The business of gaming has grown phenomenally over the past few decades. I felt the impact of the gaming phenomenon while attending the North American League of Legends Championship (2015) with my son in New York. The event left a huge impression on me as I began appreciating the power of gaming.
The Madison Square Garden (MSG) was literally shaking with the amazing vibe. As a former basketball player, I have experienced the euphoria associated with large crowds in a massive arena, but this was different. I found myself surrounded by tens of thousands of exuberant gamers. The feeling was different from being in the presence of raucous basketball fans.
The event gave me an opportunity to spend some quality time with my son. As an avid game designer, my boy was excited to participate at the championship. We have shared many memorable moments playing video games and this was a completely new experience. For this reason, I arrived at the event with a keen sense of exploration.
I love gaming just as my son does. This meant that I did not approach a large-scale gaming event with any form of skepticism, which is normal for anyone my age. For me, I have always considered gaming as a hobby that can bring people together, regardless of age. However, some of the activities that I witnessed at the championship caught me by surprise.
My exposure to the large-scale event was in some ways similar to the high intensity atmosphere of the basketball games. I played for the Lakers in matches characterized by intense rivalry and I have won three NBA championships. Some of the venues were strikingly hallowed and the fans displayed an unmatched passion for the game. As I entered the MSG for the gaming championship, I could not help but relive the magic of my playing days.
For someone who stays in tune with his body and emotions, I must say that the experience was an eye opener. The attendees exhibited an infectious level of enthusiasm. The exuberance caught me by surprise and it differed significantly with what I experienced during my playing days.
The occasion showcased huge strides made by the gaming industry and it led to the formation of Echo Fox Team with entrepreneur Amit Raizada. The exposure was guided by the reality that I walked into the massive arena devoid of any misconceptions or biases about the gaming sector. I took me 48 hours to realize that the event represented a major opportunity.
I made the decision to venture into the e-sports business. The opportunity was a natural fit for me considering that my son is an avid fan and game designer. The industry itself was expanding at a phenomenal rate. Hence, it made sense to invest in a growing industry that I am passionate about. However, the business created a new challenge because it differed considerably with my previous experiences in the sporting world.
This time around, I had to rely on my knowledge and business acumen to ensure that the venture was a resounding success. When I spent time with the Lakers, Celtics and North Carolina, I leveraged the presence of support structures. I had unlimited access to experienced mentors. For the new business, I had to pick my own team that would help turn the startup into a prominent outfit in the e-sports industry.
I made the decision to turn to people with experience in the field and I approached a veteran – Amit Raizada, a prominent figure in e-sports. I had worked with Amit in other business ventures that became a success. He is well known for his integrity, vision and transparency. In addition, Raizada has the ability to structure deals appropriately to maximize success.
Success in business is influenced by one’s trust in their abilities. The same applies to hard work. My new partner worked tirelessly to get the venture off the ground. He often sacrificed his personal life to take the business to greater heights. I benefited from Amit’s encyclopedic knowledge. This enabled us to build a strong foundation for the enterprise.
The efforts resulted in the formation of Echo Fox, an e-sports company that we wanted to turn into premier entity in the sector.
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