Gaming - LiveI’m Steve Arhancet, Co-CEO of Team Liquid. Today I’m joined by Doublelift and Zews, replying live from our new Alienware Training Facility. AMA!
Mar 13th 2018 by LiQuiD112atAWTF • 9 Questions • 719 Points
Hi, I’m Steve from Team Liquid and today we’re hosting a Reddit AMA from our new North American headquarters in Santa Monica. Last week we celebrated the grand opening of our state-of-the-art esports facility built in partnership with Alienware and Dell. We’re all very excited to have such an incredible space to call home for our family of 50+ staff and professional players based in the US.
Participating in the AMA today are:
* 12-4PM PT-ish: Steve 'LiQuiD112' Arhancet - Co-CEO and owner of Team Liquid. Replying at LiQuiD112atAWTF
* 12-4PM PT-ish: Wilton ‘zews’ Prado – Former pro. Head coach for Team Liquid CSGO. Replying as ZewsatAWTF
* 2-3PM PT-ish: Peter ‘Doublelift’ Peng – ADC for Team Liquid League of Legends. Replying as DoubleliftatAWTF
We are pumped to answer any questions you may have for me, our staff or our roster of players.
For more info about our partnership on the Alienware Training Facility, visit: https://www.teamliquidpro.com/AlienwareTF/
Checkout some photos from the grand opening of the AWTF: https://imgur.com/a/KDO64LetsgoLiquid!
**** EDIT**** Thank you Reddit for your questions! We are wrapping up the AMA now and getting back to work and scrimmages, be sure to follow us at @TeamLiquid on Twitter to stay up to date with our content and team updates. Catch ya next time!
C9 Sneaky demonstrated some of the cutting-edge training gear last night on his stream, which, some say, the whole C9 crew has been using. Do you have any plans for such advanced equipment at your new facility?
Steve: I have a background in insurance accounting, with CFO/ level experience. Seeing as my experience doesn't seem like it would directly transfer to e-sports what would be the best way for me to get involved in the scene?
Please apply, we are hiring in many positions that we haven’t had the time to put on our site. [email protected]
What is Team Liquid doing to bring their brand to non-Liquid fans and non-eSports audiences? As an example, OpTic is hosting a 24-hour Gaming Lounge at A-Kon 2018 (https://smash.gg/tournament/optic-arena) and also partnering with other Texas based events to promote the OpTic brand to the general gaming public. Is TL working on similar partnerships or promotions?
We have not yet settled on a “city-specific” place for Team Liquid. That being said we are partnered with USC and doing a few events coming up. We also have worked with UCI and their esports program. We’ve done a considerable amount of philanthropic initiatives and I’m working on the next “big bluff” which is a lcs owners poker event that we did last year. Our initiatives for 2018 specifically are more around community and community engagement. We just hired 10 new folks to run our discord which has every one of our games. We also are launching an in-game client and guild community initiative. We’ll continue to work with local colleges and universities. A much larger initiative may be possible in the future with a partner who has store front locations across the country.
For Steve and Doublelift:
How is the team culture like in Team Liquid? From the SQUAD videos, it seems that everyone is very friendly with one another and being good friends with each other is held as a bigger priority relative to other teams. If that is the case, does this team culture benefit you guys in any way?
More specifically for Doublelift: How is duoing with Olleh? What separates him from other supports you’ve worked with and how is the synergy between you two? (Did you guys get him a Japanese girlfriend yet?)
Big props to SQUAD btw, I’m a REALLY big fan of that. Beautifully edited and way more fun to watch than the longer, more serious, documentary style counterparts of the other teams imo.
The culture varies a bit from team to team. We have fourteen games and over sixty athletes. We have most in LA but not all. We also have our Netherlands facility as well. It’s difficult to set a culture deeply in borderless environment. That being said I would describe the culture for the league team as hardworking, fun at times, emotional and tough at times. Supportive and reasonable. I think the guys should probably be having more fun (like they did in Korea). I think there is so much pressure to perform, I wish we handled that better as an org and as a team. I’m very impressed with this team compared to teams in the past in that there’s no convincing the players to work hard and take things seriously, that’s just part of how they operate.
Hi Steve, I am the fan you gave the free jersey to on live stream this weekend with Kobe (so embarrassing!) I wanted to say thanks again for having me and also relay how much I love the team this year (not just Doublelift although I apparently found that hard to articulate in front of the camera). You discussed on the show how as an owner you try to let the coaches and players just do their thing once you have completed a roster. As Liquid has expanded to other e-sports, how do you feel your relationship with them is versus league where you do have the strongest background as a player?
Hey there!! Good to hear from you again. That broadcast was fun. More fun if we won! It would be impossible to manage all of our esports teams as closely as I do league. Victor and I split the team management and we try to make those decisions based on what games we have a better understanding of. For example I just put together our new PubG roster and I do my best to stay as connected as possible to them even though they are in EU. There’s also a lot of similarities from game to game that work in terms of management and development. I’ll support them in anything they need to win and with a decent understanding of the game (actually putting good number of hours in it) allows me to do that. I think being an ex pro gamer just gives me the ability to evaluate how a game works pretty quickly. Also for most team games we find that team dynamics and the mental side is really impactful to performance.
What kind of RAM do you use at the AWTF and is it awesome?
Asking for...... uh... a friend....
Ballistix for everything.
LiQuiD112atAWTF / steve :
i think the key to a long life for esports teams is making the people feel represented, like regular sports do "belonging" to a city/state, what do you think about it? will league ever do something like that? even if it means keeping the games at the same lcs studio for the time being.
I think geography can be a sizable influencer to fan acquisition and retention and engagement - absolutely. The trick has always been, juggling the realistic logistical and financial commitments that would need to happen to realize the potential of executing a region-specific strategy. In short, can you make enough money having teams play, promote in different cities to substantiate the costs of having them there. To curb this, Overwatch has their events all in the same area and all the teams live in the same area even though they are playing for specific regions. In short, it feels fake to me and that lack of authenticity of being from the city means you see through the smoke eventually. Part of what makes region-specific fandom so great is that players, staff and the organization is based in that city. Recruiting from local colleges and universities. Imagine if the Washington, DC league of Legends team had players that went to Georgetown and GW? Well, that would be cool, but the likelihood of that happening is nearly zero because the player base isn't big enough. People aren't putting their lives on hold to have a career as a player. It takes time.
In short, I think having region specific fandom for teams is helpful. It brings more people into the esports ecosystem and for the time being if teams can be as authentic as they can in the region they declare, then great - we'll have to hold tight with that strategy until esports is even larger, at least here in the U.S.