What I’ve learned working with Fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs who have built multi-million dollar businesses from the pit of bankruptcy is that there is a difference between confidence and arrogance, assertiveness and egotistical.
What’s up, everyone?
Well, here we are again, back in the news.
I’m going to use this post to briefly vent, explain, and question the motivations of some in our community.
For starters, let me just say that never in my life would I have thought that I would be dealing with this type of drama at 23 years old.
I basically live two lives. Early in my day, I have intelligent conversations that usually end up with someone or a group of people paying our agency a lot of money to help them make more money. These conversations and connections have allowed us to now have 2 offices in the heart of the city, to hire new employees, and reinvest some money into other business ventures. Late in my day, I come home to play a game that I love and interact with a fan base that truly cares about us as individuals and as a team, while at the same time having to deal with petty high school-level controversies that usually end up in full-blown social media goldmines for the rest of you.
I understand that there is a vast majority of people who play and watch 2K that are still in high school (or younger) who haven’t experienced or had to overcome any real adversity. Maybe you haven’t talked to the owner of a local cafe who just lost his wife at age 37 to cancer and his business is failing because of it. You hear the sadness, pain, and anger in his voice, with an overwhelming sense of depression that he will never be the same and that he won’t even be able to pay his rent next month if he doesn’t refocus his time and energy on the cafe. Being around a grown man who is brought to literal tears and helping make a difference in this person’s life is why I do what I do, and why I appreciate life and don’t take anything I have for granted.
I say all this to say, what are we actually doing? In the grand scheme of things, we are all playing a GAME that we LOVE with the potential of making a living from it next year. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even login into Twitter anymore without seeing a controversy or two people claiming they are better than the other.
It’s time we all have a wake-up call and realize that the NBA is going to want no part of social media rants or someone trying to advance their own personal brand atop that of the NBA. Like I’ve repeatedly stated, the NBA is a global multi-billion (with a B) brand that will not stand for immaturity, hatred, misplaced anger, or anything that relates to selfish behavior. The NBA needs corporate sponsors to see the value of putting their money behind something that has the potential to make their money back, 5x, 10x, 50x. What company will put up thousands and millions of dollars to put their name behind a toxic environment that seems incapable of showing the potential of forming something greater than itself.
Making enemies of someone who has the potential of accelerating your growth and contributing to your long-term success is definitely not the most optimal course of action.
Allow me to offer some background.
GamerSaloon DM’d our Throwdown twitter about a month and a half ago wanting to pick our brain and learn more about the future of 2K and how they could integrate their new private matching updates to coincide with the recent explosion of ProAm. There was no intent on their part to pitch me on co-hosting/sponsoring a tournament, they just wanted some info. I saw an opportunity here but thought it might be a long-shot at best. I started outlining some details for a possible tournament that Throwdown could help promote that would allow Gamersaloon to test out their new system, while at the same time giving competitive ProAm teams and players something to look forward to.
Surprisingly, they were all about it, and we started planning almost immediately. We could have put on this tournament without any outside help, but I thought that it would be a good idea to loop someone else in (who I thought was a genuine, smart and all-out hustler, just like myself) so that we could really take this to the next level and expand on it looking ahead into the future and not only grow the community we support, but also our own goals and aspirations when it comes to building a brand, name, and reputation of thought leaders and influencers.
Long story short, we sorted out all of the minor details over the course of a few weeks, and then the announcement was made. Unfortunately, my work got in the way (purchasing additional office space and hiring/onboarding 3 new employees) and I wasn’t able to be as hands on with Gamersaloon as I would have liked post-announcement. I thought we were in good hands and that everything would be taken care of as far as the administration, and that all that was left to do was play the games and have some fun.
Fast-forward to yesterday, Throwdown vs. Huh Nation. Due to scheduling conflicts, we either had to play last night without Mootyy or risk delaying the game till Saturday and not being able to play with a few other starters (Huh couldn’t play at all on Friday). We chose to play on Thursday as to not hold up our section of the bracket. We needed a replacement Center, so we contacted our friend Jonah to fill-in. Jonah was on a different team on the other side of the bracket, so we knew that we had to make Gamersaloon aware that he would be leaving that team to play on ours prior to us playing in our first game (as per the rules). Let’s check out a screenshot that allegedly proves I broke my own rule.
My rule, that coincides with the GamerSaloon rule that states, “Rosters are locked once you participate in your first game.” – Meaning, until the first game is played, you are free to make any roster changes you want. Had we lost to Huh Nation, Jonah would have been ineligible to go back and play on his team, and if he did, they would have been DQ’d. So, in the screenshot below, I’m informing Brandon that if Gradient was planning on playing in a match on two teams, they would be DQ’d, as per GS rules. You can twist my words any way you want, the over-arching rule states that rosters lock after you participate in the first game.
Timeline? Here is Chuck informing GS support that we are adding Jonah to our roster and starting lineup at 10:55 am (more than 12 hours prior to the start of our game). His response, “That’s fine. No changes after the first game is played.”
Not much needs to be said here, but the second paragraph explains the situation quite clearly – “People were told that they could make roster changes prior to game one as long as the player did not participate in the tournament on another team.”
Internet Tip #472: Don’t Believe Everything You Read
At the end of the day, the court of public opinion will always rule the strongest. Everyone is free and within reason to think what they believe. If you think I’m a sleazy person who tries to beat the system and get over on people, that’s well within your right and I can respect you for having the courage to take a stance. People who know me in real life and my teammates know that I am one of the most honest and fair people there are. I hate saying this because it goes against everything I believe, but I feel like it should be made clear – I don’t really need the $200 I would win for potentially winning the tournament. If we want to play the screenshot game, I can go back in our Skype chat and pull up screenshots that show me saying I will put up half the money for a DXRacer chair for the MVP to add more intrigue and fun to the tournament (see retail values below & do the math), plus paying GS an extra entry fee of $30 for a giveaway. So, if I’m willing to take (at the most conservative of values) a $260 loss on the tournament, OR with a 1/32, or .03% chance of making the $200 back for winning, and then still walking away with at best a $60 loss ($170 winnings ($200 – $30 entry) – $30 entry fee for another team – $200 chair (cheapest model) = $60. Numbers never live, right?
I’m not in this for the money or fame. I try to do things to help our community grow and help give other people who are still in school or out of work the opportunity to make some money. Look, if I broke a rule, I’d be the first to admit it.
I’m writing this 2,000+ word essay to PROTECT my teammates and myself from facing unwarranted scrutiny. Even if everyone still wants to take out their inner aggression and hatred towards us, that’s okay, but I’m not going to sit idly by and allow Throwdown and the names of my teammates to be dragged through the mud without issuing a statement. I’ve worked tireless hours of my own time, my most precious asset and one that I don’t have nearly enough of, to build Throwdown from the ground-up and try to put out streams, content, and overall value to the community. Love us or hate us, we get people talking.
If you think we are showed favoritism, that’s okay too. The funny thing is, when our name is out there in a negative light, things usually seem to come back around the other way.
For example, as my good friends @OG_Yay and @AdotKid1 (make sure to go follow their pages and show them some love) point out, our “payout better have been worth losing clout” (welp, guess I’m in it for minimizing my self-inflicted losses), and “Cheated Radiant out of a spot” (hmm, guess all the 2K developers we talked to at NOLA and everyone who reversed their position after the fact saying they would have done the same exact thing in our positions are whack as well).
My man AdotKid1 also points out that we “fixed a tourney” (Tim Donaghy?) and “falsely accuse (well, I’d love to know his method of knowing for sure he is right and we are wrong) and try to slander another’s name (just curious, does this sound familiar?) “for “booting”” (weren’t there a bunch of other players who shared in our suspicion, feel free to volunteer who you are to avoid me going back in the GroupMe archives).
Let’s talk with another friend of the team, @CR0WNED_KiNG300. The King says we collaborated and colluded with a highly trusted, respected and official company in Gamersaloon who has a legal license to host video game gambling online. If that’s the case, shouldn’t someone file a lawsuit with the Gaming Control Board? There might be a pretty substantial payout there. I even know of some good attorneys that could represent Mr. King if we wants to reach out to us on Twitter.
But WAIT… I promise, we really did save the best for last! It’s gotten increasingly more challenging to get Catfished today than it was 5 years ago because everyone has smart phones and internet access. You guys think Nev and Max would be down for a reunion tour.
I’m going to give it to @LebronSlash, he’s my frontrunner to win the the Pulitzer Prize (one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It recognizes distinguished fiction by an American author). Hopefully LebronSplash is American so he can receive is award without controversy.
At least he’s a credible source with an established social media presence so we know for sure he’s telling the truth. I really wonder who is biggest follower is??
But, but, but, how could that be? Who would do such a thing?! Where’s Nev at when you need him?
Ohhhhhh. Gotcha, gotcha. Conflicting, huh?
So, the morale of the story is, if you plan on attacking my teammates or my team as a whole, that’s totally cool! Just make sure you come prepared with all of your facts and confirm the things you hear before getting an entire army of followers to hop on the bandwagon. If you expect me to blow up on social media or fire back at you, then you’re searching in the wrong place. What I will do is construct a well thought out response that either is an admittance of my mistake, OR, a flat-out defense of hypocrisy. Either way, you can absolutely count on me to be ready.
Also, I don’t want to forget to mention and commend those who have our back and wait for all the facts to come out before rushing to judgements and leaping to conclusions. Not everyone believes everything at face value, which gives me a lot of hope! So thank you.
I quickly want to wish everyone a happy Easter, Passover, or whatever you will be celebrating with your family and friends this weekend. Take the time to reflect on all of the blessings you truly have: your health, freedom, friends, family, and the platform and ability to play a video game at the highest level.
Until next time,