Interview with Torpedo’s Endy!

So interestingly enough, I conducted this interview to use it for a part of a college project I was doing about eSports, instead, Endy decided to give me a great interview and here I am, a week later publishing it on my own website! Endy is one of the minds behind Torpedo’s UK Hearthstone team featuring Truesilver Champion Ness, Previous ESL UK Winner BoarControl and one of the UK boys behind the production of Blizzcon, Raven!



So Endy, you do something very different to most people in eSports, could you introduce us to your role in your organisation?



I’m Torpedo’s Hearthstone team manager. We currently have 3 pro Hearthstone players on the roster as well as a caster. I do a little bit of everything really, mostly I act as an intermediary (be it with sponsors, tournament organisers, new prospects etc.) and facilitate promoting the players and the team. I also do some of the social media work, and I write our Hearthstone articles (I’m a reasonable player myself, I play in the odd tournament). One of the most important ongoing aspects of the role is research. This can break down into researching immediate opponents in team leagues and the like, and general research – staying on top of who’s doing what in Hearthstone. I often joke it’s the easiest job in Esports, the team are all hardworking professionals.



How did you get into Esports then?



I’ve been in gaming for since I can remember and I’ve been around computers my whole life. I played for some CS (original, not Source or GO) teams in competitions and tournaments although it wasn’t really Esports back then, just “gaming”. I missed out on the gold rush of the early Esports days, I’d switched to playing CCGs competitively in international tournaments. When that finished, I looked around for something similarly tactical and stumbled across Hearthstone. I became good friends with Alex “Raven” Baguley (since we lived within walking distance of each other). When he signed with Torpedo he recommended me for a writing job with them (I’ve freelanced for Tech Magazines as a writer). They liked me and my work ethic, and eventually asked if I could take on the management role. Esports as an industry is still in its infancy, and I do think it’s an industry and the teams in it are start-up businesses.



How would someone get into eSports in their chosen game? From casual to professional?



It depends on their aim. If they want to be a pro player, then the first thing is practice. I know it sounds facile, but look at the traditional sports model. People that end up as pros begin playing as children. It’s their life. They eat, sleep and dream their sport, if you want to hit the top in esports, it’s the same deal. Play against people that are better than you, it’s the only way to improve. The next tip is one people overlook: talk to pros. They’re people too. Engage with them. Talk to them like they’re people. Build up a relationship with them. I guarantee that creating friendships and establishing yourself as credible in your chosen game will be valuable, and infinitely more so than bugging and begging. When I went to my first big Hearthstone LAN people recognised me and knew who I was just from speaking to them and the big names in the game via Twitter.


What different methods are there to be full time within Esports?



This is an extension of what I said previously, but there’s a whole range of full-time roles outside just playing the game professionally. You can go full time (with enough effort, time and a bit of luck) streaming on Twitch / being a Youtuber, but that’s already a pretty saturated area. If you know enough about the game and can be entertaining and informative, you could consider casting, or there’s positions like mine. There’s even secondary industries you can look at – maybe look for PC hardware companies looking to get into Esports, could you be their Esports division manager?




Lastly, what do you think is needed to make eSports more known to the general public?



There’s certainly an organically growing awareness as the industry establishes itself, so I think there’s inertia there. We’re slowly seeing the jump from specialty pastime to the mainstream, the BBC has covered League of Legends tournaments previously. That sort of thing is self-reinforcing. As more people become aware and interested there’s a greater demand for more coverage. As IT technology permeates more of our daily lives, its use as entertainment will to. I guess *time* is the first thing that will raise Esports’ profile, I feel like that’s inevitable. Secondly I think professionalism is needed to make it more acceptable. The industry is in an early wild-west stage, and there is already a lot of money being invested by sponsors, as tournament prizes etc. That can draw the wrong sort of people, and with many players being young there’s the possibility for exploitation. I’m pleased to see regulatory bodies being introduced, if we as professionals treat it professionally, that’s the image that’ll be received by the public.





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