With the Reason Gaming organisation changing hands comes a completely new set of dedicated, hardworking management staff. Over the next week the group of men at the helm of the organisation will be presented to you on a platter answering a series of questions so that you get to know them a little better. Included in the questions will be the transition from community to competition, the acquisition of the Reason Gaming and RNR-eSports and a little about themselves.
First up is the new organisation owner and MD, Adam “Blanks” Heath.
Hello Adam, first of all let’s dive right in to your history. How did you enter into eSports and where did you come from?
My first taste of online gaming started way back in StarCraft 1 where I played with a few friends from school in a clan called Dark Assassins. I was very new to the concept of competitive playing and it didn’t help that I was shocking at the game too. I soon became obsessed with the Use Map Settings games, mainly the “defence” type games so I decided to make a clan that focused more on having fun than being good at the game, HST. Years passed and I heard about CS coming out but was on dial up so couldn’t play such a graphically intense game for the time, so I stayed on SC doing the same old thing.
I made the jump to CS when they released Condition Zero and implented bots. Soon after that I moved to an area with broadband access and the online world became my playground, quickly finding a love for the Warcraft 3 mod in CZ, little did I know though, the best was yet to come – CSS. There is one excuse for my poor attendance at lan, and that is CSS. I was putting 15 hours a day in for near 2 years solid of pub bashing – but still hadn’t found my true calling.
When I left college and started in the working world I could no longer put those kinds of hours into the game, but soon after started my first job and realising I hated it and decided the only way forward was to make a game server provider so I could play games and earn money…or so the plan was. Little did I know there was no money in this unless you first had the money to invest. Lucky for me one of my first clients were Adam “Damage” Parkins and Ryan “Arky” Kingsley who needed a sever for their new clan, Rasta-Gaming. I became good friends with them and soon gave up running a GSP and joined Rasta fulltime in mid 2006, and I have been there ever since.
Most people automatically associate you solely with the Rasta-Gaming name; however you also have some other eSports related ventures. What other projects have you been involved in and how will they tie in to the RNR brand?
I have always had an entrepreneurial flare from a very young age, so after giving up on my GSP idea, being involved in just Rasta (despite it being a lot of work) didn’t satisfy me and I wanted to expand into more gaming related areas. This started with Clanbug.com, a website CMS designed for gamers to give them an out-of-the-box product they could use to manage their teams. This was just the tip of the iceberg as I wanted to be involved in more so I bought lo3cup.co.uk as it has sunk into inactivity but was once a very busy cup website, which I am currently redesigning and rebranding. I have shoutcastthis.com – a new site that is a one stop shop to watch streams. HoNPortal, a news and community website for Heroes of Newerth, and a couple more sites that are in the pipe works or not worth mentioning at the moment.
Coming from a large community such as Rasta-Gaming, do you think that your experiences there have provided skills transferable over to managing a competitive side?
The experiences I have learnt from being involved in the growth of Rasta-Gaming is one of the reasons why I stand here today as the owner of Reason Gaming. I wouldn’t have taken over such a prestigious name in eSports if I didn’t think I could keep its sterling reputation and restore it to its former glory. We have had Rasta.Xd under our wing for 2 years now which was a massive learning curve from the community teams we grew used to.
A quote taken directly from Rasta’s about us page is “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” Is this part of the basis for moving into more a competitive environment, do you have a unique approach to handling an organisation?
I think our way of managing does differ slightly as we have had some people a little shocked from the responses both myself and Damage have given to people. Some top level gamers get molly-coddled by orgs and treated like they are king of the world…but at Rasta-Gaming, and now Reason, we talk to players like the adults they supposedly are and keep things “real” (in true Rastafarian style).
Now the question you have been dreading: What exactly is your role in the management team?
Officially, I am the Managing Director of RNR-eSports, but as for jobs inside Reason I will be heavily involved with managing the teams and scouting new teams and games to pick up and compete in.
Tell us a bit about your personal life. What are your hobbies outside of managing eSports teams?
I work, play games, sleep – rinse and repeat.
Last, but by no means least, what are your all time: Best, worst and most abstract eSports memories?
Best moment in eSports – 1 deaging Ritch down banana at i38 – Check out my mega-bad edit!
Worst moment in eSports – Not directly linked to eSports, but hearing that Luke, a passionate young gamer-to-be who had leukaemia, had passed away when only a few months before hand we had raised £1000 for him and his family, hand delivered the cheque to him and spent a day playing on his Xbox with him.
Most abstract moment in eSports – Would have to say when the original Rasta.Xd team approached us asking to join – having players of that calibre take interest in what was only meant to be “a fun, friendly environment to play games” was surreal at the time.
That concludes the first interview, next up is Adam “Damage” Parkins in a few days time. Keep checking back on our social media to make sure you don’t miss it!