ESports is one of the world’s youngest and fastest growing industries. It seems like everyone is trying to get their piece of the pie and because of that eSports is experiencing many immature, and unprofessional companies arising.
One of the biggest problems plaguing the eSports scene and make many people consider it a joke is the abundance of “fly by night” companies. These are companies and organizations who have a get rich quick mindset and invest a small amount of money into their company and leave within a few months when they don’t see any return. These companies are lacking the patience and knowledge of how to really grow their brand and maximize their company’s potential.
ITG was lucky enough to talk to The Money Matches CEO Zachary Edwards about what it takes to be a big dog in the eSports industry, his thoughts on “fly by night” companies and his advice on getting your foot into the eSports industry.
To kick off the article we asked Zach about his experience in the industry and what it took to start up the Money Matches. Here’s what he had to say:
“I’ve got a lot of experience in the eSports world. I’ve been into pro gaming for over 10 years and before eSports was even called eSports. I’ve seen companies rise and fall and decided it was my time to enter the industry. Coming into the industry already a business man I already knew it would take a lot of time, grinding and money to bring in any capital, but I was prepared. I wasn’t naive like everyone else who thought they’d make $1,000,000 overnight through YouTube or some crap.”
“I ended up downsizing, selling my R8, and traveling less to make sure I had the money to invest into Money Matches. Creating an empire hasn’t been cheap and I’ve probably invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into growing us, but it’s all worth it because in the end I know i’ll have a loyal fanbase and loyal users.”
We also wanted to mention that not every start up company is going to require a hundred thousand dollars and a drastic change of your lifestyle, but it really is important to make sure you have a plan before going forwards. Money is everything and you need to be certain you can cover the costs of running a business before you start that adventure. If by chance you don’t and were naive to this, you’ll end up like many of these shady “fly by night” companies that we talked about with Zach.
If you’ve followed ITG for a while, most of you know or have read about the Soul eSports situation and what kind of shady business went on there. Soul came into the eSports scene with a flash and bang and only a few short months later snaked their way on out. No company should ever be ran like that, so we wanted to ask Zach about his experiences with “fly by night” organizations and companies.
“So like you said Soul came up fast. They reached out to us for help growing themselves and we did. We knew what it was like to be the little guy and wanted to give back. It was only 5 or so months ago when no one had even known our name, but now we’re 55,000 followers deep on twitter and have some of the best and most loyal followers out there. After working with Soul until their departure from eSports we all feel as if we’ve had time wasted. We did so much to help them and then they disappeared on us. It’s almost as bad as Noble who we really dislike because of their treatment to the community. They disrespect players and hardly ever give back.”
“In more recent times, we’ve had struggles with both Ignition and Prestige Knives. Both companies haven’t been very transparent with us and it’s lead us to dropping them as sponsors. We had deals that promised us a percentage of our sales and products and both ended up being violated. I’m a very impatient man and once PK was 2 weeks late on sending us our promised knives we dropped them immediately. I’ll be honest I think painted knives are kind of gay so I didn’t really need the product, but when you’re in business and you sign contract or promise something, you need to come through. Ignition was the same way, but the company folded and they didn’t even bother to tell us. It was an ex-employee who reached out to us to deliver the news. Why can’t companies be straight and do what they promise? Well it’s probably because they don’t know what they’ve gotten themselves into and lack business experience and knowledge. Too many young guys are trying to get rich without investing their all.”
So now you all have an understanding of what and who these companies are, but what can be done to improve on this situation?
ITG and Money Matches agree that in order to be successful in eSports or in anything you need to put your heart and soul into your product. Moderation is for cowards. If you go broke because you kept pushing and pushing your product and idea, you at least can say you tried.
People need to lower their expectation and realize while the industry does revolve around video games, there is still a legitimate business side to it. Talking to other successful business owners is a good place to start if you’re considering joining the scene. Also having a group of people who believe in you or your product is another good place to start. The more people you have on board with your idea, the more money you can put into it and finally developed something you’re proud of.
Esports will never be the most professional of industries as it’s populated with too many inexperienced and young people, but with a plan and some help, business’ can keep themselves from going under and legitimize eSports.
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