This is hard to write. Not because I am sad. I am very excited to see vVv Gaming grow under the leadership of vVv Doomhammer and our great staff! No, this is hard to write because I am ANGRY. I am angry about all the things I still want to do! But mostly, I am angry because I have failed to tell the vVv Gaming story in a long time. A lot of people in recent interviews ask me, “How did vVv Gaming start?” Well, I’m gonna tell you (yea, right, like you can sum up 5 years in a forum post, lol).
The vVv story is one about people. From day one, we wanted only two things from the people who joined vVv Gaming: they added value and they wanted to be here. It was also about being unique and different. It was about being innovative and always looking to the future.
We started in 2007 with one Gears of War team. We won the first MLG event for Gears of War. This fact, most everyone knows.
That picture was from the second GoW event, MLG Dallas 2007. Yea, we took the second there, not too bad. What most people don’t know is that we were not only the team to win the most money in 2007 for Gears of War, but we would do the same thing in Europe, with our team vVv Focus. After our first year, we were international. By the time we were done with the Gears of War series, 18 of the top 32 MLG players got their start in vVv Gaming. Our talent factory was born.
Then the advice started coming. “vVv Gaming will be nothing if you don't support CounterStrike1.6, World of Warcraft, or Warcraft 3.” To this, I simply stuck out my middle finger and said, “Watch us!”
In 2008, we started on the PC with Warhammer Online and Left4Dead. We had the second best L4D team, and we had a top guild in Warhammer Online. We would go on to have "Top 5" guilds in Aion, Rift and SWTOR as measured by server and world firsts. We also went on to do something else and that was to formalize one of the most unique mission statements in not only eSports, but all of competitive gaming.
Everything we do is to fulfill this mission statement. The more we worked toward this, the more we found our soul. Eventually, we knew that we needed to define “what is vVv Gaming?” We knew that since we did not buy top players, we were not a “talent agency” like most other teams. We had put our community first. We finally defined what is vVv Gaming:
I want to share some facts with you that I think you might not know in order to better help you understand how truly fucking awesome we are:
We put our partners first! We did all this never taking a single dollar from any sponsor (just products).
We never lured players with money or bought talent. We spent less than any other organization.
We have a true, value-driven organization. We created culture where "adding value" was in the DNA of the organization.
We have always focused on growth. We have had steady website growth for 5 years straight
We have always been on the forefront of using social media. Our social media presence has grown over 250% in 1 year (just this last year!).
We go beyond traditional eSports and contribute to the broader gaming culture. We are the longest contributing writer to the Chicago Tribune Geek to Me blog.
We have faced tough challenges and bounced back stronger and smarter. We have survived being hacked, me being hacked and our YouTube being hacked.
We are eSports! We have had someone at over 37 major eSports events on 5 continents!
We have always been focused on excellence! We have Top 4 LAN placements on 4 continents.
We always keep our promises! We have always kept our promises to our players and fans.
Our guilds have been widely successful. We have had Top 5 guild based on server and world firsts in every MMO we played.
We have always been transparent and kept our community informed even through large growth spurts. We have produced consistent news and content for 3 years running.
We’re consistent. Our podcast show, The Losers Bracket, is in its 3rd year.
We’re very selective. We have accepted only 12% of people who applied. A testimony to our high standards.
We’re humble. Members know that they are no better gamers the day after they are accepted into vVv Gaming, than they were the day before they were accepted.
Our community is not only committed, but generous. We have exceeded every fundraising goal we have ever set.
So, back to why I am mad. Every time someone says something negative about vVv Gaming, I think. . . really?! What the fuck MORE could we do? Buy a few Korean Starcraft players? Buy a “traning house” and stick everyone in it? Sorry, that’s not vVv Gaming.
I’m so damn proud of what we have done, the speed at which we do it, and how well we serve our community, I just shake my head. So, to all the haters: Seriously?!! What the fuck have you ever done in eSports? Seriously kidddddddd. . . you can’t even hold a fucking team together for 5 weeks, let alone build a global community that is still running strong after 5 years. You're Uncle Fucking Woody. We've denied more people than have applied to your shitty clan/team/organization. Fuck, we have REaccepted more people. So, fuck off.
With that being said, I know that Jordan Kahn will have a huge role to fill, but he, much like me, will not do it alone. He has a great staff, an awesome community, and a great history in which to do great things. If you are not proud of who and what it is to be a member of vVv Gaming. . . I’m just not sure what else we could be doing aside from buying talent, and we will NEVER do that. We are a talent factory. People come here to be great, and do great things. Stories start here!
Know that we will do amazing things with League of Legends and Guild Wars 2, as well as continue to develop Starcraft players. We will still create great content. We will always look to the future. We will always be hungry for top people who are committed and passionate about vVv Gaming. We are like no other organization in eSports, and we like it that way. Personally, after 5 years, I think we fucking rock!
I love you vVv Gaming. I hate turning it over. It’s hard to do. I know, "people survived Auschwitz." I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it was good for everyone. We have some great people who are ready to lead, and it is time for me to give them that chance. Please give them the love you have given me. I can’t wait to see where Jordan and the team take vVv Gaming in the next 5 years. You have all made me a better person, and I think we all know that I would not have this huge opportunity at Riot Games if it were not for vVv Gaming. I really do leave my role a better person than I was when I started it, and that is because of all of you.
I still will own vVv Gaming. I will be on the leadership council of our Guild Wars 2 Guild and playing the game. I will still be in vVv Gaming. I will always ask for nudes when you ask me for favors. vVv for Life!