Growing Up

About a year ago I was just a kid who was a fan of Rainbow 6. I had no idea that my fandom would turn into a job.

Rainbow 6 was the game that got me into esports.

I was following the professional scene pretty closely and my favourite team at the time was Vertical Gaming. The players, who I was a fan of, ended up leaving the organization because there were internal conflicts going on; they just couldn’t get along.

From that moment, all I wanted to do is help my favourite team find an organization to represent.

The issue was that they had a LAN very soon and it would have been almost impossible for them all to pay their way there without a team sponsoring them.

One of my friends had connections within Rogue, so I reached out to see if I could help the ex-Vertical guys out.

I pretty much told Frank, the CEO of Rogue, that there was this talented roster who needed a team urgently.

I told him that, even though Rainbow 6 wasn’t a big esport at the time, it was a good investment and that there was a lot of potential for growth within the scene. I warned him another big organization would probably pick up the team if he didn’t, and after a few days of consideration, he decided to go for it and have a meeting with the players.

That meeting went great. Both sides, the players and Rogue, seemed to get along.

We were able to figure out the details of the contracts with the players and got them their jerseys shipped out since they had to compete soon.

From the moment we got on the call I was really nervous, I was physically sweating. These were all guys that I had looked up to, so just being on Skype with them was pretty incredible. At the end of the call, after everything was settled with the players, Rogue asked me if I wanted to manage the team. I was absolutely stunned!

I hadn’t been looking for a job, all I had wanted to do was help out my favourite players. I would only be a volunteer to start, but I gladly accepted their offer. At only 16 I couldn’t believe that I would be working in esports and no longer just a fan.

Better yet, they asked if I could go to Germany with the team.

I was a little surprised that it was phrased as a question – all I was thinking was: “Of course I can go to Germany!” They were going to send me to Gamescom, the biggest gaming convention in the world. It was so surreal.

I had to run everything by my parents since they were just as surprised as I was, but they were really accepting of everything.

They saw it as an awesome opportunity and were really open to me working in esports, which is the opposite of most parents reactions, especially after I helped them understand more about the industry.

Gamescom was fantastic, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. My dad, wanting to be a good parent, said he wanted to come with me to Gamescom and he was blown away, he couldn’t believe how many fans there were to watch people play. He took a ton of pictures, and it was definitely a great first event to take him to.

I got to meet the guys in person for the first time. They were all so chill; it was no different than when I was talking to them online. They had a decent showing for their first time under Rogue which was just icing on the cake.

As the event drew to a close, I was already ecstatic to be with Rogue and as time went on they started giving me more and more responsibilities. About a month or two after Gamescom they actually offered to start paying me for the work I was doing.

Since then my duties have only ramped up and I do a variety of things, not just for the Rainbow 6 team, but for the organization as a whole.

I work on the teams YouTube page, and one of the most rewarding things I do is working with ReKTGlobal, Rogue’s parent company, with their high school outreach program helping students like myself, find opportunities for growth in esports after they graduate.

It’s a lot to balance, being in high school and working for Rogue. All my free time is occupied with the team. That said, I am so grateful for the opportunity though and wouldn’t have it any other way – it really doesn’t even feel like work and I’m more than happy to be doing it.

I realize how much of a head start I have over others looking to work in the esports industry and so I don’t take my job for granted.

I’d like to think that Rogue would hire me full-time once I graduate, but that’s not my plan. I’m not leaving the organization, but I still want to go to college. I really value my education and, even though esports is my priority, I want to have other opportunities as well.

Reflecting on my time with Rogue has been interesting. Since I joined I’ve grown up a lot. When I first started I felt like a child and like I was surrounded by adults; I was intimidated to even talk to them.

As I began to work with them I slowly became more confident in myself. I had to prove my worth within the team being so young and I’ve definitely done that. I am treated like a respected member of the organization now by both my peers and others outside of Rogue.

I knew I wanted to work in esports but I never expected it to happen the way it did, but I know this is something I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life.

Image Credit: Rogue

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