For anyone that has seen my profile on LinkedIn (if not check it out here), or if you know me, you will understand that I have been involved with the internet and gaming (Xbox/Playstation/PC – Not Gambling), off and on for going on 15+ years.
The last 5 years of that, I had really been focusing on the two startups I was involved with and stopped focusing really on what was going on with gaming and the internet other than casual interactions. Well this Fall as I began to reassess what I wanted to do moving forward with my life and career, I started to catch up.
And the first thing that happened was that I got introduced (and now borderline a junkie) for YouTube video blogging (vlogging). The first one that really got me hooked was the videos that were happening daily from the awesome Casey Neistat (YouTube Channel here) – I encourage you all to check him out, he is brilliant. As well as check out a huge favorite of mine – Markiplier (YouTube Channel here) – who even has a spot in the official YouTube 2015 Rewind video that was just released.
From there I started to see that vlogging was being done by a lot of Professional E-Sports Players, and E-sports enthusiasts. I recently started playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, and my all-time favorite E-Sports Team for Call of Duty has been Optic Gaming (http://www.optic.tv). Optic Gaming is a company that is run by Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez, one of the original members of Optic Gaming. And let me tell you something, H3CZ has done a fantastic job of branding Optic Gaming, and building, growing and cultivating that brand for not only to the benefit of himself, but for the entire team. In the new age of social media, 24-hour access to the internet, and continued demand for a non-stop flow of content by users, I was absolutely amazed at how teams like Optic Gaming, as well as individuals within this space are able to go out and prosper as they are.
I know that some of you guys are reading this and rolling your eyes and thinking to yourself, “Allen – you are talking about kids that play video games.” And you are right – I am. But let me give you some basic numbers to think about.
Professional E-sports are played globally. Through services such as MLG.tv, Twitch.tv and Azubu.tv (who just closed $60 million in investment) – it is estimated that over 100 million people tuned in and watched competitive gaming in the last year.
You also have E-sports players that aren’t actually competing on teams, but have their own following, such as Pamaj (Now an Optic Gaming Content Creator), or SSSniperWolf. Crazy names that may not mean anything to you, but again let me give you some numbers. Pamaj has over 2.2 million subscribers, and his videos combined have been viewed over 277 million times. SSSniperWolf has 1.9 million subscribers, and her videos combined have been viewed over 219 million times. Yes – you read the word million correctly in all of those instances. And oh by the way – that is just YouTube. They have followers on Twitter, and Instagram, and the list goes on. They have their own websites, their own logos, and apparel and online e-stores. It’s amazing.
The majority of these players are young, some not even legally adults (per United States standards), and are smart, intuitive, and know what their audience wants – and they deliver. These young new stars and athletes are already famous in their own right, and entrepreneurs to some level without even knowing it. I think of how much bigger could they be with an experienced mentor to help push them to the next level.
So as we quickly approach the closing out of 2015, and usher in 2016. I find myself looking at all the changes that have gone on not only just in the last year, but the last five and the last ten. I realize that the future is about action. That if you are going to wait for your future to come to you, it’s going to pass you by. If you want it – it’s time to go get it. I intend to go out and seize as many opportunities I can in 2016, to work with as many people I can, to help them achieve their goals, and hopefully get to work with someone at Optic.
So to all those that I have already mentioned, especially Optic Gaming and to the dozens of E-sport teams around the world like them. I applaud you! For taking action and becoming what I think are going to be the new Kings and Queens of Brand Marketing.
If anyone within these categories, or outside of them, has a desire to get more out of their brand and to take it to the next level, I would love the opportunity to discuss your brand and how I might be able to help you do that.
Until next time – you know where to find me!
p.s. Congratulations to Optic Gaming for the E-Sports Team of the Year Award! #GreenWall
Disclaimer: I do not own, have ownership in, or control any of the rights or branding, etc… that have been mentioned or depicted within this blog post. If any of the content owners have an issue with my post, and wish for it to be taken down, please email me: allenk[at]thechcg.com I will gladly take it down. I only mentioned all of you out of pure fandom and being impressed.
Allen Kruse is a Senior Partner with the CH Consulting Group. He’s been involved in numerous projects, done a heap of things, met quite the number of people and overall been a serial adventurer for the past 15+ years. From the online gaming news industry, to being in the United States military, to going to college for a while, to forming several businesses, to even being a consultant. He’s always on the go and working towards an ultimate goal. While he’s on his journey -he would like to get to know you, and how he might be able to learn more about your journey and ultimate destination. You can find him here