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The moment I saw the duel between SK Telecom Faker and KT Ryu in 2013 OGN Champions season 3 summer finals of League of Legends, I fell in love with eSports scene. I witnessed with my own eyes a mere Korean player take the world stage and grab the attention of the whole world. I felt a new kind of excitement I have never felt before.
My family members around my age all enjoy video games. I was heavily influenced by my older cousins who were playing games competitively. Naturally, I started playing video games they played and I found myself as a huge fan of eSports. On my way back home from school, I often find myself at a front page of the League of Legend subreddit looking for any new information about the game. I focus on new game content, patch notes, and the flow of current meta. Meta is a game term which stands for most effective technique available. I love to be part the community built around the game. From the celebrity youtubers with millions of subscribers to the pro-gamers and the casters, the community is rich with different personalities and identities. Being part of such vibrant community helps me express myself in a sincere manner. I am more inclined to develop strong opinions about the state of the game and how the community should move forward because it is a big part of who I am as a person. For instance, I used to allow others to take leadership in school activities because I felt shy about subjects and easily lost confidence. However, by being part of the eSports community, I was able to experience all the events throughout the year hands on. I can now hold my original ideas and share it to the community without hesitation.
But because of the size of the community, what I express online isn’t always noticed by others. The comment I post often gets quickly overwritten by other individuals, and if it were to be noticed, some disagree, and some even try to degrade my opinion. With this experience, I learned that I must respect people regardless of their tone or attitude even if it is an online community. Additionally, due to constant donations streamers receive, I learned the importance of numbers. Many famous League of Legends streamers such as Michael Santana, better known as Imaqtpie, receive over eight thousand dollars per month through donation alone. Although most of the donations he receives are single to two digit figures, they all add up to a almost six figure income for a year. As an avid fan of his stream, this fact stunned me. I knew that streamers made money, but not to this extent. After this realization, I slowly began to notice the potential in the eSports business. From the casual youtube videos to the pro-scene news blogs, I saw more and more of what this industry offered: a chance for every day individuals to build the community around them. Once no names like Doublelift, Imaqtpie, and BoxBox are new celebrities in the growing phenomenon and there’s nothing I want to do more than to be part of this development.
My goal is to take this passion and continue in a more professional level. A level where it’s not just a dream. An environment where people who I share the same goals are at. A place where I can work with those people to accomplish what we all strive for. Whether it’s making a company, producing a new game, or simply being part of the community, I am driven to be part of the eSports scene. I strongly believe that the education and student environment provided by University of Texas is the kind of setting that I want to start my career in the eSports business. A place where it will provide me with vast network and interactions.
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