Consistency – How EG’s CoolGrayAJ went from freelance to full-time

By Antonio Javier, Director of Player Operations for Evil Geniuses

My name is Antonio “CoolGrayAJ” Javier, and I am the Director of Player Operations for Team Evil Geniuses. My role within the company is to oversee everything that has to do with player logistics from making sure our players have their travel booked for tournaments, to coordinating player appearances at trade shows like PAX and E3.

One thing I get asked often is how I got my job in the first place, and how others can follow in my footsteps. Those that know me well know that I actually spent a considerable amount of time as a freelance writer for EG covering tournaments, conducting interviews with players, and directing content for the fighting game division. More often than not, I usually tell people that the best way to get into eSports is to volunteer a lot of your time — either by streaming on your free time to build a sizeable fan base, or by identifying something you do really well, and offer your services to get noticed.

Take Reynad for example. I’ve been watching Reynad’s stream since he was playing Magic: The Gathering Online. While you’ll see him with a regular audience of over 10,000 viewers, back when he was playing Magic, he’d be incredibly grateful to break ¼ of that. What I admire about Reynad is that through the adversities he had to deal with (I’ll let you Google that), he stayed consistent with his stream, and found an alternative route in Hearthstone.

Let’s talk briefly about one of my favorite contemporary movies.

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Dark Knight for obvious reasons — the movie is just badass! One of the best quotes comes from none other than The Joker himself, in which he says, “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” As much as this quote can resonate with a good majority of people today, I’ll have to disagree whole-heartedly.

A lot of popular streamers today didn’t always have their fan base, and those of you that have tried to stream for yourselves know how difficult it is to maintain a consistent streaming schedule. The same goes for anything you do in life, especially in eSports. While I’ve only been in the industry for roughly 4 years — and believe me, that’s baby steps compared to someone like djWHEAT — in my experience, consistency is what’s going to propel you to where you want to be.

As a writer for EG, I wrote just about every day, and about 90% of the things I wrote never made it on the EG website. It wasn’t because I didn’t feel it was good enough to publish, it was just a way for me to stay sharp and to identify anything that seemed mundane or overstated.

The industry is definitely saturated with extremely talented people, and the x-factor in the more popular, perhaps more successful ones is that they have a passion for their craft.

I feel this translated very well with my transition to my current role because while I no longer write for the website, I find myself honing the same passion I had for writing as I do with managing the teams.

What I’m trying to say is that while I spent years freelancing for EG, staying consistent with putting in quality work not only helped me to get noticed by the rest of management, but it did immense favors to the passion for my job. This isn’t to say that I did this all by myself — far from that. I owe a lot of gratitude to the people that helped me get in this position in the first place, namely EG’s Editor-in-Chief, Lucas Bigham.

Lucas was the first person to really believe in my ability to create great content for the direction he envisioned for the EG website, and as naive of me to say this, his faith in me is what got me here in the first place. If he hadn’t believed in me, I wouldn’t have been able to get within the walls of EG at all.

Before you go out and find someone that believes in you, believe in yourself first. Consistency is the hardest thing to do with anything in life, but as cliché as this is going to sound, as long as you keep believing you can do it, you will.

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