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178. Jonathan Pan, Amazon Games, Facebook Gaming, Riot Esports
Episode 1786th January 2022 • Business of Esports • Paul Dawalibi
00:00:00 01:06:36

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In this episode with special guest Jonathan Pan (Head of Strategy & Operations at Facebook Gaming), we discuss behind the scenes insights from Amazon Games and Riot Games, the outlook for esports leagues, why Mixer failed, building esports startups, the initial success of Amazon's New World compared to previous failures, and so much more!

Transcripts

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Welcome to the business of esports podcast, the official podcast of esports. We

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explore the intersection of business and esports, one of the fastest growing industries in the world

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and the future. Have fun. Please welcome your host Paul esports. Prophet Dawalibi. The business of

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esports podcast begins now.

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From the keyboard to the boardroom. This is the business of esports podcast. I am Paul Dawalibi.

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I'm joined today by my friend and co host, The Honorable Judge Jimmy burrata. For those of you

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who are new to the podcast. Welcome to the official podcast of esports. What we do here is we

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cover the most pressing, gaming and esports topics and news of the week. We look at all of it through

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a business and C suite lens, we dissect, we analyze the business implications of everything

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happening in this industry. For our regular listeners. Thank you guys for coming back every

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week. Thank you for all the love the five star ratings and reviews. Thank you for telling your

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friends and family about the podcast. If you haven't already, go on your favorite podcast app,

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whatever it is Spotify, Google Play Apple podcast, wherever you, you consume this show, wherever you

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listen to us or watch us and either subscribe to it, or leave a review. If you love it. Even better

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if you leave a review, so we really appreciate it's how other people find the podcast. Jimmy, how

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you doing this week? Hey, Paul. Hey, to all our listeners. Happy New Year, everybody. This is our

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first show of 2022 and that's pretty exciting.

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You know, it is like every day is sort of melded into itself is the problem when you're not in the

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office every day. I just have forgotten I have wished so many people happy new year in the last

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few days. But yes, you're right. I was I will say you keep getting Tanner and Tanner so watching

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just won't see me gonna blend into the chair.

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But I'm doing I'm doing great. Paul had a great New Year holiday had a great holiday break was

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trying to get a couple things across the line last minute and just got bombarded with with so many

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inbound requests and emails and you know, everyone seems to be back at it ready to take advantage of

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the new year so there's some exciting energy going around. Definitely. You know, I sent you something

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Jimmy for like a little Christmas slash New Year's gift that my appreciation for you.

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And I know it hasn't arrived yet, but I'm hoping by next week's show it'll it'll be here because I

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actually want to see it on the show. Okay, it's my it's my promise to our listeners or people who

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watch us that you will at least get to show it on the show. It's that it's it's kind of fun. I will

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say I have similar hopes for what I said you know that'll be a fun kind of like a Secret Santa you

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know but on the podcast and it's not secret it's just like a surprise gifts. So that'll be fun.

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Hopefully it coincides did you get to play any games over New Year or nothing? I haven't I played

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yesterday for the first time in maybe two months. There's just a lot of family a lot of celebration

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and different things going on where my squad we all decided to take some time away from our

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regular schedule. So we hopped on last night played Call of Duty which I swore off of for about

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30 minutes until it was so frustrating that we left and played Halo Halo was pretty fun and

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actually I reinstalled fortnight last night so so watch out oh my god this is desperation

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installing fortnight This is bottom of the we're scraping the bottom of the barrel here this node

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2017 2018 were some of the some of the best gaming of my life I think and I just had those beer

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goggles right that looked back and I thought you know the the group of us thought you know, we

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really loved playing fortnight back then. I think we're just going to get clapped. But you know,

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maybe that's what it takes. Yeah, so

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I was speaking you speak of Halo I was with someone sent me this really cool chart of the

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accuracy distribution for players on mouse and keyboard versus player on controller and and what

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its distribution of controller players like their accuracy, their average accuracy significantly

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higher than mouse and keyboard players. And that's all I had to see to basically swear off Halo I'm

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like I'm not playing a bunch of with a bunch of aim assist kiddies Who all think they're really

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good at the game when the games ain't really aiming for them. Let's face it playing mouse and

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keyboard and I'm better than my squat. So I'm going to go group dust off my Elite Controller

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plug it in and take it to another level that's great Intel

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Look, I don't want to waste any more time. Jimmy we have I would say one of the best guests we have

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ever had on the show and I think that saying something given you know the This is episode 178

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By the way of the business of esports podcast in case you're if anyone's following along although

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that's actually sort of a misnomer because we we we used to do after shows but we called them be

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episodes like one

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72 B or whatever. So this is really probably episode like 230 or 240, but officially episode

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178. And I think maybe one of the biggest best guests we've ever had on the show. And, you know,

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I don't know how much introduction he really needs. But we have none other than Jonathan pan,

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who is head of strategy and operations for Facebook gaming. John, welcome to the business of

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esports podcast. Thanks, guys. Really excited to chat with you today.

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John, for the few people who maybe don't know about you would love a little bit of your

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background, how you got into gaming, you know, what you did before Facebook gaming, maybe if you

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can talk to what you're focused on now, but would love a bit of the John's story for for our

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audience?

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Sure. So, you know, my first role or foray into gaming was as a product manager at Riot Games. And

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it was around the 2014 time period. And that was a very exciting time, because that's when we league

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Legends was really popular. But it got really popular around that same time, and also Twitch

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became super popular around the time, they were the combination of a game like League of Legends

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and the company's investment into esports. And with the rise of Twitch, it all kind of like

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coalesced together into into a couple of big ears and big moments. So I got

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a really got a front row seat as seeing you know, at the time and I still think you know, today Lila

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is still the biggest esport grow.

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And while I was at Riot, I thought wow, seeing all this firsthand, I need to get into this myself.

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And I was a bit

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cocky, frankly, and I didn't really understand like raise money or start a company but a you

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know, how hard could it be? You know, I want to be like, you know, the market today, sports and

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actually email the guy too, because I think he's his email. I forgot what some of these like Mark

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cuban@gmail.com like, Hello Bar. I like to eat you. They do this like I'll just

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and for six months, I got nowhere I left right I prefer so I should probably you know have like

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drafted like some documents or plan before I left but I think I operate better when my back is to

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the wall. So so I just laugh I'm like, Okay, I'm gonna go do like a esports startup. You know, I

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didn't even know what at the time. And I started like meandering brainstorming pitching tons of

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companies. And you know, at first it's kind of exciting. Like, yeah, I'm Yeah, I got this

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ammonia, I got a cool pitch with CAA. They're taking me out to like a Nokian bird and cross the

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street, like one and died like nothing I got no. Like, I got no funding, no contracts, no, nothing.

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No job offers nothing. And it seemed like people just wanted to like talk to me about esports but I

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wasn't getting anywhere. And then I did something pretty well not interest, pretty obvious, which

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was I create like a newsletter around the business of esports. And I had a platform was starting at

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the temple of medium. So I just started writing. So my thoughts which I already was presenting to

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these companies, I just wrote on medium and I had like a newsletter with like 300 people, right? And

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that really helped me a lot because I got a I got my information to the right people and then they

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started reaching out to me, so that was so that was great. And that's when I met a person named

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Yen's Hilger he's the He's the founder or one of the co founders of big craft and he was like hey

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come you know work for come work for me and like Berlin but technically working remote in LA but

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you get the point his company was based in LA time. And I was like, Sure why not? Oh yeah, we'll

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come cover interview and it's funny because back then you know he he was just it was a small shop

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there wasn't like you know, HR person or anything so yeah, I'll just like PayPal you and you go is

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that enough to cover the ticket so good.

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So So I so I go there and I miss the super amazing they're super early and super persistent. I mean,

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because people really know about them today. But back then they were really just it was like an

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idea right?

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And what was crazy was you know accept the offer on the way back from Berlin

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I was supposed to go from Berlin to LA I got this like random Facebook message from from from

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friend. He's like, hey,

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one of my buddy is working for investor he will talk to you about esports very accepted this offer

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so you know, well, you know what's like Vegas. What's the point because I tried it. It didn't

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work out. I kind of I accepted the offer which I will stand by

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But yeah, why not? YOLO let's go meet this billionaire. So I fly to San Francisco. I go

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there. And I'm not gonna mention the guy's name, but it's hilarious meeting him because when he

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gave me his address, I remember I took an Uber there. And they dropped me off in the middle of

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the street. I was looking for the house number.

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Street. So like if the street

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kind of fun door Street, and it's just a crate. It's just so crazy. Like, I knock on this giant,

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you know, wood gate. He loves me in this guy's got like, I don't know, it's like a movie. He's got

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like seven cars felt like parking like a V formation. And he comes out with this, like, he's

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eating like a frozen pizza. Just so weird. And I'm like, Oh, my God, what's going on here?

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You're chatting about esports. And he's like, he's like, Well, I understand you just took this job.

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But, you know, when you want to do your life, like, you know, kind of the kind of thing. I was

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like, Well, you know, it would be nice to sir. In esports see focus on Liga legends because he's

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worked at Riot Games. He was like, why don't you do both? Why don't you? He's like, How much money

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do you need? I was like, based on my calculations, 4 million for two years, which at the time seemed

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like a lot. But you know, LCS teams now. It's like, like a nickel. Right? Like, we they're

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burning lots of cash. So he's like, You know what? I'll give you two and let's get started. But he's

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like, why don't you call your new boss and talk about it? So I called him and I said, Hey, you

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know, I don't want to rename. I told you, I was gonna do this. I want to do this. But is there a

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way I could do both? Because this guy's offered me 2 million bucks. I kind of want, I want to take

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it. He's like, Oh, this guy, oh, I want this guy to be invested for me to

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do it. You you figure out your time. You know, your work life balance or whatever. But yeah, go

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work for that guy.

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So that's how I got into doing this esports team called ember. And that was like my minor fame in

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esports, when we were trying to figure out ways to compete against. So we purchased the Challenger

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spot from cloud nine. So at the time, there was relegation. So we thought our strategy was hasty.

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We buy LEC and LCS spot for a million, which we thought oh my god, it's crazy, like 50% of our of

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our cash, which now in hindsight, we should just got off the spot. But anyways, we need something

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like 100k or something like 30k, actually, like 30k for us, like challenger spot. And, and

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remember, this point is funny, later, but we purchase our own cloud nine from Jack. And our

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whole strategy was, hey, we're going to pay players actual salaries. But they play in

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challenger, and hopefully, they're motivated to, you know, be the lowest teams, the lowest two

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teams

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in LCS.

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So we pay them something like, you know, between 80k and 100k at the time, once again, today, when

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you look at the numbers today, you're like, Okay, what's it what's the big deal here? By the time

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people were like, slamming me, like I had all the UN the North American LCS teams flaming me like,

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Oh, God, like rich VCs coming in here ruining everything

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that they were paying people in, like keyboards. It was true, like.

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So that was our clinical minor fame and esports, where we publish all of our salaries. And we said,

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we were going to be the first team in North America to only hire North American players.

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It didn't really turn out well for us, but we tried it at the time. And we were you know, we

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made a whole documentary about it, we put it on YouTube. We're trying to be a media company. So

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it's like hybrid, like 100 themes, but we're not to that level of branding. I mean, their branding

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is awesome. And trying to do this whole relegation thing before right you know, right shut down

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franchise.

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So one final story and then maybe you guys had a couple of points you want jump in here because I

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you know, my blog I've done so many stories is so you know, eventually this this team, we disbanded

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our funding when our investor pulled out. And I'm not sure whether to share this reason, but the

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reason it's so crazy. Your reason is because we were in playoffs, playoffs before we get into

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relegation game. And our investors said, Hey, if you win this game, this match is specified. So

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even before you even go into relegation, if you win, he has like a bet with like Elon Musk, and

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like for X amount of dollars, and Elon Musk will pay him if we if we win, and then he has to pay

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him if we lose.

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So in my mind, I mean, and now I mean, look, I mean, he was huge back then, but he's even cuter

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now as I'm such a fanboy. I'm like, oh my god, like

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Essentially he can also buy ways not just pay him money but be an investor. Like, oh my God, what do

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you have him on your cap table? I mean, you can get Anyway that's it. Yeah.

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So and and the worst feeling is, I can't tell you one when I do tell my players and by the way,

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you know, you know, XYZ but if you win Yeah, we get all this we give him $2 So I couldn't tell him

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I had to hold it. So I'm watching I have never watched this game of League of Legends so intently

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in my life. First game, I swear to God, I felt like I was like a clown that like, oh my god,

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like, this is crazy, like a movie. We lose an XY and I was like, okay, reality, but best of three,

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we lose the next one. Now he's calling me on the cell phones. Okay, what's going on? I was nervous,

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sweating beads, I think bullets, and then we ultimately lose. And then it was kinda like a

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devastating loss given that the information that just knew

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to make it worse.

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Our investor pulled out a couple weeks later, because he thought it was too expensive to own an

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esports team himself, which was kind of wild because as I said at the time, that burn rates

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seem high, but today it's kind of like nothing. And

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partially it's my fault because I had opportunities to get other investors. But I was

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this you know, first time cocky CEO like you know, the valuations too low. I think I should just take

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it. I was I was dumb. Now I know. Yeah.

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Diversify my investor base. So he pulls out we have shut down the team.

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The ultimate salt in the wound, is if we go Google TDK Renegades Riot Games ruling is that the team

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that beat us, they colluded with a team that was being relegated

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like, I mean, this is like arcane knowledge. But you do a Google a so So basically, the traded

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player without

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officially trading the player, like, like as if, for lack of a better example. It's kind of like

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the Lakers loaning LeBron. They didn't get LeBron, but the Lakers loaning LeBron to the Knicks,

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without Knicks ever paying LeBron, like the Lakers are still playing paying him.

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It's all like documented, like his competitive ruling on the Vikings website. And yeah, that was

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like salt in the wound, because if we just did nothing waited like three weeks,

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I think we would have been permitted to at least compete again, because of that, you know, the two

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teams colluding and then the owners, I think they, the owners of the teams were like barred from

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owning like Liga Legends team for life for something. I was gonna say, How funny would it be

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if it was Elon who had who had sort of the who would sort of, you know, set this whole thing?

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That would be wild. But I know he's a huge gamer. And it's esports, who knows what he's capable of.

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I've definitely send more emails with the word collusion in all caps. And I can recall right now,

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it's like one of the one of those terms that they're around how terrible to actually experience

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it, though.

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Yeah. So John, just

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I'm curious. I have so many questions, but like, what was the I'm curious, this billionaire, first

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of all, just you don't have to name names? Are they still invested in gaming or esports? At all?

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Do you know? I'm pretty sure they are. Yeah. Because I'm always worried a little bit. And I've

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talked about this on the podcast with, you know, some, sometimes big investors get burned. And

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these teams, a lot of them will fail. You know, a lot of like, the 100, thieves in the world

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probably will succeed, there's probably, you know, a handful that will succeed and become quite big.

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But I think a lot will fail. The question is how many investors get burned in the meantime, right?

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Yeah, it's nice to see that he or she is still around with it. And I don't want to like, name

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him, but I'm pretty sure he and Elon invested in the same team. So interesting. People who know

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what that to me, I think I think they did. So for after Emperor John, is that when you went to

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Amazon? Or can you kind of bring us up a little bit more current? Yeah, exactly. So after Ember, I

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had to really like figure out what to do with my life, you know, should I get a job? Should I try

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again, I actually tried to convert Ember into maybe like, like calling the Ember Academy where,

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you know, I thought at the time people would maybe spend their summers in Santa Monica, under the

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tutelage of LCS players. And that didn't really pan out, like the business model didn't really

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work out. However, you know, even as of early recent, as a couple months ago, when I interviewed

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the now current CEO of Genji Arnold, he said, they you know, it's on the website. They're doing this

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in Korea, and it seems to be working. So maybe we just had these pretty cool ideas, but timing is so

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important in startups and we were just ahead of our time and maybe even market I think, Korean

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market

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I can see this or are in Asia in general working out better than the US, especially with the PC

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bond culture in Korea and in China.

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So, I did join Amazon's head of esports. But before that I had this like, interim year where I

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was working for this VC firm called RE ventures in New York. And I mentioned that because that was a

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very interesting experience, because I worked a lot with. So it was both a VC slash consulting

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firm. And one of our biggest clients, which acquired us was Turner. So I got to learn a lot

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about like Turner, because that wasn't a world I worked in. And at the time, Turner was really

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heavily invested in

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Eleague. So it's very fascinating to see their investment in that just going to Atlanta, and

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Atlanta, like everything's like, you know, Turner, right? They don't see an Andy all these things,

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looking at their broadcast studios, wow. Like they really took like, you know, best in class TV level

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stuff, and apply it to esports. And they try to do it right. So so that was interesting experience to

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learn about the media side of it. Ultimately, a former colleague at Riot, who joined Amazon

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recruited me as head of esports for the Orange County studio.

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And that is, that's a whole whirlwind. But the quick summary there was I there's a game during

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the game called Breakaway, which, you know, if you look up, I just kind of like it. And there has

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been recently a couple of games that looked like it. And they're like, moderately successful.

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But the idea was, it's a game where you had a ball and a score goals, but you're not, you know, like

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soccer or basketball players, you have like weapons. So you got to like, do a little like, FGC

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action in the middle, like you're getting the ball. So it was awesome. It was innovative. I kind

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of liked it. But I think, as it pertains to this podcast, what was interesting is that we focus so

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much on what esports teams wanted, and not enough on what the general population wanted. So all

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these esports teams, they were like, Yep, great game is going to be a huge success. And they're

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all behind it. They're all going to create teams.

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But then we just didn't get that much general traction. And I think that was a major lesson

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learned for me, twofold. One is, you need a huge player base to have these like Mega games that are

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gonna last for 1015 years, like League of Legends. So you can't just cater to like, one segment. And

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the second thing I learned, which is mainly around like game development,

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is that, you know, esports teams aren't example. Also streamers. They're like the,

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like the louder voices. You can only listen to the louder voices, there's this kind of silent

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majority, right? But how do you get feedback from them? I still don't I don't know the answer to

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that. But I what I do know is, if I work on another game team, I'm not going to just go listen

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to the loudest voices, because they're not the only voices out there.

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So after Breakaway, since we had no other esports title, I had to get like a new role. So I switched

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to be head of community for new world, and also focusing on Twitch integrations. So I was like,

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the main point of contact between Amazon game studios, and, and Twitch.

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And that was fascinating itself. Because as many people suspect, the you know, they're like,

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you know, Amazon can, in my opinion, they can't really tell Twitch what to do. Right? It's,

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there's, there's give and take. And I kind of like that, because Twitch wants its independence.

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They're not just there to show like Amazon games, like it's got to be good. If it's not good,

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they're going to be the first ones to tell you, which is what I really liked, because we have so

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many Twitch employees playtests our games.

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And also, it was another interesting experience for me, because

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to date in this conversation I've been focused on like, the bigger the big name streamers. Whereas

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for new role, it's like MMO, right. And people have been talking about this for many years now

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but just heard for the last couple of years, I would say there are a couple of bigger MMO

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shimmers maybe like but you know, a handful, like maybe like five. So we're working with up and

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comers as part of our strategy to say like, Hey, can we like invest in them and they invest in us.

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And although I wasn't at Amazon during the time to launch, I saw some of the names of the roster of

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the streamers you work with. It was cool to see that some of the people we picked out in like 2018

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stuck around not only with us until 2021 But just like surviving as a streamer super hard to survive

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the streamer a lot of people up and they have an MMO streamer. Right. Exactly, or like a variety

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streamer who happens, right? It's just it's a tough it's a tough business. So um

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And then we'll talk about this property a bit later, but then switch to another team called

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Amazon kids, which I think I think there's something interesting about kids and gaming and

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fortnight and Roblox and Minecraft and Epic Games and super awesome. Their acquisition and capa and

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privacy. But But after I worked here for two years, and then I joined Facebook where I am

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today, as head of strategy and operations,

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management I have I have like a million questions. Okay, so let me let me start with

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your time a little bit at Riot versus some of the time you spent on Amazon. And because I like to

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come back to sort of themes we cover on the podcast and NadeShot was in the news this week,

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okay. NadeShot came out and said basically, that he was a fool, or potentially he's a fool for

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buying a cod league spot, right? Because he thinks the way the scene is going or the way Activision

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is managing it, you know, cod league will be dead in two years. I'm paraphrasing roughly sort of

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what what his comment was?

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Did you notice, you know, being at Riot versus being at Amazon, where you tried to build this

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esports scene around breakaway or whatever, right? Like, what is it that Riot did so well, you think

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that no one else seems to be able to do like, what is that thing that stood out for you in terms of

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building a successful esports scene? You know, honestly, Riot just didn't give a damn about

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spending. They are they really like their motto, they really believe in No, you know, there's other

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other news about rankings right now, out there. And you know, there's pros and cons of the company

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but one thing I think we're I games as well is that

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if they want to do something for players, they go all the way they don't care about like ROI now.

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Obviously, I think their esports team was was like 10 years into it or like season nine or whatever

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it now and now they're like calculating ROI. And I believe they said already predicted that, either

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last year or this year will be the first profitable year for LCS. So yes, you know, they

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want to make it like the ROI positive thing. But they waited like 10 years, like no other company,

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I think

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would have the ponies to or the executive backing to do that. Right. So and it worked out for them.

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So you know, the proof is in the pudding. Now.

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Yeah, active. Nisha, actually, you know, I hate to say it, but I agree with him. And I was surprised

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he went into it. And I love that. I mean, spicy, you know, esports gossip. I love that. He just

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went out there. He pulled what? Jack Dorsey right Jack Dorsey is going crazy on Twitter recently,

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too. I love it.

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And I think it's just really analyze like, what the heck's going on with Activision Blizzard as a

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whole, right? Like, first of all, there's Blizzard kind of, for lack of a better word. It's kind of

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like imploding a bit. There's so many departments, they just don't make games anymore, but they're

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not in that business. And I feel I mean, I love Blizzard games. I grew up on Blizzard games, but

Unknown:

you know when you go on, and it's like, you scroll the air five seconds is one lever from from

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good merch, though good word.

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And there's always this kind of, you know, narrative out there that you know, Activision is

Unknown:

trying to impose things. Not only on the game studios, but also on the esports teams. And I know

Unknown:

a lot of people who's working on your esports teams, and I'm sure you've got lots of SPICY HOT

Unknown:

takes on on what happened. But eventually, I think the way things played out was they hired

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you guys remember, but it was like a meme. They hired this guy, Tony, who was like a, like a

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senior guy at the Major League Baseball, right? Make sure that baseball. Remember, we made plenty

Unknown:

of fun of that. Great, so we've got you know, someone from you know, baseball has the oldest

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demographic of all the US professional league sports, you know, we have this person coming

Unknown:

around actually, in his defense, I actually met with him and I spoke with him. He was actually

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super forward thinking

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interesting and that's all I can say about that. But he's no longer gonna say about that. So I

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think irrespective of his background, they create this thing called like Activision Blizzard esports

Unknown:

League amo and you know, there's some centralization probably in the Activision side of

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things

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and it's just expensive work it's just such a super expensive thing probably went and you know,

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to answer it has a really Renovo way to answer your question of, you know, why does what I do?

Unknown:

Well, one, I think, right, just persistent. They're committed to it over a decade. And other

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thing was, they didn't yes, they had like a League of Legends World Championship and seasons two and

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three. Even one technically with one was kind of a LAN party. But they didn't kind of like flood the

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community.

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or the scene with so much money, I think. Whereas I think Overwatch at the time, I think they saw an

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opportunity. So okay, cool. I'll just franchise immediately off the bat sell these bots. So I

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understand the intent of it.

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And hopefully Overwatch two comes out to be decent. But yeah, like and then do on top of that

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league make CDL

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you just need a lot of people to like make these properties good. Okay, one last comment on this,

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which is maybe spicy hot take is just go check LinkedIn, right, like, you know, where two people

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working on this stuff at on the activation side. I think a lot of them are from professional sports.

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I know a lot of them and actually really smart people. They're great. And I think the thing is,

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like, you know, like, for me,

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if I work most of my career in the gaming industry, if I try to apply that to something

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else, I'll be coming with a gaming lens. So you're coming from sports lens. And that's why

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everything's like sports for sports. Yeah, but the I mean, you guys are like just fans of esports.

Unknown:

And they'll feel that vibe from Liga legends like LCS, it doesn't feel like sports, sports sports,

Unknown:

it just feels like this its own thing. And there's some really good quotes from some head of esports

Unknown:

at Riot or, you know, recently this year or last year. And they're saying, you know, that's what

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they thought they tried to do, like, okay, let's bring best in class sports broadcasting and things

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like that even acquired somebody new or, you know, in the beginning of the days to do this,

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ultimately realize it's kind of like a, it's a hybrid. It's like, it's like a new genre almost

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right with its own. You know, fan esports fans want to view each different esport in their own

Unknown:

way. And, and the biggest lesson for me as I was working at Amazon, these other big tech firms is

Unknown:

just listen to the users and get out of their way. Right? Because that's what REITs good at, right?

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It's like, hey, fans want esports let's give it to them. It's not overwhelm them. Right? But I think

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other people trying to, like come into your or leverage gaming and why do I love it? Because

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they're, they're, they're paying high salaries, or they're investing in the space.

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They view it as more of just okay, we've dominated this vertical. Let's go do that next. Right, let's

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dominate every vertical whereas I think, yeah, maybe you know, maybe I'm biased because I'm, I'm

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a gamer. I like gaming, I feel like gamers are just like, too smart for that. You can't just come

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in with the same pitch. And like, I just hate you know, you always see these commercials. It's

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always like Doritos, and Mountain Dew, like come on, give me their I'm like that anymore, man.

Unknown:

That's like 1980 and even 1980s. Maybe not all gamers are like that they probably weren't. So

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like, the powers that may be just like, chill and like, Get with the times. But gaming definitely is

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a huge industry. Like, it's a good business decision to invest in it. For the love of God, you

Unknown:

know, like, do it right. It's, I think the insight. I don't think that take was spicy because

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I agree wholeheartedly with it. But I think for a lot of people that will be a spicy take, and I

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think super insightful. John, let me just press a little bit on this a one step further, which is,

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do you believe that if we fast forward five years or 10 years then that most other than riot esports

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leagues and maybe some mobile esports in Asia, that we won't see sort of thriving successful,

Unknown:

profitable esports leagues like that the riot seems to be the only one who has sort of figured

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out the formula or, or do you see sort of the problems getting fixed and, and these things sort

Unknown:

of come back? I'm actually kind of pessimistic even though I love this space, because I'm making

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I mean, we're like this is all happening, you know, as we're as we're living, so it's hard to

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like put like a epoch on things but like, since esports moving so fast, I feel like you know, when

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Overwatch League came out, there was a couple like four or five years ago that was maybe I don't

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know, like

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a huge investment in esports across all game developers, right? And don't forget, I mean, Epic

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Games hired

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me from from Blizzard mindshare, Overwatch League to go to go to Epic but what are they doing?

Unknown:

esports and maybe they're doing the right thing. Maybe they realize that for fortnight. It's not

Unknown:

going to be like Overwatch League or LCS and it decided not to do it. Maybe they did the right

Unknown:

move. I have no idea. Or maybe he felt like it was their, their their better investments by working

Unknown:

with artists and doing Metaverse type stuff. I have no idea. But just no one has a track record

Unknown:

of being able to do it besides one company. That's kind of unfortunate. Yeah. And like, who else has

Unknown:

like the money and frankly, cool game to do it? I don't know. Like, right, like, you know, valorant

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looks really cool. It's like a whole new. So I think there's no secret but there you know, your

Unknown:

company's strategy, which I love is so simple, is you're gonna create a genre defining games.

Unknown:

They've made it

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r&d funding came from MOBA you know Dota two kind of second place maybe distant second, I would say.

Unknown:

And now FPS I don't even know the numbers but it's probably top three FPS game if not one of the

Unknown:

coolest newest FPS games out there. So but once again companies are living organisms and it's

Unknown:

super cool to have like worked out a couple and then like look at what's happening like you know a

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couple like eight years later and just some people are still there some people have left some people

Unknown:

went back to get to hear these things. So I think all these companies are living organisms and even

Unknown:

though we may hear you know, good things about Company A I hear like so many bad things about

Unknown:

company two and then maybe we kind of talked about how Blizzard wasn't doing so well. But what if

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they come out and they smash it with like Diablo four and like Overwatch two? I don't know, maybe

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they do. Who knows? I don't know. I don't know, I talked them out. Never talked them out. But it

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just like new people new culture. And honestly, the number one thing I've noticed at these

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companies is like leadership, if you have a leader who really has a vision about gaming, and they're

Unknown:

really committed to investing in it, you're gonna do good if you just have like an accountant, like

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so. But some companies have a you know who they are. Like, he says, just the proof is in the

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pudding, go look at it. Right. Well, look, please, you're giving me 11 years.

Unknown:

John, I just I want to hit on one other thing you mentioned in that last part, which was, you know,

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not listening necessarily to the loudest voice in terms of game development. And that whole process

Unknown:

and I want to tie this into sort of my own beef with new world in a second here, even though I'm a

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huge I'm the biggest MMO nerd maybe of all.

Unknown:

But you know, Doctor disrespect came out recently. And you know, he said he was launching Midnight's

Unknown:

society, they raise some money, and it's all about what they're calling like, I think they the term

Unknown:

they use is de Zero game development, where it's like, they're consulting with players and

Unknown:

influencers from like, before a line of code is even written. Right. And, and my take on that was,

Unknown:

well, I don't really know, right? Like, it's a bit it can be a bit of a rabbit hole when you start

Unknown:

listening to everybody's opinion.

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I'm curious where you fall on that. Right? Do you think this is genius? Do you think if they're

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gonna fall flat on their face with this, you know, given the experience you had at Amazon,

Unknown:

maybe in that context,

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a little bit of both? So So I think that's what Amazon did, really,

Unknown:

to some degree with their first couple of titles, they, you know, some people there were some good

Unknown:

game designers who came up with like, high level, like, look, there's, there's really no one can be

Unknown:

with with Wow, says make an MMO that that's a good business sense. And it's good timing.

Unknown:

But, you know, it's kind of a meme. But, you know,

Unknown:

in addition to esports, consultants, there's also game design consultants. Right. And you've got,

Unknown:

you know, God, just spicy, but just, you know, former board members of other, you know, publicly

Unknown:

traded game companies coming in XYZ places, and they're telling you what to do. And I think,

Unknown:

either that's what Amazon tried. And, you know, it didn't work out for a couple of games, and you

Unknown:

will it worked out, but I think you will working out is more of, in my opinion, when they were

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like, Okay, we got no feedback. Let's just call us as a team that wasn't there at the time when they

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kind of re changed things up. Because even nine months ago, PR articles or New World was this game

Unknown:

is dead.

Unknown:

And people hate it. But I think the team just like went back to join table. They did tweet didn't

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change anything, tweet things. But it was just from, you know, just professional game designers.

Unknown:

And sometimes we get it wrong sometimes to get it right. And I think in this case, they got it

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right.

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So I think it's dangerous. You know, if that's what doc wants to do, but on the other hand, I

Unknown:

think it could be also super fun, because he's not a game studio. He's an influencer. So maybe, you

Unknown:

know if he does it, and maybe he I don't know, like, if I were him, I would just get crazy, do

Unknown:

whatever I want. Right? I would just probably like live stream like game design sessions. And it's

Unknown:

almost like Twitch, which designs games? I don't know, I think he's type of guy will try to do

Unknown:

something like this maybe right? So for him, even if it's like a flop, but the game development

Unknown:

costs like well, he's not gonna make that big of a, I think, I don't know, I haven't had to do more

Unknown:

research, but he's not gonna like recruit like 100 person team. So small team agile making smaller

Unknown:

prototypes and stuff. So he can afford to fail. Whereas these bigger tech companies when they go

Unknown:

in, it's like, you know, it's a billion dollars. So it's just, it's too big of an investment to

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like, mess around with Jimmy. I don't know if you wanted to jump in here. I still have some

Unknown:

questions, but I'll let you jump in. Yeah, you know, I kind of wanted to take a left turn if you

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guys don't mind, because we were talking a lot about you know, why is riot so successful? And

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John kind of mentioning you are a little pessimistic about you know, certain futures for

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certain companies. And this is alluding to something we had touched on, you know, before

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recording, I'm not gonna pull any punches. John, I'm just gonna ask you straight up, you know,

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Why do you think mixer failed? What insight can you offer there? Let's go big. Oh, man.

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So from what I heard, from what I heard,

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what mixer did? Well, first of all, I think it's smart that Microsoft wanted their own streaming

Unknown:

platform, right? Because on all these tech companies realize that they want to have some game

Unknown:

development, they want to have some game streaming, they want to have kind of like, game

Unknown:

engines, right, like game development, cloud stuff, I think with mixer,

Unknown:

what they learned was that getting just one or two top people like Ninja and trout wasn't good

Unknown:

enough. You probably need like, a lot more. I think another thing they did I heard rumor is

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that,

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you know, other contracts they were they increase the broadcast amount more than the industry

Unknown:

standard at the time.

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That is kind of like, you know, committing suicide most it's like, if Twitch requires you to do less,

Unknown:

and you're going to get a bigger audience here because everybody there? Why in the world would

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you go do that do stream more on a platform when no one. And I'll tell you what to do the logic, I

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actually understand the logic, the logic is, you know, the people who implemented this was that if

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you don't stream enough, you're not going to build an audience. I totally agree with but the number

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they ended up picking was like, in my opinion, insulting to streamers, because you're assuming

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streamers, just robots, and you could just do like, you know, eight to 10 hours a day. And like,

Unknown:

no problem. Like, whenever you got to take a vacation when you got to XYZ, I mean, yes, they

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had leeway for this, but just just just the number that they picked. It's triple digit number in

Unknown:

terms of hours, I think is not kosher with me if I were running a platform. So what are the learnings

Unknown:

we can extrapolate then from from something like your time with riot, what you see with other

Unknown:

companies like mixer, you know, you know, the future as well as esports, which we haven't even

Unknown:

gotten into, you know, some of your other consulting and investing in other issues. I'm not

Unknown:

sure if you want to share about that or not. But I would love to, to extrapolate, I suppose in

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aggregate some themes here, as well as trends going into the future, mainly because with so much

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of your history, you just seem to be so early to a lot of really big exciting things that ended up

Unknown:

being huge, right? I want that I want that foresight on where we headed next. I think the

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theme of what I learned from companies I've done, quote unquote, things right in gaming broadly, is

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so simple, it's kind of just, you know, it sounds stupid to even say it. But, you know, rice mission

Unknown:

is to be the most player focused company in the world. Same thing with Amazon, right? The most

Unknown:

customer obsessed company in world but like it just so easy to say that like a company slogan or

Unknown:

mission.

Unknown:

But I do think because rides smaller company, they they actually could build that into their culture.

Unknown:

And they they really like they believe that like a religion, I think it's easier to have a legit and

Unknown:

a smaller company in the big company. So the main theme is just build things that people want,

Unknown:

right? Like, this is so spicy, but my game trouble but like, you know, like cloud gaming,

Unknown:

I understand the business reason of why companies will want to invest in it. But

Unknown:

you know, as a gamer, I don't just I don't see a lot of gamers clamoring like, I need some cloud

Unknown:

gaming, like where's my cloud gaming. So

Unknown:

maybe this is because North America centric, and we've got PCs, laptops, like bandwidth, you know,

Unknown:

everywhere. And maybe in third world countries, they don't have a PC. So they can play this triple

Unknown:

A game and they want to play on mobile.

Unknown:

I understand the logic behind it.

Unknown:

But also, in especially those rural countries, they seem to be like mobile games is killing it

Unknown:

there too. So but that doesn't mean these other cloud games will be killing it either. So just

Unknown:

build things that people want. And another thought was, I think the executive executives of these

Unknown:

companies should have just like a long term vision and all sounds lame and corny, but like, what's

Unknown:

your five year vision? There's so much Thrash. And like, you know, I'll give you one example. I

Unknown:

wasn't at Google. So I feel like I'm okay talking about it, which is truly outside and looking on

Unknown:

Twitter and LinkedIn, all this stuff. You know, they're invested in like, a first party game

Unknown:

studio, they're going to do Google stadia. And then I think it was like, very short is less than

Unknown:

two years, they shut the whole thing down. And all these game developers who quit their jobs at

Unknown:

probably companies they decently liked. Well, now they gotta, like, pivot to a different role within

Unknown:

Google and by the way, they get paid a lot. So you know, I don't feel bad for them. Or myself. Right.

Unknown:

You know, you know, these big tech firms pay good maybe you know, they

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And you know, I appreciate their investment in the space. But we could save them a lot more money and

Unknown:

the people working on a lot more headaches. If we just have a clear vision like hey, it'd be picky

Unknown:

right. I think another thing I noticed the third theme is, well, it kind of coordinated say, like

Unknown:

strategy for so many companies, they want to do everything. Like that's a strategy. The whole

Unknown:

definition of strategy is you pick one or two things to do, right. Part of strategy is what you

Unknown:

do not doing so and you know, just kind of picking on Amazon a bit. You know, when I joined 2017,

Unknown:

they were create game engine Lumberyard doing stuff like like Cloud game operations, first party

Unknown:

game studio,

Unknown:

exploring like publishing of titles,

Unknown:

Twitch re acquisition, that was the best move, frankly, right. And a bunch of other stuff. Like

Unknown:

how can you possibly get like 10 things right? I think even the 10 next people, you can't get 10

Unknown:

things right. I don't think it works like linearly. I think like a brother gaming team

Unknown:

should have like maybe, you know, two or max three focuses. And everyone just like attacks that

Unknown:

problem and tries to tries to get it right.

Unknown:

And the other in one last thing. Maybe it's connected. So one of the first things I said just

Unknown:

like the recognizing the time investments required. Yeah, I'm sure everyone heard about the

Unknown:

famous story about Overwatch. I think the project codename was like Titan or something. And you

Unknown:

know, they weren't in the castle that game but from the ashes that game decreed Overwatch.

Unknown:

You know, you probably heard about you know how long it took, right? I think even the CEO Riot

Unknown:

Games joked about how long it took him to add the s to Riot Games. But then, I think he was the end

Unknown:

of 2020 when they announced like or 2019 I forget the year, but like the announced, like seven new

Unknown:

games, right? Like so. It just these things take time. And

Unknown:

it's super hard. And I think you know, outside looking in it looks like oh, yeah, these companies

Unknown:

are printing money.

Unknown:

This year successful ones they are. But even for less you like fortnight, right? I mean,

Unknown:

you know, I think the earlier versions of fortnight weren't as successful, and they had to

Unknown:

build their game engine and all this stuff is just killing decades of investment. And then they've

Unknown:

got hits. And some some companies have hits and then like Supercell, I would argue they probably

Unknown:

haven't had that many recent hits. But they're still around and they're holding your quality bar

Unknown:

or not launching crap. So it's, you know, I guess the conclusion is gaming industry is so cool to

Unknown:

work in. But it's also kind of,

Unknown:

it could suck to work into, depending on the timing and situation, the company you're at. And I

Unknown:

guess it's like entertainment in general, right? Like, it looks glamorous on the outside, but it

Unknown:

could, it probably sucks for you know, more people than less people. So where do you think the future

Unknown:

of gaming is? You know, is it web three and sandbox gaming? Is it at some intersection of

Unknown:

esports and education? You know, where are you putting your time? Where are you putting your bet

Unknown:

on the next iteration, I suppose of our industry? That's such a good question. I know gaming is just

Unknown:

so prevalent now that there's so many experiences that have like game like components that I don't

Unknown:

know we're gonna call gaming gaming in the future now. Pure games like just like fortnight or Liga

Unknown:

legends, I think that's a game of other things. I don't even know what to call it's just like an

Unknown:

experience and

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so on the whole topic of like web three NF T's and all that.

Unknown:

I definitely see the utility of like NF T's of items or other experiences with games

Unknown:

I companies can do it already. I think Ubisoft tried it but they got some blowback. But But

Unknown:

ultimately, I think there's room for that their web three is more complicated I've been kind of

Unknown:

obsessed with the space played a couple games. Kevin Lin he his team does preggers implement a

Unknown:

game I played it it was super cool.

Unknown:

It was like a you know Unity game you play in a browser and like you have to play to earn as

Unknown:

you've heard, you know, the play axes and all that. So the concepts are they make sense? I don't

Unknown:

know which ones will take off or not. But ultimately, I mean the craziest idea I've had I

Unknown:

don't know if it's even technically feasible is I agree with the whole kind of the thesis behind web

Unknown:

three games which is you know, whether whether riot and Blizzard changed your mind a ban you and

Unknown:

now all your items and all your time spent whatever it is locked into the ecosystem,

Unknown:

theoretically, and that was technically feasible today, but you can build the whole game on the

Unknown:

blockchain and the

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Maybe players have, you know, players can make a Dao and you, you have like voting power. So let's

Unknown:

say, let's say right games no longer wants to maintain an old or Dead game. They may be the

Unknown:

users can vote to do it themselves or hire someone else to do it. But like the assets are not owned

Unknown:

by right anymore, right?

Unknown:

That could take off or it could not and people just enjoy playing Riot Games or Blizzard games

Unknown:

and they just keep making their quote unquote webtoon games.

Unknown:

So so not not many predictions besides the fact that I think

Unknown:

gaming to just feel like a lot like more prevalent in all aspects of our lives. And then to there's

Unknown:

something here I can't put my finger on it, but there's gonna be some big bet related to kids in

Unknown:

gaming. So I think if anything, Epic Games have proven themselves to be like an amazing at like

Unknown:

m&a, they always acquired the most interesting companies. So they acquired a company a couple

Unknown:

years ago called super awesome which is kidsave like advertising. I wouldn't even have no other

Unknown:

company on but I was working at Amazon kiss I was paying attention to the KidSpace so and then you

Unknown:

start thinking Wait, you know, what are the what are the three games over 100 million MT now? I

Unknown:

think it's Liga legends.

Unknown:

Maybe Roblox and

Unknown:

maybe roebucks is like a little under but Minecraft I think they're a little under. Yeah.

Unknown:

And then the third game there maybe, you know, like top five over 80 million. Right. So Roblox I

Unknown:

don't know their current numbers, but any IP owed 54% of their users were under 13. So what the

Unknown:

heck's going on here? Something interesting and why why are these especially you know, the legends

Unknown:

for probably young adults or older but robots Minecraft. We know, we don't know the exact

Unknown:

numbers for Microsoft or robots, but you know, it's around like 13 year old kids. And why 13 year

Unknown:

old kids really into the sandbox games or now they're gonna call themselves Metaverse games.

Unknown:

There's something here. Maybe Mark Zuckerberg is a freaking genius willing to recognize it. And this

Unknown:

is just like, he sees this and he's seen it. And now he's kind of put the whole company bet on all

Unknown:

this.

Unknown:

But kids seem to love it. And these kids were going to become the future gamers. Right? So you

Unknown:

spent 10 years or five years playing Minecraft. Maybe you play other Microsoft games. You play

Unknown:

other Roblox games? I don't know. But I think we're not paying enough attention to kids. That

Unknown:

just on the business side. The other the other side of the coin is how how the heck do you deal

Unknown:

with privacy and like economy once you do like what three NF T's like how's everybody to kids? I

Unknown:

have no idea. And I think they're gonna update Capo which is like the US law for privacy for

Unknown:

kids. So it's kind of scary at the same time to write do we really want like, do we really want

Unknown:

these millions of dollars and engineers and like, designers like figuring how to rewire our kids

Unknown:

minds to some degree because they want engagement? Right? They all want engagement? Test scary some

Unknown:

degree. I'm sure some parents also like it because during the pandemic, they're like, yeah, here's an

Unknown:

iPad, they'll you know, they'll play your game. So who knows, but the only thing I do know is I'm

Unknown:

glad I put gaming, like the industry I'm working in because I personally love it and it's growing

Unknown:

super fast. Lots of mistakes, lots of hiccups, explosions, implosions lots of wins. So I think if

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you just stick around for a while, you get to experience these cool things. If you just survive,

Unknown:

you'll you'll do fine. John, you know, the kids thing to me, was so core to my own thesis and my

Unknown:

own sort of,

Unknown:

you know, reason for pivoting, you know, 100% of my time and focus and effort to gaming a few years

Unknown:

ago. Because to me, the outcome becomes inevitable, right? When you have hundreds of

Unknown:

millions of kids all growing up with this right under 13.

Unknown:

Gaming regularly like to me, you know, there's a future for a massive future for the industry that

Unknown:

even people are massively under estimating in my mind, right. We're talking about an industry that

Unknown:

will be worth trillions, not billions.

Unknown:

And, and, and so one of these, you know, the whole kids thing is fascinating to me as well. One of

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the questions I had for you is like when you looked at those platforms, when you look at the

Unknown:

Roblox or Minecraft in Minecraft, by the way, has way over 100 million monthly actives. Now,

Unknown:

is there concern that with these platforms that are seemingly more targeted at kids, you know,

Unknown:

Roblox does have some older players, but as you pointed out, the bulk is kids, that the the

Unknown:

challenge with those platforms is you age out, right, like you age up and out. And then and then

Unknown:

that customer essentially is gone.

Unknown:

You know, is there a future where these platforms retain players over a longer period of time or you

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just think it's the nature of sort of a product aimed at kids that they're going to age out of it?

Unknown:

I think you're spot on. I think that's exactly what they're trying to figure out which is

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How do they maintain these players? Is it because maybe, maybe younger kids want to play sandbox

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games? Or you know, Metaverse type games, and then maybe they become, you know, teenagers because you

Unknown:

know, the biggest game for teenagers, everyone is extending fortnight type games, right? And then

Unknown:

you get into the quote unquote, like young adult games like, so is it, you know, do each game

Unknown:

developer or these big tech firms are getting into gaming, they want to have like, some games in each

Unknown:

category. And now they you know, the dark side, I guess, like, they keep your information and like,

Unknown:

they track you and your purchases, like since you're, like, seven, or whatever. And now you're

Unknown:

just like, buying a bet on Amazon Prime, you know, like, in a weird, dystopian future, I guess that

Unknown:

is kind of where things can lead to. But I'm just using gaming example. They could do this in other

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ways, too. It could be through content, right? They could be kids are watching Netflix, even

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though their you know, three year olds are watching Netflix, right? So they've got your data?

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I don't know. They don't have like the data as we you know, as like an adult, but there's something

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and how do you grow? Like, what happens if we even know, right? The kids, the kids who grew up

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watching Netflix, like what does that mean? Like? Are they Netflix already, like, going back to real

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old school, they think I'm interested in some of the old school concepts back then is like, like

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p&g, right? And people making like laundry detergents. So, you know, I don't know about you,

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but like, my mom used tide. And then I just, I'm getting tired. Like, think about it. It's crazy. I

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didn't think about it. So it's things like that, like, oh, I watch Netflix, or like, I use Amazon,

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I use Microsoft and

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just do it. My mom used Microsoft, my mom watched Netflix, I watched Netflix, whatever. If there's

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like infinite content, and they've got a lot of it's like now we'll use whatever services out

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there. So it's just, I think the beauty of it is like no one knows. And

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just like gaming is really always at the bleeding edge of technology is so cool, right? And now

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entertainment, like

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and technology and probably some other third bucket get thrown in there to just have three

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things but just so cool. Like no one knows everyone just experimenting with things and

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it's a great time to be alive. And we're gonna try now I just have one last question before we move

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on to everyone's favorite segment here. But

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and I'll end on this I'll wrap on this is someone who's been in so many big tech companies and big

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gaming companies.

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And we've sort of danced around this do you think those companies all need to be need capital in

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need to be doing stuff in gaming? Do you think some should be hat should have more focused

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visions? Do you think some shouldn't be in it at all? Like, I'm just curious how you think about

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the investments coming from not from VCs, but from the big companies, big tech companies in the

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space.

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You know, where you think they need absolutely need to be looking and where you think they could

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probably probably do better by avoiding it and, and I'll just reference sort of the mixer thing

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again, which is like, where I was scratching my head there was they invest millions of dollars in

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mixer, then they shut it down and then they go and buy Bethesda for like, a billion dollars right?

Unknown:

And it's like, what are you guys doing? Like are you are you into gaming or are you not right like

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I think I think in that case answer your question afterwards. But I think in that case, you realize

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what are they really good at like the Xbox Game Pass is freaking killing it. And it's great. Right

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and like wait a minute, we're good at this we're good at like first party game development and the

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second and third party let's go do that because they've been doing it for 20 years Microsoft has

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right compared to the other big tech firms

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as a customer or gamer as you know I always say i i encourage tech companies to invest more because

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I'm so the ones that are winning don't get lazy right and give us crap so competition as a like an

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employee or person working the space I love it too because there's more opportunities more jobs you

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can like rotate between opportunity some some people get stuck in a role and go a different

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company you get like a level up or different compensation try something new different role. I

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think that's great. I think that like those are all the pros I think the cons we can mitigate as

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people in the space just like having our eyes open eyes and ears open making sure that like we're

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picking the right team because you know we know we have infinite time you might as well try to be on

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the most

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you know the best team for you most suitable team for you while you can but take so much research

Unknown:

and I think of sidebar is a lot of people not engaging really want to get into is so bad that

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they'll just take the first job that gets

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and maybe that's the best move just get something a resume

Unknown:

or maybe it's like a trap. Maybe it's a trap and you really ate a and you get turned off from

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gaming. I think that does suck because they are now going to add another sidebar no sidebar is I

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do think

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You know, people just get tired, right? Like, some people might just like take, like, especially the

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game designers have been creative. And all your creative energies into a company product game

Unknown:

multiple games for four or five years at a time, kind of burns you out. So how do we do this more

Unknown:

sustainably? Right? That's why there's all these debates about like unions in in game development.

Unknown:

I don't know if that's gonna be helpful or not, I don't know. But it's a hot topic, especially with

Unknown:

all the stuff happening at Blizzard so. So we'll see. But as you guys know, the one thing we can

Unknown:

guarantee is that you're never going to be born in gaming, with all this stuff cutting like, you

Unknown:

know, even before the web three and empty stuff popped off. I was just like, it's just always

Unknown:

something new in gaming every year. So just fine. I love ending on that note, I will just add that

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we can also guarantee Google stadia will will fail will get shut down. That's, that's maybe the only

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two guarantees in gaming.

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I just want to do it's everyone's favorite new segment, by the way. For those of you who are new

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to the podcast, I'm going to hand it over in a second here to the Honorable Judge Jimmy burrata,

Unknown:

and we're going to gonna do a segment we call judge Jimmy's cross examination. And and John,

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what's what's gonna happen here is Jimmy's gonna ask you five or six questions here in sort of

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rapid fire succession,

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hopefully with short answers just to try and get more insight into who you are as a person. Because

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I think our audience truly truly loves that more than anything in appreciate that so

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honorable Judge Jimmy handed over to you.

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Alright, John, no wrong answers here. First one, what's your favorite TV show to stream or to

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watch? Right now? I'm obsessed about 30 Rock. I can't believe I never watched it.

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It's amazing. Great. Next question. Your top food choice whether fast food or cuisine in general.

Unknown:

It's terrible for my health, but Korean fried chicken. Oh, nice. I respect John. Is it a

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different answer for food while you're gaming?

Unknown:

Well, yeah, then you can't you know, you can't you don't want to eat chicken rice. I drink a lot of

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stuff like like protein shakes or anything? Well, while I'm playing games is easier than eating

Unknown:

food. It's going to the desktop, your fingers on your shirt. That's

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if you could go back to school, what class would you take? Or major would you pursue? Oh, I tell

Unknown:

everyone the same. I would just be software engineering, speed, just be a software engineer

Unknown:

and just make buku bucks man.

Unknown:

Where do you hope to be in five years?

Unknown:

In five years, I would love to just take another stab and their startup you know, kind of one of my

Unknown:

personal goals is to try for like a tech startup now like, you know, esports startup? Probably like

Unknown:

around when I'm 40. So like in two years, or maybe a little bit afterwards, depending on how things

Unknown:

go. Keep moving. Last question. What was your favorite video game growing up? And this could

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actually even be your favorite video game today. Honestly, I'd love to hear Yeah, well, I'll answer

Unknown:

both. My favorite video game growing up was just quake because that was the first one that required

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like multiplayer I was doing

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right? It was crazy. Like 120 pain but that was amazing. And that's what really got me into this

Unknown:

like just thinking about this whole space was was quake and today or is it today? I can't believe

Unknown:

it. But I still play League of Legends I've been playing nine years I play is very embarrassing,

Unknown:

but I play on average 1000 ranked games a year. I think last year I only did 500 But I usually I do

Unknown:

like 1000 ranking I only play rank I don't play like normals or anything I just play ranked just

Unknown:

just to punish myself. That's my way to relax after game works.

Unknown:

Toxic 13 year olds that's why I love this is literally every lead player like spoke Spoken like

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a like an addict though is its own sounds like an addict. They don't want to be addicted but it's

Unknown:

just the the drug is so powerful in helping.

Unknown:

Well, thanks, John. I mean, Paul, the prosecution respect to you. I love it. John, for our

Unknown:

listeners. If you want to be found or followed, where can people find or follow you?

Unknown:

Oh, thank you. Yeah, I think you know, I'm biggest on LinkedIn, but I want to try to start being more

Unknown:

active on Twitter. I'm more of like a lurker I never really seen anything but in 2022 I'm going

Unknown:

to start hopefully saying more things on Twitter. So my handle is not vert and OT V RT which I have

Unknown:

to explain it because I think is funny interesting story, which is um, so when when I was at Riot

Unknown:

when you join a company, they give you like a like an accounts right and you can add your riot name

Unknown:

so I was like, right for

Unknown:

at the time you'll do it now. I think by the time they gave you two totally on month accounts. This

Unknown:

is amazing. So like Okay, I just need to

Unknown:

names and then the trend at the time some guy started trench called like, not your name. Because

Unknown:

like not vert loaders, a bunch of people I think every other game companies, you get to accounts

Unknown:

the first ones like you know riot or Blizzard bla bla bla. Second one is like not this. So the name

Unknown:

vert was because there's a map in Quake called cigarette. Vertigo. There you go. Very cool. That

Unknown:

didn't really so there you go. You could have put for those watching the few of you I know who

Unknown:

watched the podcast, you could have put that next to John, right. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Unknown:

We'll have to do it again. Thank you so much for being on the podcast. Really appreciate it. Jimmy,

Unknown:

thank you. As always, for all of our listeners, guys, just a couple of reminders, make sure to

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tune in every Wednesday 8:30pm Eastern time we do a live stream. We stream it everywhere you get our

Unknown:

content. So YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, now LinkedIn, you name it, it streams everywhere.

Unknown:

That's Wednesday evening. 8:30pm. Eastern Time, we do all the news that doesn't fit into the podcast.

Unknown:

And we do it with a bigger cast. And best of all, we get to do it live with you guys. So make sure

Unknown:

to tune into that. And also make sure to follow us everywhere. Business TV sports are busy sports, on

Unknown:

all platforms, on YouTube, on Twitter on Instagram, tick tock even we're anywhere you get

Unknown:

our content. We really appreciate the follow and leave that five star rating and review it helps

Unknown:

others to find the podcast. And as always guys, we will see you next week. Thanks for listening to

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the business of esports podcast. Check us out at the business of esports.com and on Twitter at biz

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