"What?" That's the most common response I receive when I tell someone I own an e-Sports organization. I always laugh when I think about how I've gotten here. Growing up in Germany I swore to myself that I was going to be the next Michael Jordan. Besides watching basketball on TV and leaving a permanent scar on my leg trying to making a court with cardboard and a hot glue gun (God that was painful!), I always had video games to enjoy in my free time. It wasn't until we moved to the states that I realized I was not going to be the next MJ when my mom enrolled me into art school without a basketball team. To cope with my dreams being crushed, I began to play more and more video games.
Every time we visited my grandmother in the states, I'd wake up early in the morning to watch Sailor Moon which got me hooked on anime. So when we moved to the states permanently, I'd want to be home in time to catch Toonami to watch that, Dragon Ball Z, Ronin Warriors and Gundam. One afternoon while watching I started seeing this commercial for this game that fused anime-like and Disney characters together. And the music..this song: Utada Hikaru - Simple and Clean (Planitb Remix). The artist and name of the song would be in the corner each time. If I heard this commercial on from anywhere in the house I'd come running. I HAD to have this game. It got to the point where I recorded it on a VHS tape and watched it over and over again. I would not be satisfied until I finally had my hands on Kingdom Hearts. This game honestly changed my life. It gave me an experience I'll never forget and it will always be my favorite game of all time. From the day I saw this commercial, I knew what my purpose was. I wanted to create video games. I want to give people the same joy I felt when I played Kingdom Hearts.
I've always been a console gamer. As the years passed, my friends moved on to PC gaming and made fun of me for my decision not to join them. My best friend at the time tried to get me to play a game called League of Legends. I took one look at it and thought it was the dumbest game I had ever seen in my life. Years later, I met a someone in college who played the game and he somehow convinced me to play it. I became hooked immediately. I went straight to level 30 right into ranked matches. I ended up in bronze as a result. (I put so many hours into the game and didn't even learn how to actually play!) When Vi was released, the game became an addiction as she quickly became my favorite character in the game.
As a competitor, I enjoy going to and competing in tourneys for fighting games or shooters. While exploring the realm of League of Legends, I began to notice its competitive aspects and realized how big this game actually was. I was glued to my PC every watching EU/NA teams clash during the day and Korean teams at night. I visioned myself up there sometimes. (I would have to make it to Challenger first hahaha.) At the end of each season it hurt me every year to watch some of North America's best teams make it to the world stage and fail. Being fully immersed in the competitive side of League of Legends and seeing the rise e-Sports, I decided that I wanted my own organization and not just any organization.
One thing I noticed about the competitive scene of games like League of Legends and DOTA was its lack of diversity. You didn't see POC or women on stage. With Awoken Gaming, it's my mission to change that. Not with just LoL but other games as well. It's also my goal to be the first North American team to win the League of Legends World Championship. We're going to do our best and be a leading example as an organization.