by Colin McNeil | Twitter
April 9, 2021
I’ve always had difficulty writing about myself.
That’s a funny thing to say, coming from an extrovert who’s been in front of a camera on and off for the last few years. And when I was asked by Upcomer to write or record something about why I joined the organization, I’m going to be honest, I really struggled to produce something. Anything.
There were everyday, practical reasons why I chose to end four years of working for theScore Esports and join up with a totally new esports media outlet, of course. But that’s really not the whole story.
For the first time, staring for hours at a blank Google Doc, I was forced to think about not only why I joined Upcomer, but why I do what I do at all. Because it’s more than a job, and it always has been. It’s something I put my passion, my time and my heart into. And I’m very lucky to be able to make a living doing what I love.
But there are days. Bad days.
I’m not talking about 12-hour stress benders, sacrificed weekends and nights, or sacrificed relationships – that’s all par for the course, and it’s no more than my peers in the industry have gone through.
I’m talking about days when I wake up to an inbox full of death threats just because I’ve looked into a camera and said it’s not OK to abuse young esports athletes. Days when my face and name have been dragged through the mud by some drama-mongering YouTuber who’ll tell any lie to get a few extra clicks. Days when all I deal with is politics and I feel further than ever from actually creating.
At the worst of times, I have found myself so fed up with some of the drama and the pettiness of it, I’ve wondered why I should even continue down the esports road.
And then, I’ll sit down to review the latest cut of a video, or to edit a script that needs to go into production – do my job, basically – and something happens that changes my entire outlook.
I get caught up in the story.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a dramatic 30-minute documentary or an eight-minute listicle, I get lost in the telling of it, and everything else suddenly seems less important than it did a moment ago.
As goofy as it sounds, no matter how many times I watch Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev drop from Rafters on Cache to make that iconic play, no matter how many times I see Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok dominate Ryu “Ryu”Sang-wook, I get goosebumps. When I read about OG scraping together the world’s most ragtag underdog team to win it all at The International, I feel the electricity of that moment.
That’s why I do this. The telling of stories. The passing of knowledge. The canonization of the legends of…
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