Compared to being a player, being an owner is very different – yet very much the same at the same time.
In the past, I was a player going through the training grind and filling up arenas, like G2 Esports did at the LEC Rotterdam finals.
Now, I am the owner facilitating everything for our players in many games.
I have encountered challenges that, although different at first glance, are very similar when it comes to the depth of my reaction to those challenges. Let me put it into perspective:
It may be that you lose a very important tournament; you played really badly, and everybody trashes you. How do you get back on track?
It’s the same story as being an owner: you may not close that sale or get that investment, or you may have a really bad PR situation or your teams may lose. In the worst case, you may even lose a team!
All of these things cause you to react to them. How do you react to them?
You build your character, then your character builds the solutions to those problems.
Although it is different, it is very much the same. It still causes me to look at the three pillars of my life. In no particular order, those pillars are ambition, entertainment, and empathy.
Ambition. It is my responsibility to strive to be the best that I can be, and advance humanity in a way. Whatever it is that I would have ended up doing: garbage collector, firefighter, teacher, competitor, entertainer, comedian, whatever.
If I do not strive to be my absolute best, I would instantly think that I am doing it wrong, and I would think of myself as a parasite to some extent.
I strive to be the best that I can be, add value, and become the best version of whatever my body and mind can allow me to become.
That is why I stopped playing League of Legends professionally. I couldn’t be the best anymore. I didn’t feel that I was motivated enough, nor did I feel that my reflexes were as top-notch as they were before.
Entertainment. There is bad news everywhere. All the time. Wherever you look it’s bad news.
My job is to make sure that whatever I and my people do is the very opposite of that. We want to make people laugh, smile and feel entertained. They should feel like the 25 minutes of gameplay or the five-minute interview is worth something. It doesn’t matter if they’re learning and growing, or just having some fun.
The word ‘laughing’ is so undervalued these days. We laugh at ourselves, at everybody else, at things that happen. We do it harmlessly. That’s why you can see pure happiness when you look at us.
Empathy. If I had to choose one of them above the others, I would choose this. Everything else comes later. Nothing is worth doing if it is not helping somebody.
This could be something huge, like saving a life, or something very small, like giving a compliment or some encouraging words to a stranger.
It could make their day, week, month, or even year. Maybe, from this act, you will have even contributed to their future success.
Empathy is so important to me. Everyone must learn that their actions have consequences – positive and negative – and that you should think about how those consequences could make a difference to someone else.
As an organization owner with a large platform, I feel like I have a megaphone. I can make a bigger impact than I was ever able to before.
No longer am I just playing for myself. I am building something sustainable that has many teams, dynamics, and people within it.
It used to be Carlos and four other people. Now there are 100 people in G2 Esports. We are big enough to create things that have an impact.
Some of our players are as impactful in-game – on Summoners’ Rift, Coastline, Inferno, DFH Stadium – as they are out of the game.
As an organization, we always try to make it so that the players can feel good. We don’t want to tell them: “Hey, this is a super serious business. Your lives will be miserable for the next few months”
We want them to have structure, and in the form that they can enjoy that structure. Chaos is bad. When you have chaos, you have much less room for creativity.
Each person also comes with their own structure though, in their minds. They are individuals who think and behave differently. If one player is conflict-shy, you don’t want to change them. You just want to bring the best out of them, and help them become the best that they can be.
That’s just the deal you get when it comes to players. You soak up the consequences that they bring.
For example, Perkz has been with us for four years. In the first few weeks, people complained that we trash talked too much, or that he was too cocky. We call that confidence, and it’s something we accepted when he joined us.
We provide the players with the guidance of what is a no-go for us. That forms a box – a very big box – where they can play around and do whatever they want. They can grow, and learn, and become what they want to become.
That’s the difference between G2 Esports and anywhere else.
Image Credit: Riot Games