My first exposure to the scene of esports was during my first trip to South Korea 20+ years ago. I wasn't sure exactly what it was, given I was still a young kid, but I thought people playing video games competitively was something fascinating.
In 2005, I stumbled upon the G4TV forums. It acted as a second home for me, and I was an admin from 2007 until operations ceased in 2013. This planted the seed for my interest in online communities, and pushed me to explore boundaries of bringing people together, virtually.
I stumbled upon Button Bashers in early 2008. After getting the opportunity to do menial news posts, team manager Elsmiek Jager referred me to TEK-9, a website dedicated to competitive Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Camiel Rietbergen was its Editor in Chief and ran the site. He knew I wanted to contribute, and suggested contacting his equal over at Cadred,
TEK-9's sister site. Camiel mentioned he knew a guy that'd take me under his wing and show me the ropes of this burgeoning phenomenon
called the esports industry. After a few email exchanges, I was introduced to Richard Lewis.
A year after that, I linked up with Marcus Graham, who was at the center of some project in the works called Twitch at the time.
Under Richard's mentorship, the opportunity to collaborate with many top gaming outfits became commonplace. My writing was nowhere near
same level as power players in the scene, however; this fed insecurity. I was determined, though.
Over the years, I would go on to work with a wide variety of companies, anonymously, shown below in descending chronological order. This
included CIMs (pitch books), consultation, internal documentation, ghostwriting, marketing, partnerships, press releases, promotion, reviews,
sponsorship documentation, and many other services.
I left Cadred in 2014 to finish my last years of university, gradually becoming more distanced from the scene. My writing interests were wider than
just esports; I didn't want to become pigeonholed, even if it was just a hobby. Not formally trained in writing, I wanted to remain flexible, going against the grain and letting the words flow in my own manner.
Perhaps not perfect at times, it was not necessarily something that phased me. I intentionally create texture with my work, so when you read it, you know it's mine. If anything, it was my attempt at avoiding the drab and formulaic articles which I often referenced to build my ability and range.
After graduating, I moved to Seoul and landed a job as a game designer. After about two years, I quit and decided to switch things up.
Since May 2019, I've been a community and content specialist, moonlighting as a food critic alongside my wife. To date, we've published 1,600+ sponsored reviews on Naver.
Some of my favorite long-form biographical pieces are listed below in reverse chronological order:
- Stan "Substantial" Robinson, September 10, 2021
- Alan "The Alchemist" Maman, October 25, 2020
- Ariyan "Action Bronson" Arslani, September 25, 2020
- Marcus "djWHEAT" Graham, May 12, 2020
- Ilya Kuvshinov, October 9, 2019
- Seba "Nujabes" Jun, May 27, 2018 🙏
- Chi Modu, February 27, 2018 🙏
Below contains a list of companies, corporations, websites, and groups who I've collaborated with in some capacity since 2007, within the gaming, music, or food industry. It is listed in reverse chronological order.
- CJ Entus
- Blizzard Entertainment
- Major League Gaming
- Red Bull
- Team Liquid
- Valve Corporation
- OpTic Gaming