as we all know, the League scene goes quiet. So I asked the owner, Abdi, if he needed help with anything outside of League, and so it went from me helping to write emails, to making calls, to finding players, to signing players and on and on it went, to right now, learning all along the way.
And you know what?
It’s been a ride, but I wouldn’t have changed a single thing.
And to those of you who doubted me, or the pride, and put obstacles in our way.
We are coming.