Ok, this will be a personal experience of mine. Let’s start from the beginning. When I was a kid, I loved playing Starcraft: Broodwar, which is a strategy game. It’s actually the best strategy game ever created, not that I say so, but all the critics agree on this. I was pretty good at it. I used to cast a lot of games with my current associate, so we were commentators. He, my associate, was really into commentating, actually managing to get thousands of views from his castings. He was way more determined than I was.
Anyway, back to the story. So we were commentating and then we somehow got in contact with the guys over at acleague.ro, which is Romanian gaming site which talks about Starcraft and a few other games. I really can’t remember how we got in contact with them, I think the guy owning the site (Catalin) heard about our commentating of Starcraft games or just tuned in one time, when we we’re casting from home (we didn’t have any money remember).
So Catalin must of liked our layed back, funny commentating style, because he told us to come over at his place and commentate a showmatch between some great players at that time. So we did, and it was a great thing. We managed to attract a lot of live viewers and considering that we were casting in english which is our second language, we were really happy that a lot of native english speakers liked our accent and were asking more material from us.
Now, this story isn’t about me or my associate. We have sinced moved on to other things and although we both love Starcraft and still occasionally play it, we are working on different projects nowadays.
This is about Catalin.
First, you’ve got to understand that here in Romania, we’re living on another planet. In many ways, is worse than the Middle East, at least those guys get food supplies and foreign help. We’re supposed to be a “second world” country, being part of the European Union and NATO. We’re not. We’re more like “immediately after second world war” country.
So you can imagine that the gaming industry here is more underdeveloped than an asian boy scavaging for food in the african wasteland, with no parents and just a picture of Justin Bieber to keep him warm. It’s bad. Sponsors don’t want to invest, players move to other countries to play, we don’t have official teams, we didn’t manage to decide on a national team for the longest time. Gaming is a niche industry and can only be supported by a decent enough economy. We obviously don’t have that, being slaves to the Global Monetary Fund.
In this tough climate, Catalin decided to invest his heart and soul into his gaming site and into his brand - Arena Cyber League. Isn’t that just foolish? Don’t you just love that passion?
Grinding with passion does pay off
So I got a message from Catalin recently about coming in on a show he’s having on TV. It’s been about 4 years since me and my associate were casting from his place, in really, really basic conditions with just the bare equipment needed. So he asked me to come over and talk about gaming, to which I absolutely agreed, really fast.
So I found out that after 4 years his site is getting sponsors, he just got on this TV channel and runs this gaming show to which I got invited and has a contract with an even bigger TV channel to broadcast a second gaming show. On top of that he even turned down a third television.
This is huge. This guy is basically single handedly creating an industry here, which didn’t exist before. Pioneers like this are the greatest guys and often the guys who get burned the fastest, that’s why it’s a gift and a curse. You put some much passion into it and starting off an industry by yourself is such a big challenge, that you get consumed by it.
It’s really a sacrifice.
But Catalin is doing it and finally rewards are beginning to appear. So if you’re reading this from USA or another country which is, compared to us, like UFOs compared to the ox cart, you should
Stop whining and get your ass on the treadmill!
If Catalin can create an industry all by himself in an underdeveloped country with next to no money invested and just pure passion, why the hell can’t you afford the houses from Rick Ross’s newest video?!
If you want to see the show which Catalin put together for Sase TV, which is the first television channel in Romania to host a real gaming show, you’ll find the recording below. If you want to see me, just skip to minute 39:00 and you’ll see my small interview.
It’s in romanian, so I guess if you don’t understand our language, you can at least check out the cool graphics and some of my awesomness.