24/7 Esports is a new esports organisation in the OCE/SEA region, hitting the esports stage with the acquisition of the former-SkyRed Vietnamese CSGO squad. I had a little chat with founder Wei Ning Yong about the new organisation, plans, and the CSGO crew itself.
Liam: First of all, congratulations on the beginning of your new organisation! I’m sure it’s a pretty hectic time, given all that has been going on?
Wei-Ning: I went from leaving an organisation to starting my own and signing a team in like 2 weeks. It’s been crazy, I’ve been picking up staff like crazy. It all happened so fast and the learning curve has been very steep, but I have had good guidance from experienced sources to guide me through the toughest of times.
L: Is this your first foray into leading an organisation/team? Tell us about your past with the esports community.
WN: I have previously been a team manager early in my adventures in esports when I was managing the Frenetic Array League of Legends team. Over the last 2 years, I have worked in many different facets of the esports scene having worked as a manager, coach, analyst and now as an owner.
I have been lucky enough to have worked with different sized organisations in different regions where I learnt how to work with others and the corporate culture which is established at these different organisation.
My hope is that moving forward, I can combine everything I have learnt about esports overseas under the mentorship and guidance of some of the best overseas manager and promote best practices into my organisation. I wish to be the seen as one of the best esports organisations in the Southern Hemisphere within the next year.
L: Over the last week or two leading up to this I bet you’ve learnt a lot? Have you got a crew together to assist in this journey?
WN: I have been recruiting good staff with backgrounds in their relevant fields over the last few weeks. We will be announcing most of our staff over the next few weeks, but I can assure you that my crew is ever expanding with people with new and innovative ideas.
I think at current count the crew is about 7 staff strong with many more in discussions currently. Anyone who wants to join; we are accepting applications for any and every position, you want to work in esports – pitch me an idea and we will discuss what you can do for 24/7.
L: What are the challenges you have come up against so far?
WN: The main challenges I have come up against so far is publicity – it’s very hard to build a fanbase in a smaller region due to the lower viewership number. We are trying to break through with our innovative marketing strategy so hopefully it works.
L: What’s your aim for 24/7 in 2016?
WN: The current aims for 24/7 in 2016 is first to not die out, I have seen many organisations be created to only die within a year, some of these were organisations with big names on their roster such as Eviscerate, Gravity etc. So really 2016 is all about survival, we are aiming to be a mainstay in the South East Asian and Oceanic esports scene.
L: Let’s shift gears and talk CSGO – when did you first see the CSGO crew (formerly SkyRed) in action?
WN: I honestly cannot remember, I have been watching competitive CSGO games for what seems like at least a year now, I have watched every region and most of the teams that play frequently.
L: How’d you come into contact with them to discuss joining your squad?
WN: I would rather not discuss this one at the current moment, there is still some ongoing drama in regards to contact method used.
L: What challenges are you expecting with managing a CSGO team down the track?
WN: I expect the biggest challenge is keeping up with the ever expanding Asian scene for CSGO, I mean only yesterday Efrag announced their new Rising Stars Asia tournament and Valve announced a series of Minors to be joining the circuit as well as Dreamhack holding their own tournaments.
From an organisation standpoint, its about being able to commit to these tournaments whilst also balancing other commitments for both the players and the organisation.
L: When will we first see the team in action?
WN: The team is constantly playing in tournaments all year round, but I believe the first large tournament for them will be IEM Taipei if they manage to qualify for the minor. So Fingers Crossed!
L: Will they be doing some travelling to big lans across the globe?
WN: Hopefully with all the work they are putting into practice with this new lineup they will be able to qualify for many overseas lans this year. We will be working with them all the way to support them each and every step of the way.
L: What else will 24/7 be looking to bring in other esports – or will it purely be about CSGO?
WN: We are going into other esports and we will be announcing things for the next few weeks. But we are looking at all the major esports in the region and deciding where we want to allocate resources at the current time.
Thank to Wei-Ning for the chat – can’t wait to see the 24/7 CSGO team on the circuit soon!