Growing a local scene is one of the most important things you can do while on your journey into eSports. The amount of benefits are countless, and cover an array of different opportunities. You can be the player who is trying to improve, or the coach learning to analyze. Believe it or not, you don’t even have to be a player to benefit from your local scene. There are many roles that local scenes need to thrive: video editors, social media experts, journalists, event planners, the list goes on! I am going to share my experiences with you and give you some advice on how to help grow your local scene.
- Be Generous
The people in your local scene are a lot like you and probably have the same goals in mind that you do. So, If you have equipment that can be used, offer it for events and gatherings. If you have a skill in editing videos, or analyzing player matches, offer it FOR FREE. If you can drive and have a car, try to get people out to your local events. If you have ideas don’t be afraid to give them, everyone in your scene will listen. The more you give, the more you get back, and then some.
When my local scene was just starting out, I donated: 6 gaming monitors, 4 consoles, video editing, stream and audio equipment, rides, coaching. You name it, i was offering it.
The results of this? An established scene that is working with major organizations in the industry. Sponsored players who grew into pool winners at tournaments. Tournament organizers being selected to work for bigger companies. Players getting commentary slots at big events. Video and photo editors making commission money.
People being able to live their dreams!
- Focus on What Matters
With all competitive gaming groups there will always be drama. Egos get inflated and rivalries become tense. Often times someone will believe that their ideas or interests are the most important. Sometimes even low level industry politics can get in the way. With all of this remember to focus on the growth of your scene.
Spend your time focusing on the growth of your players, after all they are the representatives of your scene. Focus on the image of your scene and how it can stand out. Make sure you are up to date with other scenes and their successes. These things are important when trying to bring different levels of talent to your city. Your scene’s image will also affect how companies in your city perceive you. Working with local businesses is important for ensuring venues and revenue. There are so many things required for a scene to really flourish. Getting distracted from the main focus will make it much harder to succeed. This will result in your players having to drive to other events to get practice instead of people driving to you.
During our time building our community we were able to have some of the biggest known players in the world come to our tournaments. We were able to gain respect and priority in seeding for tournaments out of our region. Our city even got selected to host some of the biggest tournaments in America.
Not everything is perfect though, and we had to learn a lot of hard lessons along the way.
We managed to throw away a lot of momentum due to in-fighting at crucial points. People worried about money, and the bigger picture so much that we almost lost our identity.
The absolute best way to stay focused is to follow your scene’s core values first, and it’s interests second.
- Stay Humble
“ego is the enemy of what you want and of what you have: Of mastering a craft. Of real creative insight. Of working well with others. Of building loyalty and support. Of longevity. Of repeating and retaining your success. It repulses advantages and opportunities. It’s a magnet for enemies and errors. It is Scylla and Charybdis.”
― Ryan Holiday,
This quote speaks volumes. It covers both the individual player and the community.
I spent my time at the top exploding with ego as a player and a leader. So much that I not only became complacent, but spiteful when my spot had been taken. It was a hard lesson learned. I am grateful that the contributions made still left me a spot with the community. Being humble maintains a clear vision forward and keeps groups unified.
Don’t let your ego blind you from what inspired you to be a part of something great. Remember to always have fun and never take it too seriously.
- Wrap up
Your local scene is a living and breathing entity. Everything can change at any given time. Be open to ideas, roll with the punches and follow the three things I listed above to ensure it’s longevity and your involvement in it. Take a few minutes today and think about your current contribution to your scene.