Carlos Rodriguez – Founder & CEO of G2 ESports | The Evolution of ESports

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About The Guest

A former professional player under the name “ocelote,” Rodriguez is the founder, co-owner, and CEO of G2 Esports, a championship-winning team in multiple esports. Forbes last year ranked G2 as the eighth-most valuable esports organization with a valuation of $105 million.

He has grown the highly-decorated brand to business success, driven by his accomplishments with industry-leading sponsorship deals, production and sales of merchandise, and securing multi-million dollar funding deals. In 2019, he was named as the first-ever feature nominee in Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe for Sports & Games.

Talking Points

  • 00:00 — Intro
  • 03:54 — Carlos Rodriguez’s origin story
  • 05:25 — When did Carlos start getting paid?
  • 08:39 — When Carlos started e-Sports, was it an established industry?
  • 10:18 — How Carlos’s first tournament ended up rewarding him 2000 bucks
  • 11:54 — How do you become the best, and which games should you play?
  • 14:41 — When you are trying to become the best, what’s your daily routine?
  • 18:00 — Are there any physical or mental exercises in e-Sports?
  • 19:13 — Did Carlos become the world’s best e-Sports player on his own or did he have a coach?
  • 24:47 — Comparing Carlos’s first year of e-Sports with his last
  • 27:50 — Where is e-Sports now?
  • 33:00 — What does Carlos talk about fanbase and franchise?
  • 40:27 — What is G2 and why was it made?
  • 44:19 — What did Carlos do to the players and how did he make the team?
  • 47:45 — The biggest mistake Carlos made while starting G2?
  • 50:25 — What is the difference between being the player and being the owner?
  • 55:44 — What is the next level that G2 will reach in the future?
  • 1:00:20 — What one thing does Carlos not like about how e-Sports has evolved and how would he change that?
  • 1:07:00 — How can people connect with Carlos Rodriguez?
  • 1:07:57 — Does Carlos have any upcoming players program?
  • 1:08:34 — Does Carlos have any mentorship plan?
  • 1:09:44 — Would Carlos do something similar to Apple or Mac?
  • 1:11:55 — What keeps Carlos up at night?
  • 1:15:10 — What happens when you work 12 to 14 hours a day for your whole life?
  • 1:18:38 — The biggest problem Carlos has overcome in his personal life
  • 1:21:21 — Carlos Rodriguez’s mentor
  • 1:23:55 — A book or podcast recommended by Carlos Rodriguez
  • 1:26:12 — What would Carlos tell his 20-year-old self?
  • 1:27:04 — What does success mean to Carlos Rodriguez?

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On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups, and entrepreneurship.

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Machine Generated Transcript

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

esports, player, game, team, years, play, good, sports, largest, brand, world, thought, build, company, contracts, paid, video games, starting, industry, people

SPEAKERS

Carlos Rodriguez, Scott D Clary

 

00:03

Welcome to spinsters a basketball podcast about basketball. I’m Haley O’Shaughnessy, and I’m Jordan Mulligan. Each week we bring in guests that range from our very best friends to former general managers to actors and directors to current and former players, or the girlies as we were talking about trade rumors and game breakdowns, yes. But also this doesn’t really care about like the cow crews my bleaching his hair actually derail his time with the Lakers. Listen every Tuesday and Thursday to spinsters wherever you get your podcast.

 

Scott D Clary  00:36

Welcome to success story, the most useful podcast in the world. I’m your host, Scott D. Clary. The success story podcast is part of the blue wire podcast network as well as the HubSpot Podcast Network. That’s my podcast network has other great podcasts like marketing made simple hosted by Dr. Jay J. Peterson. Now Marketing made simple brings you practical tips to make your marketing easy, and more importantly, make it work. If you’d like any of these topics, you definitely want to go check out the show how to write and deliver a captivating speech, how to market yourself into a new job, how design can help and also hurt your revenue, creating a social media ad strategy that actually works. If these topics resonate with you. Go check out marketing made simple wherever you get your podcasts. Today, my guest is Carlos Rodriguez. Carlos is a former legendary eSports competitor, turned entrepreneur and successful CEO. He was born in Madrid, Spain. He came to prominence in eSports as a professional World of Warcraft and later League of Legends player from 2006 to 2014. Competing and placing highly in international tournaments across the globe. As CEO of GE to eSports. He has grown the highly decorated brand to business success driven by his accomplishments, with industry leading sponsorship deals, production and sales and merchandising, as well as securing multimillion dollar funding deals. Business leaders and people that have worked with Carlos recognize him as an inspiring and innovative leader with the ambition to revolutionize the entertainment industry as a whole. An incredibly interesting podcast, we spoke about how he transitioned from actual not actual, the legacy definition of sports into eSports. We spoke about the evolution of his gaming career, some of the things that he had to work on to be the best the the number one League of Legends player in the world and World of Warcraft player as well, he was it. So he had honed his skills, some of the things that he did to train to be the best some of the requirements that it takes to operate at that level. But ultimately, how the industry has evolved over time, and how he’s been with this industry since its inception. And when he made about $2,000 in his first tournament to when now players are signing multi million dollar deals. He spoke about leaving the industry as a player and pivoting into business ownership starting GE to one of the most prominent teams and eSports in the world, first ranked in Europe, the most prominent number one in Asia and number three in North America. He spoke about the evolution of the industry, but also the evolution of GE to how he built out a business in a new category that has never been defined yet he had no mentors, he had no playbook to follow. We spoke about globalization of eSports, how it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from. You can excel and succeed in eSports. We spoke about the mentality between being a player versus being a business owner, what translated, what didn’t. We spoke about the audience? And how do you get new audience members into eSports. We spoke about how it compares to more traditional sports. And then ultimately, how he sets his goals, how he’s always been a pioneer and an innovator, how he’s become the number one player how he’s built the number one team and how eventually, he will be large enough to compete with some of the largest sports franchises globally and how he hopes to accomplish that. His mindset and his drive is absolutely incredible. And incredibly smart individual, you’ll understand why it was successful. Let’s jump right into it. This is Carlos Rodriguez. He is a former legendary eSports competitor turned CEO of GE to

 

Carlos Rodriguez  04:31

probably 1314 going to high school. And I mean I never really liked High School never really liked to study too much but I had to because my parents had high expectations of me. But I realized, you know competing in different sports throughout my life I played soccer I played paddle which is like tennis with walls is very well known in Spain and Argentina. I always loved competition and And I realized there was a form of competition there was extremely accessible, I didn’t need to buy any gear for it, I didn’t need to take a bus, I didn’t need to go anywhere, I just could be a home, click two buttons and have competition against somebody around the world. And in that was video game competition that was eSports. You know, that was a way in which I could literally compete with other people in a game that I would consider myself good. And then somebody would give me the truth that I was, you know, after competing against him or her, or be shit. And so that was a great feeling, you know, is to clicks into direct competition with someone I don’t know, I don’t know, their background, I don’t know the race or another color or anything. And that, to me, felt beautiful. That was beautiful. I feel like that moment, defined my life actually. Because I spent more time competing online with a lot of people in other video games. And that’s how I ended up building a career out of it. And

 

Scott D Clary  06:03

what is the first version of a career like, what is it like when I think about traditional sports, you know, you’re going through the collegiate system, and then you probably, you know, go through NCAA, and then you go into, like, semi pro, and maybe you’re getting like a really bad salary, like a couple of 1000 bucks a year for semi pro and you try and make it to like the pros, but when do you start getting paid? Like, what’s the monetization so that if somebody’s doing this, you get that first dollar in the bank from eSports?

 

Carlos Rodriguez  06:29

I mean, they’ll be use? Answer first is, you know, there’s tournaments that have prize money, depending on where you place in them, right? The challenge is that those tournaments, for the most part, happen offline somewhere, and in a city that you have to fly to, and cover accommodation. So yeah, back then, there were a couple of tournaments that I got to hold off. And I told myself, you know, let me let me qualify for it, or try to qualify for it, right. And the qualification system here is very open in the sense of, if you are the best player in the world, unlike in traditional sports, there is probably close to a 0% chance that you will not make it. Because everybody has access to your ranking everybody has access to they already will know right away, just by looking at your at the data available related to your games that you play. When you’re training by yourself, everybody has access to that data. Everybody will know if you’re good actually, or at least you could be good, right? If your numbers look good, then you have potential and then someone will try you. And so here for qualification a work the same way. You know, I looked at people that I thought were good as well, just by looking at Rankin contacted them, it was a three versus three. game. It was in what a Warcraft I remember. And I contacted them and said, hey, you know, let’s play together. We don’t know each other. But you know, let’s just try to try to qualify here. And I remember like one of them had no money to because you had to pay for 10 bucks to qualify to enter the qualifier and I paid it for him. So yeah, you know, I’ll pay for you. And then you give me twice as much if we qualify. Okay. And so Okay, so I paid it for him. And we started training. And yeah, we I mean, as I said, there’s like, you go up in the ranking, you win games, you go up in the ranking, you lose games, you go down in the rankings, and the top 10 will go to the event? Well, we were not only part of the top 10 We actually were the first team, you know, so we qualify to the event. And he was in Hannover, so I had to find a sponsor. And I found somebody that paid for our trip, which was a catastrophic trip. I mean, it was like, I probably took like three planes, just to get from Spain to Germany. And it’s not condemned there, though. I mean, for me, it was great. It was actually beautiful. And we all slept in the same room, and in two different mattresses. So I was sharing bed with someone. And, and, yeah, that’s how it all started. And then I brought home 2000 2000 bucks, which my parents were ecstatic, you know, like, they were like, what’s going on? Like, you’re playing video games, and you just brought home more than we both earned together, you know, so it wasn’t saying.

 

Scott D Clary  09:15

And this was like, when you were starting in eSports Was it an established industry? Or were you kind of like, you were you were playing games you were building out like your professional eSports you know, persona, you were winning tournaments, was that basically as eSports was was starting

 

Carlos Rodriguez  09:35

esport was very bare bones at the beginning, right? It was really, really verbal. And so like nothing existed. It was like just events, tournaments, the contracts we had, I mean, I remember negotiating my own contracts, I don’t even want to remotely look back and whatever the hell I signed back then he was he would have I’m sure it was GARBAGE. Like worth as toilet paper. But but you know, it was it was the very beginnings you know, of this thing. And yes compared with how it is right now man, the industry of eSports and video game competition right now is fucking insane. Like my team. So I I’ll talk about later but I found that the largest most relevant team in the world coral Jeetu, right. And so there’s you know, in GT we have players that gets millions millions of dollars a year, we buy out players for millions of dollars we sell them for millions of dollars there is player transfer periods, there is contract durations, there is deliverables within each contract is like very professionalized. There are employees, you know, whatever it is, you know. And so, this is like, sports level contracts, like traditional sports level contracts, and like rules and regulations within each league and game, which back then was not like that, back then it was the Wild West man and whoever, whoever was willing to take the risk like me like I did, then you grew up all the ways.

 

Scott D Clary  10:54

So you make 2000 bucks. And then that was your first tournament. So now you’re now you’re like, hooked on it, obviously. So what as you grow up in your in your eat, like, I don’t even know like your eSports career probably is the best way to put it. You just you’re starting to go after more and more tournaments and the industry is evolving. And is there like, is there like a point was it the first tournament where you’re like, This is gonna be my life, this is what I want to do. Like I’ve sort of validated because 2000 bucks, 2000 bucks, but it’s not a lot. Like it’s really not that much money

 

Carlos Rodriguez  11:25

back then. By the way, by then he was like the world to me, like, my mom and my dad worked pretty much all day. My mom was a makeup artist, my dad was electrician. And between them both, they didn’t bring home 2000 bucks a month. So that was like, I thought I was the richest man on the planet. I could buy half of his pain with that money. But, but yeah, it’s it’s Yeah, I did not think for a second, that this would be how my life would look like. And I kept studying, obviously. But, you know, I’ve never been a person. I mean now and I forced myself to like think 10 years ahead. And he was he helps me. He helps guide me and give me ambition. But back then I did not know these tactics, right. So I would just pretty much live the day to day, doing my best and trying to, quote unquote, survive and become the number one, which eventually I did. But I wasn’t so much planning, as I was just leaving in the present and working really hard on being the best.

 

Scott D Clary  12:31

And what does that what does that mean for esports? What is being like? How do you become the best? Because if you’re talking about all the different, different games that you could play? Do you just focus on the one that’s growing the fastest has the biggest community and figure and play that again?

 

Carlos Rodriguez  12:46

It’s a very good question. Right. So I will say I got lucky on my first move in World of Warcraft, because woodworker just happened to be one of the largest games back then. But then in the fourth year competing in that game, to win in 2009, actually, I decided to quit world Warcraft, and I decided to quit for different reasons than the game being smaller. I didn’t even think about that I quit because I felt like I wasn’t the owner of my lack house. Like I wasn’t like the game had certain things that will make it so the class I play in the game would just become less and less up to me to win with, you know, so I was like, Yeah, I don’t want to, like, yeah, I don’t like control completely. So I decided to quit, you know, and I quit on my peak. I think I I played, I won in Europe. And then I played the World Championship. And I think and they’re like, third, or fourth, I can’t remember exactly. And the first with my class, you know, there’s like different classes in the video game. I was playing warrior and I was the third the best warrior in the world, right? And so yeah, then I decided to quit because of that reason. And then I then asked myself, okay, I want a career out of this. So I think I have a gift to play video games. I think that my I hand coordination is pretty good. I think that I can think on the spot really well as well. And also, I have no fear. I mean, I am inherently a very confident person, which is very useful in game to assert dominance, whenever you’re playing, you know, in facing someone. So what game should I play next, what games fits my skill set and what game is played by a lot of people because the more people that play the game and watch the game, the more price pool I will have access to right? And that’s when I consciously decided to go for League of Legends, which is even as of today one of the largest games on the planet, if not the largest I’m pretty sure is the largest PC game on the planet. And that’s when I built the next portion of my career for five years straight. played that game became one of the best in the world that it played a lot of tournaments build the brand, a created content live streamed and made myself You know, unknown, you know, professional player with a lot of fans. And yeah, that was a conscious effort. And I’m very glad that I did that, even though like League of Legends back then was not my favorite game, I just thought that I could be very good at it. And I thought that I could have a career that I could live by it live with, you know,

 

Scott D Clary  15:18

when you’re, when you are trying to become the best at a game, what is your actual routine look like? What’s your day to day.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  15:24

So that, you know, in traditional sports, you can’t, you shouldn’t practice more than your body physically allows you to, because then it becomes counter counterproductive, right? When your muscles are too tired, then you get into bad habits. And you know, you get into bad habits when you’re too tired. But with video games, I always say if your mind can take it, you should be training, you’re not gonna get exhausted on your arms, you’re not gonna live unless you really have a fucked up way to pick up the mouse, or the controller, you’re not going to develop carpal tunnel, you know, like, yeah, like, it’s not gonna physically tax you. If you just do the ABC of what to do when you play games, like a stretch every now and then turn up from your chair, and like, you know, stretch and whatever, right? But, but mentally is very taxing. Because every game you play, you have to think about 1000 things 1000 Things, while you you’re controlling your character, while you’re thinking about what your team is doing. What moves should the team do next? What is my opponent thinking of doing? It’s just very taxing, you know, and you have to take it seriously so that you can develop good habits. So I think that an average successful career has a player training eight to 10 hours a day. And there’s players that can take more, there’s players that can take less, there’s more creative players that benefit more from playing only six, seven hours. Whereas there’s more players that benefit a lot from repetition, that, you know, having 1112 hours a day, help them more. So it ranges you know, but for the most part of him that the rule of thumb is if you can take it you should be you should be practicing and the way in which you practice there’s two ways in which you practice in eSports. One is alongside your team. So if it’s a team game, you practice alongside your team, and you practice against other teams or your sister team. And then you practice team play, you practice call outs you practice together, you know, you learn how to play together the game, you practice picks and bans, you practice the way in which you guys play the game together, and you practice what you your team is known for what is your play style, right, which takes hundreds if not 1000s of hours, okay. And then you practice by yourself, in the sense of you practice your mechanics, imagine this as if you’re in, you’re an NBA player, and you’re just shooting by yourself, right is shooting at the basket for hours. And the way in which you do that is every game has there is something called solo queue, and you just queue up, and then you automatically get placed with other players in the world, in your team and other players in the world in the opposite team. Random people that are of your level, more or less. And that’s how you practice you learn new mechanics you develop your own and yeah, and those two combined make up for the totality of your practice. Some players like to go to the gym, a lot of them actually like to also read books and just develop their minds and I have come to realize that the does help depending on the player.

 

Scott D Clary  18:36

Now I was gonna ask like if there’s any, any like physical or mental exercises that you do that that translate into, but for you, in particular was mostly just practicing the actual game that you’re playing

 

Carlos Rodriguez  18:48

me was that practicing game, I was hitting the gym as well. And I was reading books, I like to read books a lot. And I like meditating as well. I picked up reading books and meditation when I was 17. And funnily enough, it was when everything just boomed, you know, like, and I have never lost the habit anymore. I don’t meditate every day, but I use it as a tool, you know, and, and same goes for reading books, when I feel like I’m a bit stuck or I’m a bit overly stressed about something in my current job is can get incredibly extra stressful, even more so than as a player. But I’ve learned the little tactics to get rid of that stress and to find solutions to complex problems that require a lot of creativity and ambition and balls honestly, like, sometimes I just have to, sometimes I just have to take a leap of faith and using my gut feel as the faith you know, and and, and I feel like reading books and meditation, meditating and spending time with myself helped me greatly.

 

Scott D Clary  19:50

Ya know, I just find it so fascinating because you know, you when you look at it, when you look at traditional sports, and you find the people that are the best well, you know, they put in the hours and they put put in the work, but then they find the best, they usually will find the best coach, and that will sort of guide them. And because traditional sports, there’s been people that have done it before, right? There’s, there’s training methods that have done it before. If you’re if you’re the number one esports player, no one’s ever really done it before. There’s no coach that has done this as a professional for 10 years, you know, before you were even born, that knows how to knows how to train knows how to navigate and how to deal with contracts. So like, technically, you’re, you’re more or less on your own. Did you find somebody? Or was it was it you sort of paving the way because then when I look at you and your story, it seems like you paved the way for how to coach how to train, how to negotiate how to how to build a brand, how to sort of operate at a high level, when you’re actually as a player, it was just you basically, and probably a handful other people that were coming up at the same time as you.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  20:50

Yeah, that’s actually a good point. Like, it is true that I never had. I didn’t I never had a mentor as a player. I just never had a mentors player. That simple. Because I was, I mean, I was not literally the first player, but I was the first player, you know, one instance of it was what I was one of the first players, you know, and I could just look at my environment and say, okay, that works. Okay, that doesn’t work. Okay, that guy got fucked. Okay, you know, that was just taken by learning the hard way, you know? And, and you’re right. I mean, I had to build my own path. And, you know, wait, that’s why I think and I’m very grateful for this, the industry. Like, my reputation and credibility within the industry is really high. It makes me happy that people look back and see me as, yeah, a legacy player, that now is touching a completely different side of the business, you know, and, ultimately, men. I feel like it’s just, it’s just, it’s fun when you have to build a path that’s never existed before, because you like, you learn to take fuckup some failures as just another day in the office, you know, like right now, like the culture of Jeetu, it’s incredible. Like, I feel like people just know, inherently, that the only thing that will be held accountable to, is to try out things. That’s the one metric that everybody’s held accountable to just try out things that hadn’t been done before. Or try out things that you think you can do better. And that’s the only KPI pretty much, you know, a lot of you fail at it, that’s okay. But if you if you get nothing new, done, if you’re taking no no no risks, that is when you know, when I started looking at you, maybe not a good culture fit. And I think that comes from my times as a player, like, so many decisions, were straight up wrong. Even in social media, just having a big mouth, it sometimes was great, something was shitty, you know, and I built a brand. My brand is completely transparent, this raw guy that is just bantering with everyone having a good time, and sometimes misses the mark, that’s pretty much me, you know, and, and I love it, you know, I really love it. Because you can’t, you can’t, you can’t, what’s the word I’m looking for, you can surf the wave, unless you’re at the exact proper place in the wave, if you’re too high, if you’re too low, you’re gonna, you’re gonna miss it, you’re gonna miss it. So and sometimes you will miss the you will miss the mark, you will miss the wave, and sometimes you will missing the mark is gonna get you a lot of hatred. And you have to be okay with that, you know? So I feel like going through all those failures, including sheerly contracts signed, including bad decisions around changing players, including whatever it is the fact that I can’t look at the Bible and just say, Okay, I was right, okay, this is wrong. And just look at just the results of my actions is very reassuring, and like almost liberation. You know, it’s like a freedom you got,

 

Scott D Clary  24:04

I  mean, you can you can trust yourself, you can trust, I think that’s the most powerful thing you can ever do you trust yourself, you know that, if you had to get to do it all again, you had to figure it all out again, you just trust that you do it, because you’ve figured it out once. And now you start to understand that if you can figure out and navigate all the good, the bad, and the shit that happened to you, and you do it successfully, once you can do it multiple times, and you probably you know, your your career and your life is gonna look different in another 20 years from now, whatever that is, and then you’ll figure that piece out. And I think that’s probably the most powerful thing you can do. And you can only fit you can only ever come to that conclusion if you failed a lot. Because then if you haven’t failed, you don’t know how to deal with the failure. You don’t know how to trust how you’d react when when stuff doesn’t go the way you want it to go. So I think there’s

 

Carlos Rodriguez  24:49

small things in the day to day, right like yeah, small things, small things, whatever small may be, you know, it’s like when something is out of the comfort zone is like the reason you just don’t want to do is because Okay, what if If I do it and then I do, I don’t do it properly, or what if I try to do it and it’s just not the expectation I had, it just doesn’t matter, you know, just just go do it. Yeah. What’s the worst case scenario? You know, you lose the evening, like, what is the worst thing you lose? 100 years? I was the worst case scenario. Yeah, just try it. You know, if you’re really feeling it, well, why not? You know, if anything, you get 100 Euro lesson. I always said, you know,

 

Scott D Clary  25:22

yeah, no, I agree. Okay, so as you as you grew in your career, okay, so you left you left eSports? Like, as a player? What in 2014? Right. That was like your final year and how Okay, so yeah, right.

 

25:37

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Carlos Rodriguez  26:34

Yeah, yeah.

 

Scott D Clary  26:35

And like, okay, so compare, compare, I guess, your first year as an eSports. Player to when you left in 2014, you made 2000 bucks. On your first tournament, in 2014, the industry is matured, just so people who don’t understand eSports who don’t really know the industry, how much money are people making in 2014? When they’re winning tournaments? Now that it’s evolved? What that what does that

 

Carlos Rodriguez  26:57

tell you about my my ex my experience, you know, I was a professional player, and also created content, had my own sponsorship deals, have my contract with my team, and played in tournaments, as I said, and so I was racking on the on my last year on a team, I thought it was 600 and something 1000 euros during the year. Round about a year before us probably like a little less 500 and something then 400 or something, you know, in probably there was a point where at the very beginning of my career, I was earning maybe 20k 30k, only a year. But yeah, it grew organically and fast. But yeah, so 2014, I’d say was, when I quit was probably the year where salaries not prize money necessarily, but salaries caught up to the actual value of players. I remember, back then, when I was competing, my salary in our compensation in the team I was playing in was not very high. I mean, in comparison with the with what I was generating per year, myself was more portion portion. Whereas right now, top players, what they earn as compensation from their teams is probably like 70% of their overall earnings, right for the year. So things have changed a lot in that regard, which gives a lot of security to players, and allows them to take this as a without the need of being business savvy, like I was, well, I wasn’t like super business savvy, but at least I had, like some ambition, you know, to learn things, learn how partnerships work, how to create value for brands and stuff like that. Now, players don’t necessarily need to have that ambition, they can just be a good professional player, that is insane in the game, and just come double down on that focus on that. And they’ll get paid well, depending on the game, of course, right? The larger the game, the more they get paid. It’s almost like, there’s a very mathematical game, you know, is if the game is played by many and watched by many, you’ll get paid more, if you’re good, you know, that doesn’t matter your gender, you know, or whatever it is, you’re gonna get paid more. And if people don’t watch it, you’re gonna get paid less. It’s just how it is. So but I think it’s pretty well developed right now in comparison yet.

 

Scott D Clary  29:26

Now, it’s not at the point. It’s not at the point, especially in 2014, where like, some of the salaries that you see in like professional sports, right? I’m just curious about the viewership, too. So when you look at traditional sports, and you get a signing, you know, you get a 510 $20 million contract, whatever that is, and that and sometimes much bigger than that, too. There’s so many eyeballs that and there’s probably so many dollars you’re supposed to bring into the organization. So in 2014 when you’re paying, you’re getting paid like $600,000 that would still be considered like a low salary and a professional sports arena for most for most leagues. So where is it now? Where is where’s eSports? Now I want to talk about jitsu. But where’s eSports? Now in terms of if I’m the best player in the world, and I’m, I’m signing up with a certain League, what is what are those bonuses look like? Are they in the millions? Because you mentioned before now you buy players for millions now you so now it’s starting to catch up? It’s like, it’s very much. Yeah,

 

Carlos Rodriguez  30:20

for sure. Let’s mean, you win World Championship plus your salary plus what you earn as a, you know, streaming and stuff like that you’re probably earning five $6 million, you know, in the largest game on the planet, that’s very, very possible. Again, depends on the game, but that’s very possible. Yeah. And also keep in mind that players have what, three four year contracts, and if they’re getting paid just a basic minimum compensation of a of 1,000,000.2, or something that’s already a 3.6 million contract guaranteed, over the course of three years, or like $4.8 million contract over the course of four years. That does start being large numbers, you know,

 

Scott D Clary  30:57

yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s starting to definitely like compete with like, the types of contracts with traditionalist Yeah.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  31:04

And I was actually checking I have an Excel sheet. I do with my co founder is a mentor of mine, actually, his name is Jonas Hilgers, he built the largest Esports League in the world called ESL, they just sold it for a billion dollars recently. And he’s my co founder in YouTube as well. And he’s been my mentor for the longest time. And he we together made an Excel sheet, check in gross revenue of traditional sports teams, like NBA, NFL, and so on. And the valuation of those of those companies. And we see that were NBA, NFL, specifically NBA because in a philosophical live, we have different views, but MBA, thinking of salaries, and thinking of a corporate value and thinking of gross revenue, like the the pace in which eSports is growing, is essentially 5x, what sports was growing at, and if things are to be keeping up this pace, in no more than five to 10 years, we will be looking at current Esports teams, the top ones, racking the same valuations and revenue numbers than a lot of traditional sports. And again, it’s a different very, very different business. But a lot of the things are some of these are similar at the other day is audience watching competition, right. And there’s different ways in which you monetize that, in the case of eSports, there’s a lot of sponsorship deals, there’s a lot of consumer products in especially for the top teams like ours. And there’s one more layer which is the digital merchandise, which traditional sports teams don’t necessarily have, besides maybe some NBA 2k deal they have with a video game, whatever. But but here we sell G two skins in game in many different games. So what is what they see is items that don’t make you play better, but make your weapon look different, or your character look cooler, they have a Jeetu mask on it or something, right. And so for that offense, pay whatever it is five bucks, whatever it is, you know, and we got to cut from it. And so that’s, that’s another large, fast growing revenue stream. But one thing we don’t have is mere rights, right? Because someone owns the video game, nobody owns basketball. So as a result of that, teams just have to get significantly more creative than traditional or eSports. Teams need to get significantly more creative than traditional sports teams in building not only a brand that people want to root for, but also different revenue streams that people want to spend money on. But that is being cracked on right now. And you can see the progress of the last specifically two, three years. It’s been incredible to see actually,

 

Scott D Clary  33:54

I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode HubSpot. Now security is one of the major issues big tech is currently facing. From AI scrapes to data leaks starting your business solidly can be just as difficult as growing it securely. HubSpot is on a mission to help your business grow better with a CRM platform that grows with you start your venture with HubSpot easy to use secure website builder that scales with your business as you grow and show your team of two is just as secure as your team of 200 with secure sign on content and asset partitioning, and scalable team permissions, whatever comes next, make sure your businesses ready for it. Learn how your business can grow better@hubspot.com It’s also you also have an opportunity so you know you’re right. You don’t have immediate rights. But what you do have is you have global access where most sports teams are regionalised and then most of the revenue comes from a city right or a country that’s right that’s that’s where you have a huge advantage because if you if you look at some of the largest like for example we look at like you know soccer football and Europe like not like not like American football like like Europe. In football, and you look at the reason why it’s so big, it’s just because the fan base is spread out across so many different countries, so many different regions. But if in the sign of

 

Carlos Rodriguez  35:10

Southeast Asia, in South Africa, you know, South America, all these things,

 

Scott D Clary  35:15

but the states like you have money there, but there’s a cap, there’s a big Castro, but there’s, there’s a cap like if I if I want to, you know, if I want to talk about like different like franchises, if I go to like, even like Green Bay Packers, like yeah, you’re gonna have some fans outside of like, you know, Green Bay, Wisconsin, but you’re not going to have probably many fans or dollars coming in from like the UK.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  35:36

Yeah, you have the nostalgia effect of having gone with your granddad to the stadium when you were young, and whatever. It’s, it’s like a regional, very, you know, that they have in eSports, you’re absolutely right. I mean, specifically, you know, for YouTube, specifically, we’re probably the most global brand at the moment. We’re the largest Western brand in China, in games, in gaming. We are number one in Europe, and number three in North America, which in turn makes us the largest within the context of eSports. And which this is we had, we had examples years back of different publishers coming up with a franchise system. That was regionalised. And we had to say no to it majority, because we don’t believe in that regularization, we believe that. Number one, gamers have English more and more as the global language, regardless where they play from. Again, there’s differences, right, like Russians playing with Russians, they speak Russian, right? Brazilians playing with Brazilians, they speak Portuguese, right. But for the most part, you see English becoming more and more the go to language for pretty much most distribution of competition, as well as when you’re actually playing video games with others just speak English, right? Because you don’t know if they, like you have in your team, a French guy, a Swedish guy, a guy that is from New York, but happens to be living in, you know, Paris, you’re living in Berlin is a Spanish guy as well in your team. So what language do you speak English, you know, and everybody knows that you grew up speaking English. So it’s almost like the language makes it a global phenomenon now. And as internet and technology gets better, and makes it more and more possible, we’re still a bit far from it, but it makes it more and more possible to, for someone from New York, for someone from New York to be able to play against someone from Paris with a decent latency, which right now is bearable, but it’s like, it’s not that good. Like, if you want to play competitively. You can’t play with like, 100 Ping, you know, how do you need to pay with like, 30 Ping, you know, and that requires you to be on the same region. Now that that barrier at some point will be hopefully gone. And when that happens, absolute globalization will be achieved, you know, where you can literally play against anybody around the world, in one language, English, and then what’s where you got born worth, nothing. Like, it doesn’t matter what your background is, actually, that’s one of the things I love about gaming, it doesn’t matter what your background is, you’re a woman, you’re a man, you’re raised, his whatever you got born in, whatever, he doesn’t matter to anyone what your age is, it doesn’t matter. You know, if you if you hit hits in a first person shooter game, you have our accolades. If you don’t hit has, you’re gonna get shot on. And that’s the beauty of video games, you know. So yeah, I completely believe in the global aspect from it, and less and less believe in the regionalization that, you know, traditional sports are inherently needing to have, you know,

 

Scott D Clary  38:30

I’m happy you push back against that, because I think it actually, you know, what you mentioned, it’s a beautiful thing, like, and yeah, you have like technology problems with internet speeds, and latency and whatnot. But that’s, that’ll be solved, too. So this is, you know, this is an incredible industry that actually is a true global industry. And I’m sure you do have some, actually, you mentioned you know, you’re not you’re number one in Europe, you’re number three in North America, you know, you rank what was the the the AIPAC ranking, it’s like, in China,

 

Carlos Rodriguez  38:57

we’re number one in China. Oh, you’re number

 

Scott D Clary  38:59

one in China. So I’m sure there’s still like some regional because people are probably programmed to like root for people that are geographically close to them and similar to them, but I feel like that’s going to be a thing of the past soon. So I think that by pushing back on regionalization like you’re forcing people to think differently about sports. Yeah,

 

Carlos Rodriguez  39:15

for sure. You know, the problem is that a lot of these a lot of so Americans like blink blink a lot. And I say this with utmost respect, you know, as a European I mean, I don’t give a fuck if you give me like courtside tickets. I mean, I was encouraged a few times and he just doesn’t feel that special you know, but when I see when I when I see when I get someone courtside tickets for the different nets game or something. They’re like, they can’t believe it, you know? And I’m like, I don’t know. It’s just American mindset, you know, and the American minds of blink, blink, heavily idolizes regional sports heavily idolizes, you know, and even myself, I’ve tried it myself. I tried. I’ve tried in different ways to work with rational sports people. And there’s a reason why it doesn’t work is because they’re not the same. thing, digital commanding digital audiences in digital native platforms and distribution platforms is very different. Very, very, very different. You buy LeBron James, you, he comes into the Lakers, you automatically sell however many jerseys, you do that with the best player in the world in eSports, you will sell some years, but he’s not even like remotely close to the amount of years as you would sell. If you put some proper high quality well thought through campaign and content behind it. So in other words, is almost like traditional sports teams, as a result of the franchise systems majority, but in the case of soccer, they have no franchise systems in in Europe, they have no franchise system, and yet, they fall under the same issues. They tend to be just more lazy, you know, with their brands, you know, the craziest thing they have going for them is the mascot. I mean, fair enough. That’s interesting. But beyond that, there is nothing you know, they don’t understand web three, they don’t understand content format, they don’t understand how to create scripts that are semi scripted content with the players, the players don’t even want to make that content unless you pay them extra. I mean, it’s really a mess, you know. So there is no entertainment, besides what sports shows that have nothing to do with those teams do or podcasts that have nothing to do with those teams do. And so eSports, we had to learn the hard way, if we want to build something that lasts for long, and that builds a large firm fan base that spends money in your brand. We just had to learn the hard way that we had to build something interesting. And that interesting thing you’re building is not connected with where you were born, because then you’re putting artificial walls where they shouldn’t be none. It has to be connected with your brand. What is your brand standing up for? What is your colors looking like? What is your mascot? What is the content? You create? What what makes you special? You know, it’s very different from where you were born?

 

Scott D Clary  42:02

No, it’s a good point. Okay, I want to I feel like we can talk about this more. But I want to I want to I do want to talk about GE too, because it’s kind of important. So. So as you left as you left, being a professional player, you, you could have just probably at that point, you probably could have like coached other players, you didn’t have to go all in and start a business, right? Like that’s a lot of work. And I’m sure you figured that out. Probably the hard way. You did all this. So and you started a business that I don’t think really has ever existed before. So you started. So what I do, too, is I’m I don’t know how to categorize because not a league. It’s like, it’s just like a conglomerate of players, right? Like you’re almost like acting like as an agency in the bat. Is that the best?

 

Carlos Rodriguez  42:48

No, it’s It’s probably it’s probably closer. So Jeetu is a combination of LA Lakers and Marvel. Like the two is literally what would have happened if Marvel bought the Lakers. Literally as insane we are a sports team focused on video game competition, that builds its long term value within the brand in the form of creating scripted content, animating it.

 

Scott D Clary  43:16

Not only be a team, you can only be a team. But you also have to be like a content marketing machine based

 

Carlos Rodriguez  43:21

Absolutely. Even from day one, you look at our org chart, and you’re like, Okay, that’s a media company. You have players that compete in video games. And we happen to be the most competitive, successful organization in the world across top titles. But so that makes us the sports that makes the sports team side of the business. But where we truly monetize our brand is through the creation of I mean, just content production and distribution capabilities, which we’d have everything in house. And so we have a team of 30 plus people using production alone. So we have a total of 160 people in the company now. And a large portion of those are in marketing, a large, large portion of those are in marketing. And what happens is the result is that yeah, we play the games that are most played in the world. We go into the events when them lose them, but what I really don’t compete in them, and choose what names what games are going to be we think are going to be relevant tomorrow and build themes in those games ahead of time. And then once we have those themes, we create content around those themes, for socials. I mean, doesn’t matter the you know, tick tock Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, everything right, Reddit, Discord, whatever it is. And, and so and then with that, we build sort of like Lego. We build our community that every day that passes, games come and go, but our community continues to grow. Why because if one game dies, the community evaporates. Now the community goes to the another game that is maybe close to what that game used to be. Maybe it’s a first person shooter. Maybe the community will go to another game. We are Ready happened to be part of their game? So all of a sudden, what did they do? They gravitate towards becoming the defense. So unlike traditional sports, we don’t rely on a game being alive, we have the most portfolio approach you can think of. And the wing, especially in which we want it, we monetize this majority through sponsorship deals, league revenue share consumer products, both physical and digital consumer products sell merchandise. And of course, you know, depending on the team, there are teams that make a lot of money by selling players, sort of like objects in soccer in Europe, or like other game or other other teams that just tank all the other, you know, tank. This is on every single time and try to get good drafts, you know. And the trade them, you know, so, yeah, there seems like that. But yeah, I’d say I’d say it’s a very it’s a significantly different business than at least is a more complex business, the ones ratio sports teams, while it’s

 

Scott D Clary  45:55

much more because you’re so I made the the incorrect. It’s not I said, agency, because you’re representing players. And those players we

 

Carlos Rodriguez  46:01

have around, right. So it’s not like ca or WMV those guys have no, I mean, nobody cares, right? So yeah, we our players, we pay them salaries, that we have deliverables with them. And they have their agents, you know, so that, you know, it’s not we’re not their agents, we are their organization, their team, their their club, you know,

 

Scott D Clary  46:19

and they play differently. They they’re playing different games, so you’re playing different games, you’re, you’re creating content for them. It’s like, I don’t think that I don’t think what you’ve built that G to actually exists in traditional sports. Like, I don’t think that entity doesn’t

 

Carlos Rodriguez  46:29

really he doesn’t. Yeah, he doesn’t. It’s a media company with heavy focus on video and competition that just doesn’t exist.

 

Scott D Clary  46:36

When you first started it. What did you What did you do first? Did you find all the players that you wanted to bring on? Or what was your first

 

Carlos Rodriguez  46:43

team? I built a team and I decided to play for that team. I wasn’t quote unquote, an attraction. Everybody knew me, right? And they were like, Oh, my God, you lose, you leave a top team to create your own team. Starting from zero not even second division. He was like fifth division, okay. Yeah, I was, yep, I’m gonna do it. And so I brought I brought people on board. And I competed, competed until I realized until I sorry, my goal was to compete until I found somebody better than me. I was already quote unquote, old, for for an Esports competitor. And I was already you know, after after competing for nine years, I don’t know like your your targets and ambitions, when you have one Mbps have won trophies have achieved everything you wanted to achieve, what’s left to be achieved, then your motivation goes down, you know, so I just, I just wanted to phase out eventually. And when I found my replacement, which I did, and then when I did that, when I found my replacement, I just quit professionally, and just focus all in on being the founding CEO of GE to and I bootstrapped the company from from zero with what I earned as a player put all my money there. And, and gents, join me very, very shortly after, and I consider him a co founder, he’s a co founder. And then together we we started, you know, pitching to different investors and honestly surviving. And eventually, after survival was accomplished driving, you know, trying to look for ways to become larger, you know, increasing the ambition of our targets. At first I wanted to be a team people know, then I wanted to be one of the largest teams in Spain. They don’t want it to be one of the largest teams in Europe, and I want it to be the largest team in Europe, then I want it to be one of the largest cities in the world, and I wanted to be the largest in the world. And now I want to be the media brand focused on video games. That’s largest in the world, which of course it’s it’s a strong target considering things like fortnight exist, like you know that but but it’s, you know, I always I’m always a big believer that Baumann is a hiker who carries about archery. Okay, and archer Archer is like is Yeah, an archer is like, like aiming the bow a little too high. To sort of reach further, you know, if you aim exactly straight up in front of you. It reach enriches it, the arrow goes for shorter length. So, yeah, just so so. So it’s important to me to have this crazy target in front of us. And I’m sure if you asked me five years from now, the target will be larger.

 

Scott D Clary  49:20

What was the biggest? The biggest mistake the biggest mess that you had to clean up when you were when you were starting GT? What was the one thing we were like shit, this isn’t gonna work out.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  49:32

You know, I’m actually not good. I’m good at learning a strong lessons from each of each of those, but I’m not good at like keeping them in my head. You know, as a as a token of shame. You know, it’s almost like I feel like a good one is the actual name. Okay, so is G two, right, G two, and you’re like, What does G two mean? Like G two means nothing by itself. But the beauty of GTA is that when I created the team, and here’s the first fuckup of money, I thought to myself, Oh my God, this name? Nobody has it, gamers, two gamers two.com. What a domain. How is nobody getting this domain gamers do not come? Oh my God, we are all gamers too. That’s a beautiful fucking slogan. Yep, I learned the hard way that my English language skills were not up to par back then. And at some point that was like, I was talking to myself. And I was like, brother, what is this? Like? What are you? What? What were you thinking? What is this name? Is so cringy. So trihard is so not English native, you know? And I, I just decided to rebrand, right? And we worked like 1000 iterations of a different logo. And then we realized that you can make with the G under to a mask. And in our case, we wanted to have a samurai mask, because summarise are dope, you know. And so and so, I was like, You know what, fuck it. I don’t want any name. I want to carry this Jeetu as a token of shame forever, you know, I want to remember that I didn’t know how to speak English back then. So now it’s gonna be Jeetu forever. And so Detroit is, you know, it’s like it that things don’t have to be perfect branding wise, if you do a good job, people are gonna follow you. And the summarize I said is dope. So that’s good.

 

Scott D Clary  51:34

But by the way, like, there’s there’s other like, there’s another big company that actually like that does a G two thing too. So it’s not like it’s not like it’s a bad name. There’s like a huge, you couldn’t get you to.com I think it’d be probably tried to buy that from GE too. I think they’re like a Software Rating company. Right?

 

Carlos Rodriguez  51:49

Yeah, I saw that. I saw that I saw that. We have Yeah, I love you to eSports works. I’m happy. Fuck it.

 

Scott D Clary  51:56

It’s yeah, that’s good. No, no, it’s good. It’s good. Okay. As you as you grow G two. So now you build into a media company? What’s the difference in your like, what’s the difference between being a player being an owner? And like, what’s the mentality? How do you approach problems? Like, what did you learn from that that switch?

 

Carlos Rodriguez  52:18

I mean, as a player, you learn to do one thing really? Well, you become a specialist, right? It’s almost like having a, it’s like, it’s like mastering the sword. You know, it’s like, you become a master of that one thing. And whoever you face, you know, that whether you win or you lose, you’re confident in your ability to muster that sword to use that sword, you know. And there is no not a lot of room for extraordinary ways to approach your work. Because the game has a set of rules you have to follow. And you have you can be creative within those rules, which for an overly creative person, or artistic person, it can be a constraint sometimes, actually. Because after playing the game for 1000 hours, you realize that those contract constraints constraints exist, you know, and you just learn to live with those. So I guess the biggest difference and if, number one, I actually did learn very valuable skills as a player. Number one, I learned how to deal with people in high pressure situations. Some people like to be told, what the fuck are you doing? Some people like to be told, Hey, let’s go through this together, okay, because I think there’s, there’s something we could do better, you know. And I learned the value of having people around you that know how to take responsibility over the reactions, and not be cynical about everything. So as I was player, but also also the captain of my team, so I did a lot of changes to my lineups. And over the years, and sometimes those changes were good, sometimes those changes were bad. And I learned what makes up a good group of people is not just mechanics, in other words, is not just skills is the is the attitude, actually what makes up a good group of people, you need a minimum set of skills of course, but after that minimum set of set of skills is matched is achieved. You need attitude in a perfect merge of attitudes in a group of five, high five needs to have the humble guy that is the supportive mindset that would go out of his way to help a teammate when he’s in need. He will we will not only the super cocky guy that is a wholesome dude that just loves the video game. But like it’s incredibly cocky and you know that you live by the sword die by the sword if he has a good day is great. If he has a bad day you lose. You need to have the guy that is very serious and clean. Everybody come on, get our shit together. You know you need to have Like the captain figure, you need to write. And so there’s different. It depends on the game as well. Right? So, learning what each game needs in terms of the types of attitudes mix within each team is something I learned as a player and something that I still to this day deploy in my job today. So it’s not like my previous career as a player was useless. Quite the opposite. A lot of the skills that I developed then I still use to this day, you know, but the biggest differences I’d say is the ability to be creative. Like in my job, there is no there’s no walls, there’s like no limitations. You know, like I literally wanted to make a song. I love singing, okay, I wanted to make a song. So I did a metal song, an epic metal song. And we went hand with it. We spent like half a million dollars in building the most incredible incredible high production quality a song best guitarist in the world. best drummer in the world best cello is in the world. The cello is of Hans Zimmer. We were talking insane. best songwriters, he was insane. Okay. And that was the lead singer. Okay, which there’s nothing more Eagle focused on that. Why not? You know, you can do that shit as a player, you know. So yeah, it’s just my job allows for a lot of creativity and a lot of fun. Sometimes I’m focused on video content on approving scripts and approving the final video and approving the music on the actual scoring of our pieces. Sometimes I’m focused on how we distribute all of that sometimes I focus on social media, the quality of our posts with social so we get into next, you know, understanding KPIs, are we ahead? Are we behind understanding consumer products, how consumer products look like? Then sometimes investor pitch in time, sometimes have low sales, you know, is like, in sometimes very often, I have to spend time on the actual Esports teams, the quality of the lineups that we have to improve it. Sometimes there’s problems they call me Hey, Carlos 3am, I’m homesick in Korea, whatever, you know, and I have to speak with him and I, it’s a it’s a different job that touches on a lot of different things. So it’s so fun, bro, I will do it. I always say when I’m a beginner, I will literally do what I’m doing right now. I love dude, nearly the same thing,

 

Scott D Clary  57:13

you know that you’re doing the right thing when you could say that. That’s amazing. Yeah. Confident as well. No, it’s good. I thought I thought one of the things you mentioned before was interesting. Like, you know, you want it to get it to to the you want to be the largest brand. I guess you know, esports team agents, not agency media company in the world. And there’s a lot of competition for that. I think in one of the interviews I listened to before you said you want you to be the Real Madrid of of eSports, which is awesome.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  57:43

So I remember that. Yeah, you’re just doing my dream to read read the Real Madrid office course. But now it’s my dream to be in a position to Acquire Real Madrid and not do it.

 

Scott D Clary  57:52

Good. Good. Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s do this. Let’s that’s awesome. And

 

Carlos Rodriguez  57:56

not do it. Yes.

 

Scott D Clary  57:59

Okay, so, okay, so now you’re at a point where like, you have a huge huge like G two’s enormous, but how do you become How do you become how do you take the next level? What’s the next thing like if you’re looking at the industry and you’re like, Okay, we have this media we have all these great players like we’re making millions of dollars and but I want to take to the next level, what’s the next level and what G two could actually accomplish?

 

Carlos Rodriguez  58:23

I feel like is widening the funnel of our audience in the sense of our audience is comprised majority of people that follow eSports or play those games that esports are broadcasting and in video games in general, right but but less so casual video games, like for example, you know, there’s the Minecraft of the world Roblox of the world like those are my son plays Minecraft. And Roblox in his iPad. And, and you know, those games we have no, we’re not tapping into whatsoever, and no team is properly being able to tap into. Because it’s very hard to find an excuse to do so as an eSports. Team, right? So, for us, the next step is to widen that funnel of audience. And we’re going to do that through our exact know how, which is content production, animation, VFX, scripting, fantasy, and connecting that with our esports team. So it’s, again, it’s a it’s a first, it’s never been done before. We’re gonna be the first we’re essentially the first company on Earth to merge the reality of sports and eSports with a world of fantasy.

 

Scott D Clary  59:39

How do you get people that aren’t even video game players or watchers into eSports? Because that’s the real opportunity.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  59:45

Yeah, that’s that’s exactly what we’re trying to win work. We’re trying to be the bridge between those casual audiences and those hardcore eSports audiences in a way that what if we tell a story within our Our fantasy world, everything done in house that that story is a story of one of our teams in one specific event, one specific tournament, one specific finals, by which we tell that story. Through the eyes have a universe we create that has nothing to do with the game we’re playing that day. Nothing to do with the actual players playing the game that day. But it very clearly winks at that moment in time. And it will be very appealing for Korean fans, because they will want to watch it because obviously, it references a moment they deem important in the legacy of Jeetu and Nandita fans or non eSports fans will have an entry point through something they’re happy to watch, which is animation, whether it’s an anime series, what you know, TBD. Right, yeah. And they’ll be like, Okay, this is interesting, okay. And all of a sudden, they have an entry point towards eSports. That has nothing to do with video game competition. And so that’s the bridge everybody’s trying to be because once you crack that nut open is going to, you’re going to reap the benefits from it by far. Yeah, I’d say there’s a one team that is doing a decent job at widening that funnel, but they’re doing it very differently than you need through celebrity partnerships, which is FaZe Clan. FaZe Clan has a lot of celebrity partnerships, you know, with Snoop Dogg and whatever. But that’s just prohibitively expensive, I mean, in the sense of FaZe Clan is not a company, you know, like, this is just, this is a family bakery store, you can’t really expect to build a business on the back of giving people shares to represent your brand, you know, so, yeah, that’s why you know, that’s the that’s the another restaurant to crack.

 

Scott D Clary  1:02:00

That’s good. No, it’s good. I liked the plan. I think that that that the content strategy, just like creating these like worlds around these worlds and alternative media channels, and you create shows you create all this different stuff that will bring people and will get people like so excited then like when you it is the guy that I spoke to before he he creates something I can’t remember his name. Now, it’s so bad, but he creates what it’s called a story world. And it’s like, there’s like one piece of content that he creates, then he creates books and movies and everything around that piece of content. And then you can you can consume a podcast you can consume like a Netflix show, you can read like five books, you can go on social you can go in like little Reddit communities, or even like Facebook, you do everything and then like, you pull in all these people and all the other assets from everything you put out into the world and like people just become like, like, like if you think about like anime, like Attack on Titan or something like that, like if you did like, like six other pieces. If you did like a Netflix movie, if you did like a video game, if you did, like Yeah, that’s right.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:03:03

That’s literally that Why does literally the way we think and thought always about you two, G two is the universe, right is the university two, we play many different games, each game is different from one another. Each player is different from one another. Each piece we create is different from one another with script or semi script most of our most of our content. So every piece is literally different from one another. And we’re telling stories consistently. Sometimes those stories are real, sometimes there is a made up. And this is no different than that, which is doubling down on that goal of ours and that due to universe, we want you to consume it in many different ways. Through music, like the song I just told you about and the scoring of music. Yeah. Is this a form of ISACA 360 media? Is it to add layers in which you can consume Jeetu. That’s awesome. I love and entertain this way.

 

Scott D Clary  1:03:56

And I want to do a couple rapid fire at the end. But just a couple of questions to close off about Jeetu What’s one thing after you’ve been in this industry for so long? What’s one thing that you would change about it? What’s something you don’t love about how eSports has evolved?

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:04:09

Yeah, trying to copy paste. What what works in traditional sports, which typically happens as a result of bling bling, like I said, because they get starstruck by people in the sports world, or because they lack the confidence to know that we actually are the best industry pertaining commanding digital audiences and how to talk to them. You don’t talk to them the same way you talk to traditional sports audiences. The arts the commercials for Esports fans and gaming fans are different must be different than the commercials for sports fans. The humor they like this the eSports fans see through bullshit when it’s incredible. Like you’re you’re not going to lie to them. Like you know This this email you received from the Saudi prince that wants to give you Bitcoin or some shit like that, just like that automatically. Adam, this is 0% chance if these people play one eSports game, there’s 0% chance that email is gonna get ever responded. Okay? It’s a different it’s a different audience, bro. Like, you cater to this audience differently.

 

Scott D Clary  1:05:20

No, that’s funny. Okay, just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode swag.com. Now, you know, if you’ve ever received a corporate gift or swag in the past, how many of those gifts did you actually keep? Probably not many. Which is probably because the stuff that you got was not so great. I’ve gotten like a lot of stuff from trade shows, and from companies in the past that I’ve just thrown out the second I get it. So this is why you need checkouts. why.com, I’ve been on the receiving end of getting garbage gifts. I’ve also worked in companies, where I only had access to a really, really small inventory of stuff that I wanted to give my customers and my employees. And I knew that it wasn’t going to resonate, I knew that was going to suck. So what is swag.com? Well, it’s like swag upgrade, it’s the best place to buy custom gifts and swag that people will actually want to keep. So they sent me a box, because obviously, they’re sponsoring the show. And I wanted to see what it’s all about, you know, I’ve worked in businesses, I want to make sure that the quality of their stuff actually was up to my standards, because I can tell you right now, that when I get garbage, it goes right into the trash, it’s like it really goes right into the trash. And secondly, get back from the trade show or the conference or whatever. So I received one of the customs white boxes from swag.com. I loved the unique packaging. So it was a beautiful unboxing experience. I love the actual products they sent me and there’s a whole bunch more that obviously they didn’t send me. But the stuff that they did send was absolutely beautiful, it was very high quality. And I can only imagine that if I actually got this when I was working for companies, I probably would have actually used it. And to be honest, I’m going to start using them for people that work on my show. And in my company as well. Because I know it this isn’t just a novelty gift that somebody’s gonna throw it, it’s stuff that they can actually use, they have so many unique and customizable gifts that I’ve never seen anywhere else. They have custom yoga mats, they have custom Apple air pods, they even have branded kayaks, which I did not know was a thing. So they carry all these premium brands like Northface, Yeti, Nike, and more. And it’s all customizable with your company’s logo or artwork. So you’re even able to create custom swag boxes full of great branded items. And then you actually deliver them in a custom unique box. With swag.com. They take care of all of your swag at their warehouse, and they ship it to individual addresses. Or if you prefer, you can just send it to a bulk location in one single shipment. It’s easy to manage from their online portal, which you obviously get access to. So if this is something that you think would benefit you if you have clients, or customers or a team, and you want to go the extra mile and you actually want to give gifts that people appreciate, which is the whole point of giving these gifts in the first place. Go to swag.com for the perfect swag and custom gifts. Right now they’re giving everybody who’s a success story, podcast listener a special offer. It’s 10% off your entire order, but only when you go to swag.com/success and enter promo code success 10 Remember, for 10% off, go to swag.com/success and use promo code success 10 Where do Where do people connect with you? Where should they go? What’s the socials website all that.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:08:41

So best ways is socials but we have a website obviously G to esports.com. Ours our Twitter at G to eSports. And my twitter at Carlos our I pretty much we pretty much read everything even though there’s like 1000s of mentions every day, but we pretty much read everything. If there is a comment or question anything I’ll gladly answer. And yeah, I’m readily available I love coming in touch with people that are not aware of eSports what do you what it means you know how to even remotely get a hold of the first you know, a tournament or something maybe just try to figure out which game is for you. It’s also a good way to you know, banter and talk and have a topic of conversation with your son and daughter you know, because a lot of those are playing and watching.

 

Scott D Clary  1:09:33

Do you have do you have like a like a like, like an incubator program or something for like people that are just starting out? Like you have like intro like awake if somebody’s like, I want to get into eSports I want to go watch a tournament like do you have infinite like info like that? Or do you have like a up and coming players program where they can like,

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:09:49

that’s actually a beautiful question. You know what, I don’t think anybody has that. But but it might not be a bad idea. Actually. We’re so we’re so tunnel visioned into our industry that we used I lack the creativity to look outside of it. But that’s actually a pretty good point. Let me actually write it down. Because it seems

 

Scott D Clary  1:10:08

like it would work really well if I was if I was getting into eSports. And I’ve never played a video game or I play video games, like casually probably that’s the first person you want to target. But if you had like a mentorship program, where you like pair like up and coming like video game players and like it would take, like not that much time to be honest.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:10:24

Yeah, that’s a very good point. And at least to get them to understand, okay, if you want to watch a tournament, or like what you know, figure out what game is for you, this is the place to go. I’ll say that like twitch.tv t WICH t.tv is the largest live stream platform for video games. And you can just browse in there. Which game could be for you? Because there is games for all tastes like there’s first person shooters, there’s car games, first person first person car games with sim racing gig rigs, that is like really advanced as well. There is like, FIFA, of course, NBA 2k, there is card games, there’s all kinds of games for all kinds of people. And if someone tells you I don’t like video games, is because they haven’t found a video game they like, guaranteed.

 

Scott D Clary  1:11:19

You know, it just makes me think about like, you know, the story of like how like Mac and Apple got, like, so popular is because they gave like free computers to everyone in college in like universities and colleges. So by the time they graduated, they all use MAC’s they all use computers and then less crazy jobs. Yeah.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:11:38

So you do the same thing and expensive marketing tool. But I listen that take it.

 

Scott D Clary  1:11:42

But imagine no, seriously, it’s an expensive marketing tool if you have Mac’s but if you if you’re just doing that, if you’re just doing that with eSports. So you’re not giving anything physical, it’s just time. It’s time and that’s it. And you really are the people that bring like everybody into the industry you know who’s going to be you’re going to Well, first of all, you got the best pick of new players. They’re gonna be they’re gonna be hydrophone you’re gonna have people like, like that are like, fan like huge, like huge, huge fans trying to get onto G Tuesday. And the best way

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:12:09

we do stuff with the universities, though we do you know, we get involved early in their, in their in their lives and, and try to add value there with nothing. Yeah, nothing has changed. And it’s worked. You know, how we actually have a lot of junior employees, some of them actually grew in the company from that. And they’re like data analysts and stuff like that. And that’s from literally from university. And they might not even like know what eSports was, you know, so doing these things, actually has been a great, great tool to get really talented people hungry, talented people into the world.

 

Scott D Clary  1:12:42

I think I think if you did this, I think if you did this effectively and you targeted like young talent, I think you would easily become the best in like five years biggest and best it’d be much easier than buying your way into biggest and best with just trying to like pay for eyeballs and doing more. Especially no one’s doing it smart. Yeah, smart. Okay, let’s do a couple rapid fire closes. Okay,

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:13:06

rapid fire. I’m just I’m just fucking it up. He’s like,

 

Scott D Clary  1:13:08

no, no, no, no, you take you take you take as much time as you don’t give a shit, man. Like I

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:13:16

just can’t stop talking. Somebody should have warned you before.

 

Scott D Clary  1:13:20

It’s great. Dude. You’re awesome. I love it. If you ever in Miami you let me know we’ll do an in person. I have a studio

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:13:25

actually Miami first week of June. Hey, for real. Okay, so

 

Scott D Clary  1:13:28

I’ll do my info. You let me know. Right. Okay, awesome crew as a player and then you build out a huge business but what keeps you up at night now?

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:13:40

I’m incredibly ambitious, bro. I mean, I have to I feel you know, oh my God. Is this a good example that is gonna make me look like Like, like, I’m out of my ruse. So I went to I went to a Hans Zimmer concert. Earlier this week. No, I last week. Okay. I thought it was like Wednesday last week. And and, and so I went there. I enjoyed it so much. I was by myself. But it was so enjoyable. I was like, I cried a couple times. It was incredible. That guy’s a genius and the people he surrounds himself by geniuses. Well, can you believe that? I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking for three hours. I couldn’t sleep because I was angry that I couldn’t put that show together. If I wanted to. So I was like, thinking okay, I can’t I can’t do a live show like handsomer that was my my my standard that I was just comparing by

 

Scott D Clary  1:14:41

dude but you’re you’re like you’re so you’re like a special kind of person. That’s why you’ve been successful because you think like that.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:14:47

I don’t know what he said was a curse, I think I think is I don’t know if it’s a curse, or a gift. I think it’s both at equal levels, bro because I was so pissed. That’s the day after I remember just having one on ones with a head of content. Head of media head of GM, everybody. And I was just telling them, I was just all of a sudden their ambition just grew. And it was already high, you know, and I was like, shit, we have to just look better the way we hire people, we have to look better. Okay? Do you think this person is like this person that can carry the light show of our show? In the long term, 10 years from now, and we’re the number one in the world? Can this person carry the light show? Yes or No? No? Okay, then why do we have this person?

 

Scott D Clary  1:15:27

Right? It’s not about it’s not a bad way to think but no, it’s not a bad way to think it’s just, it’s like, it’s uncomfortable to think like that. Like, it’s very uncomfortable. It’s very uncomfortable. But I mean, it’s, it’s like, that’s what you got it. That’s what you have to be to be the best you have to work with the best. I mean, there’s no reason like, the way that I look at it, is if there’s someone who’s done it, that person is just human. That person is just somebody who spent a lot of time figuring out but yes, human

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:15:53

right. It’s a very good point. That’s a very good point is that we idolize I mean, I analyze consumer, I analyze. I don’t know, fucking whatever it is, you know, Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James, whoever it is. It’s just people, bro. It’s just people.

 

Scott D Clary  1:16:09

So I’ll tell you like, okay, so you idolize Hans Zimmer, and you’re at the concert, and you’re like, Fuck, I shouldn’t be able to do this. Okay. So if you put in 30 years into figuring out music and playing music, and then you hire the team, and you spent the money, you do it. It’s not like it’s not like it’s not like a complicated pathway to get that

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:16:27

done. And if you don’t reach that level of genius, at least you will be close enough to be comparable. Right? That’s what I that’s what I think is very possible, right? Because of course, you can get born with traits, right? And Hans Zimmer has traits that I will never have. And that’s just life. That’s his knowledge do

 

Scott D Clary  1:16:45

you believe? Do you honestly believe that if you put your whole life and you put 12 to 14 plus hours a day, every single day doing it that you couldn’t

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:16:56

look me depends on what I think I think you have a point. For some things, I think something some other things, the way in which you get born. And your upbringing, which you have no control over Drew, has a lot more to say about like, I think for art, specifically, if you’re talking like surgeon, maybe you do still need to be very still. So things that require physicality, right, LeBron James, you need to be told, and so there are things that you can just work on. But But, but, and I think art is one of those things that just your brain has to be fucked up in a way that only like, like insane is Yeah, yeah. But let’s see mind you have the bare minimum. And just do spend those 30 years doing what you said, at least you will be close enough to be comparable. Right? I agree with and any that’s the max, you achieved. And so be that considered a success. Right? But yeah, you’re right. It’s just people is just people, people that when they speak, they fuck up. Sometimes they’re shy, sometimes they’re happy. Sometimes they’re sad. Sometimes they cry, sometimes they have shitty nights. They have shitty mornings, they have happy mornings. It’s just people row. And it’s like, people also, you know, in a different scale, right? It’s not like, I’m fucking, it’s not like, I’m Barack Obama. But people idolize me at times, right, especially in the gaming community right now. And I’m thinking to myself, and I tell them the same, right? I’m like, bro, like, Yes, I had something that made me a good player, right? Yes, is correct. But what made me a good player isn’t this is not necessarily what made me good at my job right now. And I consider myself better on my job right now than I was as a player. So I do think that the vast majority of available jobs and career opportunities and things you can do, you can actually work yourself into, and you’re just human, just like Elon Musk, and these other people, yes, some of them are incredibly fucked up in the head in a good or a bad way that leads them to these positions. And you might never be able to be Elon Musk, but you don’t have to be Elon Musk, you know, know that you can create your own value. Just following your own path. You know,

 

Scott D Clary  1:19:02

I fully I fully believe that and that’s why I think that I think to have that, that outlook on life that that I think you have to be like a little bit, a little bit like off to like think like that too. Because it’s like, it’s incredibly ambitious. But if you don’t think like that, then you’re never going to get started because like, why would you like if you don’t think like that, then logically you would assume that you can achieve that. And if you’re if most people are logical and rational, if you have already decided that you can achieve that and you idolize that person, then you’re not going to start from day one. Because you’re like, Well, why would I ever start

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:19:34

people you hire the work you put in everything you’re gonna hold yourself to the standard of that’s below what the best case scenario looks like. And so you’re gonna hire worst you’re gonna work worse. You’re gonna be less creative. And you know what, what was the sentence is that yeah, so say when you need to survive, you just get creative. You find a way.

 

Scott D Clary  1:19:56

I love it. Okay, next question. Next question. And this

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:20:00

is another another rapid fire my aspirate has been like half an hour of rapid fire.

 

Scott D Clary  1:20:07

No, it’s awesome. This is all be good. It’ll be good social shit. We’ll do like some of this like, it’ll be good. Biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your personal life. What was it? How do you overcome it? Would you learn from it?

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:20:20

Um, yeah. My wife was the answer. So when we when we had our son five years and a half ago, she had incredibly tough postpartum. And she almost died, actually. So yeah, that part is like, I mean, give me perspective, I guess is like nothing else. Nothing else scares me. You know, because I saw what real fear is like, and even looking back, I don’t even remember those. Let the one year. I don’t remember, bro. I don’t know how my days look like I don’t know. It’s crazy. Because I’m very conscious about what happens in my life and like my brain, and I’m very transparent with myself. When I have a problem, I tell myself what the problem could be. And I try to I don’t know, I’m very straightforward. There’s no bullshit with myself, you know? Yeah, I’m very real. In a swear to God, bro. I don’t know what the fuck happened the year? I don’t remember. I don’t I can record I can record. I know, I was existing. When I was leaving and everything, but it’s like, I don’t know. I don’t even know if it’s overload. I don’t know. I don’t know. So yeah, that that moment is like, yeah, it it builds. I mean, of course, my relationship with my with my fiancee is like, like, what else can be important enough? To lose our shit over? Nothing, you know? Yeah. So like, everything becomes secondary. But at a personal level, you know? Just knowing I mean, the fact that your life is finite. You the life though those around you is finite. Yeah, the perspective. Yeah, it allows you to enjoy things more and live fullest more and take more leaps of faith. I mean, I’m going to New York to live my life with my family, you know, my life is perfect right now. And and why would I change anything? And that’s complications. And I don’t know, I just want to do it. It’s like, no, they will. So what if it goes wrong? So what I can always just go back to Spain know, whatever it is? That what’s the what’s the matter, you know, so I guess that’s the biggest thing I have overcome. And it’s a bit selfish, because it wasn’t me who overcame it is my wife. My fiancee. But yeah, but you know, it mentally it was it was, yeah, I had to work a lot on it, but I’m over it. And it’s a better guy. As a result.

 

Scott D Clary  1:22:56

If you had to choose one person, and again, it could be your wife too. But if you had to pick one person, although there’s been many that have helped you in your in your life, mentored you? Who was that person? And what did they teach you?

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:23:08

Yeah, so I’ll say couldn’t see more than one another, fucking up your rapidfire? No, no, it’s

 

Scott D Clary  1:23:14

okay. It’s okay.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:23:15

I’ll say I’ll say my wife, and definitely, my fiancee. Yeah. I call her always my wife’s or whatever. She arose, she’s, she’s very ambitious as well. And she demands the best from me as well, in a non intrusive way, right. She just knows what triggers me the right way. And, and tells me what I need to hear to piss me off and be better. And she’s my backbone is simple, my son, right? So of course, I think family is almost like cheating is like cheating the question. Those two, my son and my wife need to be there, obviously. But then I have to add Jen’s Hilgers my mentor. He’s taught me so many things wrote like, I mean, I have no university career. And my only career is the career of his business life, of losing my money of being borderline Avene diverge, of losing the company, running out of funds, of getting creative in all kinds of ways of never sacrificing my moral compass. For for short term gains, which have given me now the long term credibility with partners and investors and the like. I don’t know I feel like every conversation I’ve had with Yen’s has been I’ve learned something. And I’d like to think of the same way for him and me. Although I’m the student. We are very different. He’s very German. He’s very structured. He’s very, his thoughts are very clearly put together. His commandment of the English language is incredible. At. And he’s very ambitious well, so that’s something we share. But I’m more, you know, he’s more data driven. Whereas I’m more gut driven. I’m more like, I connect with people through emotions a lot more. And the gestures of the people I’m talking to, are much more reactive when talking to people reacting to how they will react, you know, but we, I think we’re with a very good tech team. So I’d say Gen servers. Yeah, that’s the guy.

 

Scott D Clary  1:25:29

Good. No, very good. If you had to pick a book or podcast or some something you’ve consumed in your life that you’d recommend people go check out

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:25:39

I’d say book, meditations, Marcus Aurelius. I like that one a lot. I also liked even though I didn’t like the book house as much when I finished it is a book that I always think of, when I like thinking back, which is called outliers. And that book taught me that I don’t know for example, like some, you know, the best athletes in football got born specific year, or a specific month, sorry. And that’s for a reason, you know, that means that they’re like, the largest in their class. And so they play better and so playing better that year, because they’re larger, they have more leverage physical leverage over the rest. All of a sudden, they grow up confidently knowing they’re the best so it’s almost like a self fulfilling prophecy. And they become better and better and better and better. And as mathematically somebody is a it’s a numbers game, you know, it becomes a numbers game. And so that taught me that book taught me that a lot of it is in your head. So you know they’re famous fake it till you make it I hate the actual same but in a way in many situations, it is so true. That you just have to dude, you have to work like you own it. You have to and I’m not saying be like arrogant in this I know everything No, no he’s like, confidence is a big portion of confidence comes from saying I have no fucking idea about this. Like we need someone that knows more than me that I can just make my face go read you

 

Scott D Clary  1:27:06

know, I need someone that figuring it and being okay with that to being by the way just

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:27:10

gives me shit all the time. Like I’m telling you like he gives me so much shit. It doesn’t matter when I think I’m at the top of the of the of the food chain. He comes and just says you piece of shit. You know nothing because Papa Papa and then Okay, understood. I’m sorry. And as you know, this keeping you grounded, bro is a must have, you know, but yeah, I feel like confidence is a must have right just this confidence, like deep confidence. I’m not saying like, Oh, you know, like, No, I’m Tim deep confidence, you know, being okay with being wrong seeking feedback, while still knowing that if you deploy that feedback, you’re going to be the number one.

 

Scott D Clary  1:27:48

What would you tell your 20 year old self?

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:27:56

What would it tell my 20 year old self don’t call it gamers to use Spanish SON OF A BITCH

 

Scott D Clary  1:28:13

that’s good. I actually don’t hate the name. It’s not that bad. I think you’re hard on yourself.

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:28:21

That’s why that’s like a Spanish person. You just gathered his Russian friend and they came up with an English name for a team. Okay. It’s like the least English native. You can think of so bad.

 

Scott D Clary  1:28:38

Oh my god. Okay, last question. Last question. What does success mean to you?

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:28:47

Success for me is enjoy it. So I consider myself successful if I’m enjoying the misery that comes with following a tough path.

 

Scott D Clary  1:28:58

That’s a good one. I’ve never heard that before. That’s good. Yeah, because

 

Carlos Rodriguez  1:29:03

it’s like a constant fucking misery. I mean, it’s like holy shit. This goes wrong. Holy fuck, this goes wrong. Things are going good. No, my brain just makes up some shade. And all of a sudden, we’re terrible. We’re trash we are where were we not marvel? Well, there’s like there’s like that misery. Like knowing that use this so much to do. Knowing that you could be so much better knowing that you’re in control of your actions, meaning you are the reason for your failures is at first a lot of stress to go through but at the same time, it’s so liberating. Because you’re in control actually, you feel you’re in control, you know, you are where the buck stops. And so for me success is enjoying the process. And it’s hard to enjoy the process like at a shallow level because when you feel when you’re dealing with miserable shit you have Yeah, it’s not it’s not like pleasant in that moment, but at a deep level. If you do enjoy it, if you keep Monday comes and you’re waking up knowing Okay, let’s fix some shit. You know? Because like, That’s success to me, you know? It’s not for everyone but it works for me man

 

1:30:19

Hey everyone, welcome to comeback stories, a new podcast with the goal of reaching as many people as possible to remind them that they’re not alone and that everybody has a comeback story within them. I’m your host, Donnie starcoins. And I’ve witnessed countless transformations in my time as a mindfulness teacher and high performance coach and one of these inspiring stories was born from a connection that was made from one of the best friends I have in the world. And now my comeback stories co host Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller together Darren and I want to help you and others experiencing mental health struggles or any other setbacks in life by telling our own comeback stories and drawing other athletes and celebrities to open up to share their own personal success journeys. Our first episode will drop July 11.

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