Interview

How to get into Esports: An interview with Corey Rosemond

Corey Rosemond is the Vice President of NACON Gaming. His experience in the video game industry spans over 15 years, which gives him the unique advantage of watching esports grow into what we recognize today and the direction in which it is headed.

NGame: How did you get involved in esports?

Corey Rosemond: I was in charge of urban marketing for Xbox, somewhere around 2008 or 2009. There were these Madden online and offline tournaments that were starting to kick up around the country. I invested in them from an Xbox perspective to have a broader reach into the African American and Latino communities. We did a number of events — one at an NBA All-Star game and some celebrity events. Basically, I endeared Xbox to the world of NBA 2K and Madden. What I did that was revolutionary at the time was work with athletes’ foundations. You find a superstar that has a foundation and then propose [a collaboration] to them. You’re going to have a star-studded event with press and Twitter coverage of it all. My next job was in Europe as a consultant. That’s when I saw esports being accepted much in the way that traditional sports are accepted in the U.S.

NGame: What are your responsibilities in your current position?

Corey Rosemond: I’m the Vice President of Business Operations. I’m responsible for a number of functions within the company. That includes finance, business development, strategic partnerships, strategy, and overall operations, including customer experience.

NGame: What advice would you give someone looking to get started in esports?

Corey Rosemond: First and foremost, you need to decide what role you want in esports. Do you want to play on the team, coach the team, own the team, or be some kind of support? You could be a broadcaster or make the game as a developer, artist, designer, QA tester, etc. Ask yourself what you see yourself doing in esports. Based on that, find entry-level, free [resources] on the internet that you can utilize to just start doing it and racking up the experience.

I would tell people as early as 2012 that if you want to learn esports, and you want to have a future in the industry, go work at ESL. I don’t care if they hand you a mop and you’re grabbing coffee for people. They’re so far ahead of everyone else that if you can bear being just a roadie for a year, you’re going to learn and grow more. You’ll also figure out what you really want to do in esports and what you don’t — something you won’t find as much reading about esports and asking people about it.

If you want to be a player, get in the game and just grind your way up the online ladders. Talent recognizes talent. If you can’t make the top tier for any game, you’re not going to be a pro player. Video games offer the opportunity to say [the equivalent of], “I should be in the NBA.” If you play every night or at least five nights a week, the last people standing that are ranked are going to get an NBA tryout. That’s how esports works!


Written by HB Duran

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