We’re long overdue for another profile on one of South Africa’s up-and-coming Multi-Gaming Organisations, so we thought we’d chat to Alpha Star Gaming and give you a little bit of insight into their organisation, plans, hopes, dreams – you know, the usual.
Boy (GLHF: And girl.), were we surprised by the answers awaiting us on the other side of our interview with Alpha Star Gaming’s CEO, Prenashan Singh.
“Firstly, we are not just an MGO. We’re a company with multiple levels with the common goal of, not only creating waves in the South African esports industry, but creating oceans for future South African gamers to play in.”
You see what we mean? Our pants are already charmed right off and that’s just his opening line.
“We strive to actively build the esports industry, showcasing a beautiful landscape to each and every single gamer out there, not just top-tier ones. We want to inspire the everyday gamer to choose a career in esports and show them that competitive gaming is not just a dream or fantasy, but a path that can be well-supported if chosen.
We would like to set the standard for esports, teams, competitions and organisations in this beautiful country.”
You may have noticed we called Prenashan the CEO of Alpha Star Gaming a few sentences back (GLHF: You definitely did and it upset you.). We know what you’re thinking: Another MGO owner going around calling himself a CEO.
What’s going to upset you even more is hearing that in order to get our interview with CEO Prenashan, we first chatted to local frag vid whizz, Everaad Schubert, better known as We Eat Chips, who is the Media Director of Alpha Star Gaming. Yup, another title. Before you start an online petition to stop local esports people from giving themselves uppity titles, let’s talk about why the Alpha Star Gaming team use them.
“We are more of a company and less of a social club. We are not just registered as a company but operate wholeheartedly as one. We have a full business structure, with quarterly goals, long-term goals, visions, corporate structure, responsibilities, accounting and revenue disciplines.”
They have accounting. Accounting! That’s an indisputable sign that they’re more than your average MGO.
“Even though we are small right now, we aim to grow rapidly in the months and years to come. Being one of the founding members of Alpha Star Gaming I was elected as the CEO as I own multiple businesses around the world and they believe that I could lead them towards creating a company that can reach our visions and goals.
These titles are in place to highlight each and every role and responsibility in our team and also create opportunity for growth as our team expands. Determining titles emphasises how important each individual’s’ role is, and how they fit into the team. It also allows the public to know who to approach to get their questions answered.
I agree that if you have a title of “Big Legendary Boss” and you don’t fulfil its requirements it ends up becoming an egotistical badge to help you sleep at night. It’s not what you say you’ll do, it’s the actions you take, that earn you that title.”
One of the things we noticed about Alpha Star, and you probably did too thanks to their video announcements of team rosters and slick website, is that they place a lot of value on image. The titles also help build that image.
Creating and maintaining an image has always been something local MGOs, teams and players have struggled with. It’s additional work on top of what they already have to do to reach and stay at the top of their respective games.
Recently the local scene has become better at the branding aspect of esports, but there’s a long way to go.
“Image is not only important for our company but it’s important for our partners, teams, gamers, and sponsors. I own, and partially own, recording labels around the world and have been working in the music industry for a while. Dealing with publicity, an artists’ image, and brand image. It is a very important aspect to any celebrity, artist, brand or sport.
What we have noticed, is there is a very poor representation of players’ personal branding and imaging. As I have a vast experience in the artist publicity arena, we would like to help improve this aspect for the entire industry. This is one of the core focuses of ASG.
It’s important that players represent themselves as serious sportsmen and sportswomen. They should realise that it’s not just about hiding behind your screen and being cancerous to other people. In order to grow a very strong and inspirational brand for themselves, they must represent who they truly are. We want to create the esports celebrities of the future and we can only do that when players start taking their own personal branding seriously.
What value does this add for ASG? Well if we started thinking in only that way, we as a company have lost the plot. It’s more what value can we bring to the gamers out there. They are our stars, they are our future. How can we help them grow? And how can we grow an amazing esports industry together?”
What a wonderful thing to say. Where can we get our Alpha Star Gaming fanboy shirts? This is only partially a joke, their logo is so rad we’d actually love to get some shirts. And we’ll do anything we can to support this kind of attitude in the local scene. Hopefully they can deliver on all the things they’re planning.
But we’ve only heard about their attitude, what exactly is Alpha Star doing to help players and the local scene grow?
“We have begun an affiliate program in which we can connect with, and assist everyday gamers in South Africa and help them build a brand, hone their skills, and provide them with opportunities that are not just for the top end select few. We want to assist and inspire new competitive gamers, teams, and star players to rise from the dust and leave their mark on this industry. These players are not just for ASG. In fact these players are for all current and future teams to recruit from and compete against. It’s about providing everyone out there with the opportunity to become a serious competitive gamer.
This also is where our amazing Alpha Star Edits department started. Two of the best frag movie creators and editors in our local industry are a part of Alpha Star Gaming: Euphony and We Eat Chips. This enables us to not only improve content and media for all teams out there, but also set an international standard in South Africa for showcasing amazing gameplay and gamer brand representation.”
We’re going to show some serious favoritism here and flat out say that We Eat Chips is our bestest local frag vid creator. The one he did for Amaryllis Gaming is our personal favourite and you should watch it if you haven’t. Some people have described it as the ‘The Dark Knight’ of local frag vids (GLHF: No one has done that.).
But we’re getting sidetracked, the point is that image is important. It’s how people, who will hopefully become fans, see you. It’s how potential investors and partners see you. And it’s how the non-esports world that we’re always hoping will take us all seriously see you.
So you have to ask yourself, how do you want to be seen? And before that, do you want to be seen at all? If you do, you need an image.
By now you’re probably thinking, ‘how do I give my soul to Alpha Star Gaming so they’ll let me play for them?’ Here’s what Prenashan and the ASG team look for in their teams and players. (GLHF: Spoiler alert, it’s not souls.)
“Loyalty and perseverance. Things are not always going to be fresh roses and sunshine. We are looking for people that are willing to stand through it all. Who will admire the roses as they wilt and who will stick it out in the rain so we may see the rainbow together.
Personality. We love surrounding ourselves with genuinely good people who care about others and are not too selfish.
Vision and like-mindedness. We are looking for people who can share our vision and work together with us to ensure we reach our goals and help grow this industry to what its true potential is.
Work ethic and growth. Skill means nothing unless you are willing to work to become better. And most people who have skills in games have worked hard to achieve that. The ability to grow and develop your skills daily is important and people need to start treating this industry as the sport it is. Professional athletes train daily so why shouldn’t gamers?”
Speaking of professional athletes, or ethletes, or whatever you want to call people trying to play games for a living, we wanted to know how Alpha Star Gaming planned to reach the top-tier of local gaming.
“It’s not just about breaking into the top-tier. For us it’s more about creating a space and environment for all gamers to have a shot at this so-called top-tier.
There is too much focus on just the top-tier at the moment and it’s time we all work together (the top-tier teams and all gamers combined with our amazing casters, streamers, events and enthusiasts) to grow this SA esports scene into an internationally recognised one.”
Consider us suitably chastised. We tend to think that the top-tier needs to lead the way for local esports, but we too often forget that without a proper grassroots system in place below this top-tier we’re going to just end up blowing a pretty esports bubble that will eventually pop. And then we’ll all end up in tears.
Alpha Star Gaming has shown they’re ambitious. They’re more than your average MGO. In fact, they’re more than an MGO. They’re something new, a Multi-Faceted Gaming Organisation (GLHF: An MFGO. Not to be confused with a Mother F#*King Gaming Organisation.).
They’ve got big dreams, but more importantly they’ve got plans to support those big dreams. And they’ve got accounting. A gaming accountant. That’s literally the only time accounting has ever sounded cool.
“We as a company have a clear ‘road-map’, as you would say. We have quarterly goals, mid-term goals, yearly goals and future goals. To match them we have action plans, budgets, new departments starting, as well as streaming, gaming rooms, and much more.
To sum up what we stand for and want to achieve in just one interview would not just be an injustice to Alpha Star Gaming but an injustice to how complex and massive this industry truly is.
We look forward to working with each and every single person in gaming in creating something amazing.”
Are you a fan yet? We certainly are. Prenashan’s inclusive attitude and determination to grow the local esports scene and not just his own company’s image and bank balance is refreshing and inspiring.
We all talk about growing the scene, but the team at Alpha Star Gaming aren’t just talking.