DF: Hidden Side

Reading back my first few posts, I just want to go on the record for one thing: I have no idea what I’m doing.

My goal for the next ~12 months, is to exchange a boring real job for an awesome kiddie job, where I can play/talk about video games all day. I’m not sure if it’s possible, and if it is possible, I’m not sure I’m going about it in the right way. This blog is supposed to track any progress I do/don’t make. If I spout off some stupid absolute, that proves to be absolutely wrong, well, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Hopefully it’s either so stupid that you realize I’m wrong straight away, or I figure out it was stupid and come back to correct it later. We’re doing this for the historical record people, that’s all I’m saying. No Nessie today, everything is going to be kinda jumbled together. Psyche here’s Nessie

Yup, still a hoax.
Yup, still a hoax.

Today I want to go over some of the reasons I’m choosing to take the drastic route, instead of the slow and steady approach that a lot of people have counseled me to take. “Why not just do this stuff at night, after work, like everybody else in the video game game? Learn the ropes, develop a following, and then, WHEN IT’S SUSTAINABLE, ONLY THEN, go full out, pull out, your real job and everything. Much better.”

And I kinda agree with what they’re saying. I can think of lots of successful examples, particularly in the DotA scene, who chugged along part time, until catching a big break and switching to full time. It makes sense in all kinds of ways, and there aren’t too many good arguments against it. However, if you think about it really hard…

Nope, still not much to say against it. I haven’t talked to a lot of people who are trying to make a go in the space, but I’d bet the safe way is the way to go for most of them. I think going balls out is a good decision FOR ME because:

  • I have no pride
    • I’ve saved up enough mulah to cover me for the next ~6 months of “unemployment,” but only because I’ll be moving back home in the near future. Giving up your independence to that level isn’t for everybody, and I’m definitely not looking forward to fulfilling the philosophy grad stereotype, but…
  • There’s a moment, and it’s rightttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt———— Now
    • I’ve spent the past two weeks watching TI5, DotA 2’s two week tournament supreme, and it’s been one of the greatest viewing experiences of my life. The hysteria, the prize pool (OVER 18 MILLION at this point), the skill level…it’s unbelievable. Easily comparable, if not superior to, any other entertainment event I’ve experienced (sober), and it’s still no where near as amazing as it could be. The production values still aren’t there, the scene still hasn’t matured (it’s only the FIFTH one EVER!), etc. etc. But still, I’m hooked. I can’t stop, won’t stop watching, even though I have sooooooooooo much to do….
    • That’s just one of many ESPORTS events/indicators I could name that I think point to a very VERY bright future for the scene. SO MUCH POTENTIAL IT MAKES ME SICK. Really, I get nose bleeds thinking about all the amazing stuff that is possible over the next 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 years. It’s gonna be nuts, and definitely something I want to be involved with.
  • Yet I have no skills….
    • This might seem like a big reason NOT to go balls out, because wtf I basically don’t even have any balls…in the sense that I don’t have any of the skills that the average ESPORTS content producer possesses:
      • Photoshop? lol microsoft paint?
      • Video Editing? lol i don’t even like snapchat
      • Twitter? lOl 5 followers (and only 3 of them bots :D)
      • I don’t even have a leaked sex tape 😦

The smart thing to do might SEEM to be to talk some night classes, bone up on those youtube tutorials in my free time, THEN try to do this. But remember that I think we’re at the beginning of this ESPORTS revolution thing, and remember what the beginning of the youtube creator craze looked like? Amateurs making shitty videos but attracting HUGE audiences because they wasn’t anything better. As the platform has grown, as people have professionalized, the bar to entry has hopped so high that even, Javier Sotomayor, the current men’s record holder with a jump of 2.45 m (8 ft 014 in), set in 1993, couldn’t top it. It’s a real dog eat dog world out there, with people using legit graphics, hundred dollar microphones, captivating premises and content….well maybe not that, but everything else these people have in spades.

Contrast this with the current state of Twitch, where yes, you have you professional standouts, but then you have 8-hour featuring literal grills  that manage to pull in sizable viewer numbers. My intuition (lol) tells me that we’re still at a point where creativity and chutzpah can get you into the game, and technical skills of the kind I mentioned before aren’t strict prerequisites. There’s still a level of quality that has to be maintained, but it’s a level I think I can reach through free tutorials alone.

To sum up, my completely anecdotal, intuitive sense is that we’re at the beginning of an ESPORTS craze that is going to create thousands of new jobs, capture an international audience, and bust 20th century expectations of what’s possible in entertainment. I could try and acquire all of the skills piecemeal over the next 3-5 years, gradually building up a following, or I could try and drop everything else, focus solely on making as big an impact as I can, as quickly as I can. I’m picking the second option because I think it’s my best chance at making a big a splash as I can.

If all of this works out, I’ll come back in a future post and justify all of my assumptions post-hoc.

Cheers

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