RedEye the gaming nerd!
Could you begin with telling us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a gaming nerd, esports junky who works for ESL TV right now as Head of Content and Media and of course as a host, presenter and commentator. I’ve been into games since I was very young and always played games of all types too. My earliest RTS was Total Annihilation for example!
I was a reasonably successful top player of FPS games in the early 2000′s and retired from pro playing in 2005 winning my last LAN event. I’ve been commentating on games since 2002 and hosting stages since around 2006. I’ve done a ton of TV stuff since then too with stuff on Sky Sports, DirecTV, EuroSport and a few other mainstream stations across the world. I played games since I was very young and always played games of all types too. My earliest RTS was Total Annihilation for example!
How did you get in to gaming?
My step father bought a Dragon 32 when I was very young and I was hooked on Donkey Kong. I’d spend my paper round money in the arcades playing fighting games and simulators and when I was old enough I bought my own machines, Amiga, Atari ST and eventually a PC. I literally grew up playing games for fun but was always pretty good at it, so when esports started kicking off in the late nineties, playing Quakeworld online was the logical thing to do after I had beaten the computer on the hardest settings. I’ve always been super competitive at all sports and gaming was no different, so I started playing in online tournaments and then progressed to LAN’s. Back then we didn’t win a lot of money though, but I still loved playing at a high level.
You joined the world of Starcraft2 as a host in 2012. What made you go into Stacraft2?
Actually I’d always enjoyed Starcraft, even in the BW days and met Tasteless at WCG Singapore world finals in 2005 and he really got me in to the game. I could never commentate on it though, but loved watching. SC2 was just an extension of that really, though I sort of fell into hosting SC2 events in 2012 thanks to ESL. They asked me to come over and host this “new WCS thing” in Germany and it went well as we had worked together before and I really enjoyed the games and the players there. That led to being asked to do more SC2 events at WCS UK and then with Dreamhack and before I knew it, I was hosting the Europe Finals at the Eriksson Globe in Sweden! That event is one of my all time favourite events and after that I just wanted to do more and more SC2 events.
Joining ESL full time in January this year really helped me, not only do more esports events, but obviously be involved in more SC2 with WCS and IEM, which is awesome.
Could you tell us a little about “The ReDeYe eSport Daily“?
It’s not really all that much honestly. It’s a paper.li service which I use to pull together all the tweets of people in esports that I follow or enjoy content from. It aggregates all the content from tweets based on popularity and retweets and puts them in a nice paper format every day. I use it to keep up as esports is very much 24/7 and you can miss a lot overnight. It’s the modern day version of a daily tabloid popping through your front door, only mine is tailored to esports and
it’s on the internet. I did it for me, but if other people enjoy it, they can follow it too
You recently became the Head of content and media at ESL. What is that like and what does that mean?
It’s actually a very thinly defined role and working at Turtle/ESL TV means you have to bring lots of skills to the table and chip in to almost anything and everything when you are needed. My day to day is mostly managing the commentary team, helping them, removing crap they dont need to deal with and allowing them to concentrate on commentating or hosting rather than dealing with the fluff. It also helps to pull together training days and manage the studio time with everyone.
I also hire external talent and then manage them during events, helping them, providing what they need and setting casting pairs.
Additionally I head up the strategy on the social media, though that has taken a lot of time to get right and we aren’t there yet either as it has involved changing philosophies and putting together a lot of ideas from many people in to one goal, but we are close now.
On top of that, I’m also part of the directors/senior team which meet every month to discuss high level stuff, deals, contracts, progress across the business etc. I help out with product pitches, business plans, work on content flow and direction for our content overall including some SEO for our websites and design teams. I’ll chip in on graphics discussions and help on different products for structure, format and rules where needed too.
I’ve also worked directly on the creative side of products and at events for things like IEM and especially WCS season 1 where a lot of the ideas would come from me and a few people sitting in a room before they became reality. Things like WCS extra which I came up with and delivered during season 1, but overall it’s actually a lot of very smart, creative people putting their heads together and coming up with great concepts that we can realistically deliver to a high standard.
The role is very exhausting, but ultimately very rewarding when we get it right too and I get to work with some of the brightest minds in esports, which is inspiring, even when we have tough days.
A couple of days ago you you were the host for WCS Finals Season 2. You and Chobra worked for the first time together, tell us a little bit about that experience?
I might be a bit out on how it all came together, but from memory, Apollo asked me one day when we were discussing who could host with me at S2 finals and he said “I have this epic idea” and suggested Chobra for the role. I think Kennigit also had the same idea at the same time and I was instantly taken by the idea after watching how well he had done in Korea, particularly through his flawless interviews/translations.
It has always been a little tricky for me as a host working with Korean players who speak little or no English and me who speaks no Korean. It sort of holds up the show a little bit as you wait for questions to be translated and then answered and then translated back again. It also means I have to be more careful how and what I ask so as I don’t make it impossible for the translator. Will can remove that and did an awesome job of it during S2 finals. It also helps that he is a great person too and we got on really well, worked well together and there was no ego, no issues at all, it was just really professional but great fun too.
I remember when Will was interviewing The Marine and Go Rush in the crowd and Go Rush went off on this long speech about something or other and it went on and on and on and I was like “omg, how is Will going to possibly remember all this, let alone translate it” and then BOOM, he just translates it all awesomely! I told him “that was unreal!”. I hope we get the chance to work together on more events, it was great working with him.
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