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The Talent Factory: Skills for eSports. Skills for Life.

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The Talent Factory: Skills for eSports. Skills for Life.

As many of you know, in March of this year vVv Gaming celebrated its 5 year anniversary. This weekend, I have had the opportunity to reflect on what we want to accomplish in the next 5 years. While thinking about the right direction to set, it is important to look at where we are today.

vVv Gaming is the most accomplished console organization in the world. With top 4 LAN finishes on 4 continents across 18 titles. Beyond our accomplishments we are also widely recognized as one of the best, multi-title eSports communities in the world. Personally, I believe we have some of the finest people in gaming. I also think that our unique community based model has been a competitive advantage to our brand and our sponsors. As I think about the next 5 years, I keep thinking about something that Kim Rom, the chief marketing officer of Steel Series, said to me a couple years ago. He said to me, “vVv Gaming is a 'talent factory'.” Talent Factory. Think about that. I think everyone knows that in our model we don’t go out and purchase the top talent. We focus on potential, we explain opportunity. Most importantly we also build community.

So knowing all of this, as I started thinking about the next 5 years. Those two words keep coming back to me: talent factory.

We have accomplished everything that we set out to do in our first five years, and obviously so much more. I believe that vVv Gaming, our staff, our players, and our community have a seat at the table. We play a vital and important role in eSports. I think vVv Gaming is one of the most recognized brands in eSports, but sometimes I think it is misunderstood. I do not want to focus on why we are sometimes misunderstood. As you can imagine, when I start to think about setting goals for vVv Gaming, it starts to get tougher and tougher to raise the bar. I keep thinking; will getting a top-10 Starcraft placement make a difference? Do we really need to win more? Do we also need to be the most accomplished PC organization? Would doing that really help eSports grow?

There's an old saying, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” I believe over the next 5 years we should focus on how we can help that eSports tide to rise. When I start to think about it, when I start to think about the explosive growth we have had recently with games like Starcraft 2 and League of Legends, I believe we have more opportunities and needs than we have the talent available to fill them. There is that word again: talent. Talent Factory.

As I think of the next five years, I think maybe vVv Gaming needs to embrace being a talent factory. I think we need to be more than just an awesome, phenomenal gaming community. I think we need to be a talent factory.

I bet most of you right now are probably thinking: “Jerry, thats great, but arent we already doing that?” To which I respond to you, “Yes we have.” What we have not done is formally mapped out a strategy and process nor have we done a good job of telling the world that we are a great talent factory. To be fair, we probably are more like a talent mill than a full fledged talent factory. So thinking about the future, I would like to change that. I would like to be a talent factory not just for players but the kind of staff and infrastructure that eSports will continue to need for growth.

Before setting this new direction, I want to make sure of two things. The first is that for most of everything we do, there wont be any changes. We will continue to sponsor players, and grow community, and do everything we love. I need the community and staff to understand that everything we do right now, we will continue to do. Remember, this direction is about GROWTH, not about change. The second thing is that I want to know if the staff, the vVv Gaming community, the fans, and others involved in eSports believe that this direction is helpful. Of course, I am most concerned what the vVv community and staff think about this.

So I am asking all of you, do you think its a good idea for vVv Gaming to really build on the foundations we already have in place, and by foundations I mean this talent mill? Should we develop full speed into a talent factory, developing staff, writers, editors, eSports analysts, graphic artists, etc? Here is a academic way to look at the idea of a Talent Factory:

vVv is essentially the community college of esports at the moment. We get people prepared to represent themselves as players, as gamers, and therefore also ready to properly represent vVv Gaming. Everyone involved in the professional world should have skills. We transform vVv into the University of e-sports where people can branch off into more specialized fields and therefore set themselves up for employment in, and create value for, the emerging e-sports "industry" (we're not an industry yet, but hopefully, we will be soon).

I look forward to hearing all your thoughts and ideas. Be honest. Feel free to ask tough questions. Feel free to tell me that you have dreams of working in eSports full time.

Thanks.

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Well, this looks like the direction I would love to go in. People talk about e-sports as the next thing to come, and more and more people flock to competitive gaming for entertainment, which only opens doors for potential employment. If we want e-sports to be serious, someone needs to step up. Why shouldn't it be us?

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To hold up to our reputation that we have now, we need to remain competitive. I do have dreams of working in eSports fulltime after my College career ends (which I know won't be for awhile) but I feel like I'm doing decently well as of the moment. My passion is gaming, and the mission for all of us should be to let people know that there is a career inside of what we call "eSports".

Let's do it!

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I believe, that growing the talents of any area is an unique and honourable goal to have.

We do have it in our slogan - Entertain, Educate, Dominate. To me, vVv has an unique approach to things, mostly unseen in e-Sports. We could begin setting new examples, as to how things can be done. To even further solidify the meaning behind our slogan.

We should build on this uniqueness, and I feel that the direction is only going to make the whole vVv even better.

I personally have my own goals. Do I want to be a famous player or something like that? No, not really. I just want to be as best as possible, to follow my passion and follow my calling. If vVv is here for me, I will in turn make sure that I am here for vVv. We help each other to grow better, no matter in which area it is.

Edited by vVv BabyToss

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I would totally love a full time job in esports as soon as I get out of college. And it would be awesome if vVv Gaming embraces the whole university concept. If vVv can direct me (lack of a better word) to having a career in esports, THEN YES!!

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I love this and think this is a great opportunity for people who are passionate about gaming to DO something and make it happen. The #1 currency for getting a job or career in esports is CONTRIBUTION you won't get far by saying your passionate and love esports or thinking you have some right of passage from being a former pro in 2007. However, there is a big difference between willingness to help and actually contributing.

Examples:

The wrong way - Asking an organization if they need help with graphics work.

The right way - Mocking up graphics for that organization and sending it to them, saying "Hey, I made you some graphics because I love what you do. I'd be delighted to do more if you want"

The wrong way - Asking an organization if they need help with tournament organization.

The right way - Organize and run regular tournaments, and then step up to an organization and say "Hey, I've been successfully running these tournaments, do you want to cross promote? Or perhaps we could merge our two efforts together into a super tournament?"

The wrong way - Polling reddit to see if people have interest in a BarCraft in your area.

The right way - Organize the damn BarCraft and invite people to attend!

Props to Day9 for preaching this.

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I believe we should gather around like we always do and keep building up as always.

Eventually we will be one of those teams to remember by, and become this "talent factory"

Time is what we need, and so far with all of the accomplishments we have engraved upon ourselves, I believe that this is the foundation we need to become a force to be reckoned with.

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I love this write up, I sincerely believe that we can make vVv as a representative that eSports enthusiasts can indeed be, and are very talented and marketable individuals in the "real" world, desirable as employees.

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I'm only very new to the vVv Gaming community but there is a saying that I wholeheartedly believe in.

-You can't get to where you are going, until you understand from whence you came.

I believe we should refresh and strengthen our roots, core value and the foundation the vVv has commuted itself to from the beginning. Everything else will fall into place naturally.

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What does this mean for non e-sport titles? I have seen a lot of buzz in vVv for upcoming Guild Wars 2 and Diablo 3 titles- both of which prolly will never be e-sports...

We don't have to focus JUST on the eSports titles, I don't think. That's not to say they (the eSports titles) shouldn't be our focus, as they should, but we can extend help and "tutoring", as it were, for games that aren't in that ring of games. If we're going to become a talent factory, we can't start out by being exclusive!

For the topic at hand, I do obviously agree that it's a good direction to go in. Even if a different group steps up to take over for us, we have the perfect chance to set the best example possible and BE the best example possible for how any place that wants to be a talent factory should be, and we absoutely cannot squander this chance if we take up that mantle. Even if we aren't the ones who jump at the call, we should still be able to help the group/s that do take this over.

Let's live by our creed -- Entertain. Educate. Dominate.

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I love this post and all the comments. It has my full support and getting out of the military in the next year and a half working for vVv within Esports would be something I'd love and look forward too. Gaming has always been my passion and I'll be doing it until the day I die, so having it as a career would be amazing!

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What does this mean for non e-sport titles? I have seen a lot of buzz in vVv for upcoming Guild Wars 2 and Diablo 3 titles- both of which prolly will never be e-sports...

I have 100% faith that GW2 WILL be an eSports title. D3 is a GREAT community building opportunity. Both are important to vVv Gaming.

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I do like this post and the innovation talked about. Developing into a Talent Factory could only serve to help everyone. I have a small thought that has been bothering me for a while. I support vVv and its players, just some of the discussion over the Winter Arena and other recent issues made me take a step back. It was the bashing of Team Liquid for their decision on showing the stream and other BM from some high level vVv managers who I respected that did this. Some of the criticism I agreed with, but the rudeness and seeming, I say seeming, arrogance was not fun to read. I wanted to just say that and hopefully again meet reasonable common ground with this organization. Good luck to everyone in vVv, here's to more success!

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I don't think vVv would be "Entertain Educate Dominate" if we weren't actively trying to recruit new and build upon existing talent. I like what we are doing and I enjoy the fun I have being involved in it.

So yes, keep our writers, managers, and staff producing new content and helping organize the community and keep helping our gamers find training partners, team practice times and having a great community to discuss their challenges and successes with.

As far as ideas to increase growth of talent.. I think more opportunities to recognize talent would help. The League of Legends "B" team that noControl and Platty are actively looking to organize I think is a perfect example of this. People of the LoL community will have a chance to show off their skill sets against other members as they compete for a spot on the team; they also always have a chance to do this in our weekly in-houses. What better way to recognize talent than more opportunities to show sparks of it off?

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yea, i have no idea on what the e-sports seen will look like in ten years, but this is the kind of "BIG" thinking we all need to be doing & aware of to make it a reality. wish i had more to add right now, cant think >...<

Edited by vVv Spectral

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Awesome post by Jerry! This post is part of the reason I just recently joined the vVv forums. I always knew vVv was an awesome place, but I just now discovered that this is a place of likeminded individuals who are passionate about what they do. It is my goal to work in the future esports industry and I thought this would be a great place to help build upon this dream. The idea of this community being a "talent factory" was really what lite the fuse for me. Ive been involved in other communitites before, but none that were to my liking. I love to see hard work and passion come to life, and here looks like a great place for that.

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I think it's a great idea to build up from the base in every area of e-sports. Be it as a player, caster, reporter, or even a tournament organize, a lot of it has to be done from self-initiative, or someone has to present that opportunity. Mind you, I am doing my own thing with the upcoming semi-pro league and providing opportunities to my staff and future players, I still full support vVv's initiate to help in their way. It's building the base to meet the demand up top.

And yeah, GW2 has e-Sports potential. 5v5 mode, not WvW.

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I actually like the idea of growing not only players, but staff as well. I mean, I'll take being a writer as an example, mainly because I'm a Journalism major so it's my area of expertise. Anyone can go to one of those free websites, set up a blog and say "Bam, I can write", but that's not everything. Developing people for every aspect will only help them in the long run, it makes everyone better and in turn, makes the organization better. Would you rather read something that someone through together that looks like a college style essay that is talking about the amazing run CDjr had at the Spring arena, or would you rather read the style of article Doomhammer wrote, which was more or less the way you want to capture someone actually reading an article. Taking an active approach into developing that helps everyone because not only does the writer become better, but his work becomes better, which in turn makes more people want to read his articles, which then leads to people learning not about a specific player, but the person/persons that the writer is talking about.

Just my two cents.

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Guest vVv Ambush

this was amazing! cant wait to be apart of it! and i believe its an amazing way to be headed!

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