Posted written by Stephen “Snoopeh” Ellis of Evil Geniuses.
Having had Peter shed some light on his own personal thoughts regarding our transition from Europe to North America, I thought I ought to reflect on what led to this change. Not only because this is the most recent big event that has happened for me and us a team, but it’s something I have been wanting to do for more than a year now – perhaps in a later blog I will look more at the move itself and what it means to me.
Back in 2012, after what can be considered as a very successful year – I was negotiating with several organizations and potential sponsors about the upcoming year and after months of negotiating, we realized it wasn’t feasible for CLG at the time to support us – we wanted significantly more than we had asked for in 2011 and their budget couldn’t accommodate that. This led to me having three options that I wanted to consider; two of which were Evil Geniuses and Curse – quite different organizations (at least at the time for sure). Curse was really only just dipping their feet in esports at the time, it’s arguable that they jumped in as they invested a little bit too much initially which was far from sustainable at the time (think old Curse mansion etc) in comparison to Evil Geniuses which has been an esports organization for over a decade and considered by many to be a premier organization – but not without its own flaws, inherently its traditionalism encounters problems which it’s actively addressing as the industry is rapidly developing over recent years.
The third option I had was one which was actually the most appealing to me, during negotiations I had spoken to several companies with the possibility of starting my own organization similar to that of George (CLG) and Andy (TSM). One option was taking up a Venture Capitalists offer, which is slightly more daunting as opposed to the latter option where I went to potential sponsors, which collectively would have led to me having a rather large budget for 2013. The prospect of developing our own team is one which I was very passionate about, however, I didn’t trust anyone to help me run it, at least not at the time which would have meant a considerable workload for me and would have made it very difficult to continue playing, something which I’m very passionate about continuing to do – as you can see it was a struggle for Andy and George and we have since seen them move on to focusing on the business aspect.
In fitting with my desire to move to America, there is considerably more capital expenditure by potential sponsors in comparison to Europe in my experience – which would make it much easier to run a team than the European counterparts. It was also coupled with the proximity to Riot being a huge plus, however with Riot expanding their presence in Europe and establishing an office in Cologne, Germany that is less of a factor now than it was.
After much deliberation the team would rather that we adopted the safer option, which was to go with Evil Geniuses – the risk from starting our own thing was perceived to be too much of a burden on me whilst expecting me to continue to play. The very respectable salary compensation and infrastructure provided by an established organization is what we leaned towards – it hasn’t been without its ups and downs, but with us re-signing with them you can see overall we are satisfied with the relationship.
That leads us to where we are now. In future blogs, I would like to cover what it means now that I’m in America as well as several other topics and I also want to hear what you would like to me talk about – this is for you guys after all!