14: Build an Esport Empire with Ben Feferman

Ben Feferman, the CEO and co-founder of Amuka eSports which is Canada’s leader in esports venues, leagues and tournaments. His firm also raises capital for fast growing esports businesses, and Ben is the co-founder of Canada’s first and only incubator for esports-related companies.

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Build an Esport Empire with Ben Feferman

Our guest is Ben Feferman, who is a serial entrepreneur from Ontario, Canada. Hi, Ben. Let me introduce you, Ben. He is the CEO of Amuka Esports, which is Canada’s leader in esports venues, leagues, and tournaments. He is also the managing partner of Amuka Capital, which raises capital for real estate technology and particularly esports companies. He is also the co-founder of an incubator called Level6 Esport Incubator, which is the one, the first and only incubator for eSport related companies in Canada. He also is the founder of Twitch channel, with people playing games, which I particularly like, because it reminds me of myself, not as a gamer, but maybe the age group. And he holds a BA in law and an MBA in real estate leadership. So very interesting background. He also has a security license in Canada. So excited to have you, Ben.

Yeah, thanks a lot. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Great to have you. So this is a really interesting bio. Probably you are the best so far in terms of the variability and excitement of your bio. So tell us a little bit about your journey. How did you get here? Real estate, eSports, NBA, and all these different companies that you’re running?

I’ve always been interested in finance and money since my bar mitzvah. I was trading my bar mitzvah money when online brokerages started to come up in, I don’t know, 20 plus years ago. So I’ve always loved it. I never went to business school originally, so really self-taught. I went into film because I was just passionate about it, produced a couple of documentaries, and then decided, yeah, I really wanted to go into finance. So I got registered as a securities dealer, worked for a couple of shops.

And then really the entrepreneur in me said, I want to open up my own investment bank. So I did that a couple of years ago called the Mooka Capital. We started to raise money for some real estate projects, tech deals, and then eventually e-sports companies were coming to us and this was kind of like in the middle of a cannabis boom and really just, I love the industry, I love the space and just thought, hey, you know what, there’s an opportunity to really build something from the ground up instead of raising money for other companies.

And so kind of put the bank on hold, it’s still active, but, and really went all in on Amuka eSports, which is, you know, we raised a little bit of money and acquired Esports assets that are really synergistic and connected at a local level.

That’s really exciting. I didn’t realize that we actually have very similar backgrounds. I also am a former investment banker. I had a M&A firm that I built from the ground up, and then I went into a different direction, much like you. So that’s really interesting to hear. But let’s go back to this eSport thing. I mean, I have to tell you, I’m a little bit, I feel a little bit bad about this because I felt kind of weird about this whole eSport idea until I started watching a couple of your videos and hearing a little more about it. So please tell us a little bit about this whole idea that how can computer games be sport? And why do we call it a sport? And how is it different from other sports?

So at the most basic level, eSports is playing video games competitively. It could be, you know, playing for 10 bucks or bragging rights with a few of your friends in a beer league, or it could be playing for $40 million of prize pool in a similar stadium that you have in your background like that. So that’s where eSports, I mean, look, anything and everything can be competitive. Food is competitive.

There’s a competitive food eating scene. So, you know, I know a lot of people are kind of hung up on how can video games be a sport or competitive? And like, my answer is, what isn’t competitive these days? So, the other thing that comes up is streaming and content creation. People do watch other people play video games, which people think is kind of weird. And to that, if you really just think objectively, is it really that weird? What else do people watch on YouTube? My kids watch Marble Runs and all sorts of like weird stuff.

So I think it’s like, you know, if you love the game, you watch it. Like, you know, football is a great example. You ask people like, do you play football? No, no, no, no.I don’t play football. But do you watch other people play football? Hell yeah. I watch it every Sunday. So like, why would eSports be different?

That’s a good point. You know, when I think about back to my college years, when I, you know, we played video games every now and then, and it was kind of addictive. And I felt like, since I’m never gonna make it, it wasn’t even a thing at the time, I just realized it was a waste of time for me because I could put my efforts to better use. But if I see that someone has just won $3 million, a 16-year-old kid in Fortnite, maybe that is worth putting some efforts into it.

Yeah, and even just, even forgetting that for a second, you can get a full scholarship, you know, competing in League of Legends or Rocket League. So the same way, you know, if you excelled in football or basketball or hockey, you could get a scholarship and go to college and get a great education. Same thing with eSports. Most universities now in Canada, so most colleges have an eSports program. Many universities have one. And in the US as well, we’re seeing a lot of them where you can get a partial or full scholarship to play and compete.

That’s amazing. So what really resonated with me when I was listening to another podcast that you did is this idea that some of the kids who are maybe not athletic, they find a good outlet for their talents. When I was in high school, I wasn’t really good at basketball or soccer, but I was kind of intrigued by fencing, and I started fencing and and I kind of had this idea that you can be a sensor, even if you’re not athletic in the usual way, and you can be successful there were some examples in front of me, who were kind of really weird So maybe this is a similar idea, that these kids find an outlet where they can be talented.

Yeah, 100%. I think when we look at kind of like the social activities in academic institutions, they’re very focused on traditional sports, which are largely physical. And if you don’t fit that mold and you’re not good at sports, it’s hard for your confidence. It’s hard to fit in. It’s hard to make friends. And there was a whole many generations that grew up not being able to find those communities.

And I think what eSports has done is it’s empowered people that do love games to now say, “Hey, there’s a community that I can fit in with and belong with and I can succeed and improve and get better.” And the skills you learn playing a lot of these video games, especially the ones that are team based, are so important with, you know, all the other skills you’re learning, critical thinking, strategy, problem solving, working as a team. Like these are critical skills that everyone needs to have and you are constantly building and developing them, you know, in your gameplay.

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That’s really cool. You know, there’s a lot of talk these days about gamifying in the workplace to make it more engaging and more interesting for people, especially younger generations who were brought up on maybe video games. So is there a way to kind of, are there games that help teams get better in teamwork and build better relationships? Is this even a thing?

I can tell you that there’s games that don’t do that. There’s a popular game called Among Us, which we do play jokingly as a team, and the idea really is you got to kind of lie and cheat and deceive your way into victory. So we play that as a team. I think it’s fun team building, even though the objective is the opposite. But listen, I think any time you’re playing together and competing is good team building. So it doesn’t have to be a game that is focused on that. I just think if you want to play Counter-Strike together as a team, then yeah, that’s great. I think your team could bond over that. And there are games that are good for beginners to figure out, Among Us might be a good one.

So Ben, so switching gears here, so tell me a little bit about what does an eSports facilitation, you know, venues, business look like? What is the business model and what do you do when there’s pandemic going on?

So we have more of an eSports arena. So people can come in during the day and play on our PCs and consoles. Why would someone come in here and play when they can play at home? Number one is you’re playing on like a top of the end PC. So like our specs are top of the line, both computers, peripherals, monitors, everything. Also internet speed is very important. So we’ve got the fastest commercially available internet you can get right now. So if you don’t have a good internet connection in your home, it really affects your online gameplay.

And the last reason people come in is like just privacy or playing with their friends, you know, like some people just can’t have three or four guys in their, in their bedroom or basement playing Fortnite, so they come in and play. That’s not even like the biggest part of the business. The real part is tournaments. So we, you know, pre-COVID, we were running, geez, four or five, sometimes even six tournaments a week. People pay an additional fee to enter, and that’s our biggest source of revenue. So during COVID, we moved all those tournaments online and we continue to run them online. And I think we’re going to be reopening again next week so people can still come back in person and game again.

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That’s interesting. So how does that work in the virtual realm? So when there’s a pandemic, let’s say for the next 12 months, you won’t be able to be on anywhere near your earlier capacity. How do you make up for lost revenue?

I don’t know.

So to tell you about Comet first, how do you move it online and the sponsorships and stuff?

The model definitely changes. So when we run an event here, we’re giving gamers a professional gaming experience. Steve, you come in here, do you play any video games?

I used to play a little bit of soccer and some tennis, but not a lot.

Okay, so let’s say you like soccer, you’re going to come in, you’re going to play in our FIFA League, you know, for the video game. So yeah, of course you can play at home on Xbox or PS4, but when you come in here, you know, you’re on a stage and there’s casters, Steve passes out the ball here, makes his way in, there’s lights, it’s streamed online, your friends are there, so you get such an incredible experience, so it’s worth paying the 10 or 20 buck entry fee to get in and compete and play.

And there’s no other gaming experience like that in Toronto, especially a couple of our competitors have now gone under. But as soon as we move online, now we are competing with thousands of tournament operators around the world. So how do we compete and still make money? So we have to have tournaments that are sponsorship driven and free to enter. So it just means we have to work harder to get sponsors to say, hey, we’re going to have a huge tournament.

A thousand people are going to come in. We’re going to have X thousand amount of viewers. It’s going to be free to enter. We need this amount of money for the production and, you know, for a prize pool. So that’s, that’s how the model changes when you move online and is a little bit more difficult, but I think the results are way better. Like we’re now, we’re hitting great numbers. We’re moving into markets that we wouldn’t normally do geographically because we can do it online.

You know, this is so exciting. And obviously the pandemic is a great tragedy for society in general and a lot of people dying and hurt. But there are also a lot of innovation coming out. And I was just reading this blog the other day from a guy who runs essentially a dating network for M&A firm, for mergers and acquisitions firms for private equity groups and investment bankers can come together, it’s called Axia.

And he was talking about how the due diligence process changed and everything is happening online and the roadshows are happening online. And they have conferences where they have these speed dating situations where people who look for capital and capital providers, they can come together and discuss things. And they did it now online. And what happened was they surveyed the participants and they actually preferred the online.

So over 50 percent said that they actually preferred the online to the real thing. And another 30 percent said that they don’t care. It was only less than 20 percent who thought that in person was even better. So what is your thinking? Do you think it’s going to go back or it’s going to be a hybrid model going forward?

I think in general, I like the fact that every meeting is virtual now. Like, you know, if I’ve had a long day and, you know, I got like my four or five o’clock call, you know, I can relax, put my feet up, you know, do business, the comfort of my office, you know. So it’s, it gives me a lot of flexibility. I think it is great that there’s a lot of, I think it’s a hybrid. At the end of the day, travel is expensive, travel is difficult. I personally, I’m a networking guy. I love to go out there, I’m outgoing, shake hands, meet people, network, connect.

So I wanna go back to that. And I also think a lot of events, at least in my industry, are very experiential. So let’s say DreamHack, okay? DreamHack’s a huge event, it’s in Montreal, it’s at like a stadium like you have behind you. I wanna watch the action, hear the fans and cheer like the excitement. I’m not getting that online. So I think if it’s just like a panel and speakers, yeah, you could do that online, that’s probably makes more sense. But if it’s a experiential event like that, like an eSports competition or an expo, I definitely wanna see it back as a live event.

Virtual meetings offer flexibility and comfort, allowing us to conduct business from the ease of our office, putting our feet up after a long day. Click To Tweet

It’s the immersion feeling to be part of it. I also find that when I go to a conference, then I can basically disconnect completely with what I’m doing. So I can be totally present, whereas I’m doing it from my office, then I’m going to be distracted and just kind of quickly answer this email or do a call. And then I’m suddenly not fully immersed. I’m not fully engaged in the quality of the experience. I don’t get the side benefits of it.

Yeah, no, that’s definitely a good point. I also like, I love the business travel experience. Like I love flying, I love rental cars, I love hotel rooms. You know, I think it’s all part of the trip, but the biggest downside when you ever go to these conferences is like, you get back, maybe you’ve experienced this, you get back to your hotel and you got like a hundred emails and it’s just like they just keep building up and you’re trying to forget about it. You want to experience this conference, you pay all the money to get here in time. So that’s always a struggle I have is, you know, like to be able to put all that work aside so I can focus on the event.

That’s true. So what about the upside? I mean, when you say that you can do inter, you can basically do cross border or global, I mean, is there a bigger market that you can tap into? Do you feel like you can expand your reach as a company?

Yeah, I mean, we can, but I also think at the same time, you know, Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America we have over 5 million people in our, in our just the greater Toronto area. So there’s kind of this inferiority complex with a lot of Canadian businesses that they have to go to the US and they feel like that validates their company by being the US. Like I’m really happy in my local market. I can make a lot of money here. I can make, I don’t mean to say it like that. I just mean like, it’s a big industry here in Toronto and Canada.

So if I never leave this country, you know, in terms of business operations, that would be okay. But I do recognize that I think Latin America is really kind of our, our next big move, I think it’s one of the best markets, it’s untapped, there’s so much opportunity there. It’s a great gaming culture. So I think after we do a lot of work in Canada, moving into next year, it’s gonna be Latin America.

Okay, so Ben, so switching gears here a little bit, tell me about how you are building this business. So what, you know, do you have a framework to use the business framework, I call the management blueprints, like the entrepreneurial operating system that I teach companies, which is basically help them orchestrate the moving parts of their business so that they have a cohesive team and then everyone’s executing with discipline and accountability and they have a vision and everyone is aligned around. So do you do any such thing or do you have some kind of a framework or is it just a trial and error way of building your business.

I’m going to be honest with you, it’s trial and error. It’s figuring this out. This is a new, pretty new industry. So there isn’t, there’s not, you know, a hundred years of auto manufacturing, you know, to build off of, you know, in that industry as an example. So we’re really figuring it out. And I don’t just think it’s an e-sports thing. I also just think it’s like, it’s also a COVID thing. It’s, you know, you’ve developed and you had, you know, this is how we’re going to make money A, B and C.

And now you have to find all new ways to make money in the middle of a pandemic. So trial and error. And I look, it’s just, it’s, it’s hustle. Like you just got to keep, I think we’re that company, like we’re that company that I think we’ll pitch to an investor and they’ll like pass. And I think in the back of their mind, they’re thinking like, nah, these guys, they’re not gonna make it. And then like, we just keep staying around. Like we just keep finding a way every month to make it work and to keep going. And that’s the unorthodox strategy.

So how do you share your time between the different business or you have the investment banking or, you know, capital raising business, you are doing the incubator, you have this sports venue and eSports league tournament business? How do you divide your time between these things?

Ideally, I like to build. I like to come up with the idea, the concept, build the framework, the infrastructure, and then I pass it along to teams to execute. So the eSports incubator, that was an idea I had. I just was shocked that early stage eSports companies were pretty, had a very bad business acumen and just weren’t really in the place where they needed to be. They needed a lot of work and there’s no incubator and it’s already hard to raise money as a startup.

When you add that you’re an e-sports startup, it’s harder. So created the idea, I help in the beginning get it off the ground and then I make sure I hire great people to look after it. And I try to be involved as little as possible. And usually it’s more to put out some fires and give some weigh in on certain things. But I think you can’t be doing everything yourself. There’s not enough hours in the day. And I think leadership is about building other leaders.

Absolutely. So how do you build a team in a new industry like that? When you’re trying to figure it out yourself, how do you make sure you hire people? I mean, are there even people out there with this kind of experience? So tell me a little bit about how do you build a team and organization in such a novel, innovative initiatives?

I don’t think, I’m just trying to think about the, I don’t think I’ve hired one single person on our team. So what is a little bit unique about our situation is, it’s a good term, have you heard of like aqua hire? So it’s like, it’s an acquisition, but hiring. So what we look to do is, you know, we’re going to acquire all the different e-sports verticals that connect to each other. That’s like, that’s our investment thesis is acquiring e-sports assets that connect at a local level together. And through that, we acquire the team.

So when we, when we bought Waves Gaming, you know, we kept the team and brought four of those people on with us. When we acquired Organized Gaming, we brought in the CEO. So when we make acquisitions, we’re not really buying what they’re doing. At the end of the day, I can get a lease too. With enough money, you can do anything, but the secret sauce is the people. So when we look to acquire, we’re basically hiring. We find good people to work with and acquire those businesses and then keep them on.

That’s interesting. So you’re an umbrella and then you have all these different businesses that you bring in and these are entrepreneurial businesses, right? So they are run by people who can basically hassle themselves and you give them the brand or how does it work?

Yeah, no, that’s a great way to look at it. Everyone has had that experience of starting their own business. And so I think those skills are incredibly valuable. They’re essential, I would even say. So at that point I’ve seen, okay, this person has started their own eSports company. They’ve been able to get this far. Great, we’re gonna acquire them, combine all of our resources, and then hit the ground running even harder.

Now I’m kind of at the point where I’m a little bit less interested in acquiring businesses. I’d rather kind of start them. So that’s kind of like level six, we started it. Our big eSports championship series, we started it. I’ve got a new project for eSports apparel, starting it. So I’m not really buying stuff that I could do myself unless there’s a really good reason to. But I think now we have the right team that we can move into any underserved vertical we want to.

That’s pretty exciting. So these people that work for you, are they your employees or are they fellow owners of your business? How do you motivate them and keep them entrepreneurial?

Yeah, great question. They are all employees and they’re all owners. So with all the acquisitions, we acquire them in stock. So they all own shares of our company. So we’re all motivated. Yes, they’re employees, but they’re owners and it’s a different mentality. They really see this as their company. It’s our company, Amuka Esports, and I think that gives us a much stronger work ethic.

So, what do you expect when you’re incubating these esports companies? What is the kind of market opportunity that you see that these companies can tap into? Is this a fast-growing market?

For me running the incubator or these companies like the verticals that they’re in.

The companies you are incubating in the incubator. So the companies that come and use your services and what is happening to them? Is this a big market? Is this something that’s growing by leaps and bounds or it’s more of a niche where you have, you know, some growing demand, but it’s not like exploding and you just have to be the one player, one of the handful of players that can make a living there. What does it look like?

I think with all of them, so what we do is we take four companies and one of the things that we make sure is that they’re not competitors, okay? So they’re all in four different eSports verticals. So if I look at our cohort right now, we have a team, we have a fantasy betting platform, we have another platform that is working to improve how streamers can monetize, and another one that’s a mobile game social network based in the Philippines.

So they’re all different. And as they go through the incubator, we have 10 weeks where we have weekly calls with them to make sure they’re hitting their targets and what they have to do. We have weekly, monthly sessions with guest speakers that are industry heavyweights. And at the end of the day, and then we also collaborate and run programs. So if they need to beta test, if they need to new users, if they need to run a tournament, whatever it is, we do that with them.

My goal is, I want these companies to succeed, I want them to get funded, and what we’re really seeing is there’s a lot of M&A, there’s a ton of M&A in esports, like more than anything else in the world. So if these are good assets out there, and we know about them, I’m sure there’s a good chance we can help get them acquired by other companies out there.

Wow. Has there been an IPO for an eSports company yet?

Tons. Tons, yeah. Probably like 20 eSports companies have already IPO’d in the past couple of years.

Okay, that’s pretty cool. So what do you expect going forward? What is the 20s going to look like for your business? What is your vision?

I think kind of like two or three really important trends to watch. One is mobile gaming is really gonna take over. Here in North America, like we’re all very affluent and we all have expensive PCs and whatever. That’s not how the rest of the world games. The rest of the world, you know, a tuk-tuk driver in India, he’s gaming, but he’s gaming on his phone. And that’s how most people will play and connect.

And so I think that’s gonna be way bigger globally and also finally make inroads in North America. So and we want to be a part of that. We’re looking to start to field rosters in certain mobile games. The other trend that I don’t think is a 2021 trend, it’s probably 2022, is vSports, VR eSports. So right now Oculus 2, the Oculus Quest 2 has just come out. I think it’s one of going to be one of the biggest selling items over the Christmas shopping season.

I just think that more consumers will have a VR headset, more game publishers are gonna be publishing games that will have a competitive scene. And I think it’s cool. Like it’s one thing for me to, you know, have my mouse and keyboard and play and compete. It’s another to have my headset and like, you know, I’m boxing and I’m actually throwing punches. It’s just a really cool experience. So I think VR is gonna be another one of those big trends to look for in the next year or two.

So, VR virtual reality, right?


That’s interesting. And what is your personal vision? Where do you want to take Amooka Esports? Do you see yourself becoming a big player, just stay focused on Canada, or are you going to go international? And what the business is going to look like? Are you just going to stay with your venue business, or are you going to keep all those other verticals and you’re going to grow it to a conglomerate? Do you have a vision like that?

All of the above. Yes. So right now we have announced a merger and we’re planning to merge with a company based in Vancouver called YDX. It’s a publicly traded company. And through that, we hope to be one of the biggest digital entertainment companies in Canada. But to your point, no, I’m not stopping at Canada. You know, we have some really cool IP that we’re working on to really to go global. Yeah, it’s to really like make this a global entertainment company with a lot of very synergistic brands and be one of the leaders, especially for publicly traded e-sports companies, which we would be once we close on this acquisition.

That’s very cool. So who are the investors? Who are the people who are putting money in eSports?

A lot of people are putting in money. Just from October alone, there’s been over $300 million of recorded eSports investment. So that gives you a good idea. It’s everyone now. It’s family offices, it’s institutional investors, it’s, you know, we’re seeing Guild eSports, for example, which is based in London. They raised 40 or $50 million on the David Beckham name to go public there. So there’s a lot of money that’s flowing. I think investors understand that that Gen Z demographic ain’t watching movies, isn’t listening to as much music, but they’re playing video games. And that’s really where you’re gonna get that audience.

Interesting. I also read somewhere that some of the celebrities, athletes are putting money, like Drake and LeBron James. Can you elaborate on that? What are these guys doing and what is their idea of funding esports companies and teams?

Yeah, every athlete and every musician and celebrity is involved in an esports team. A lot of them are owners, some of them are brand ambassadors. LeBron James’ son is a content creator for a big eSports company called FaZe Clan. I’m trying to think of some of the recent ones. Yeah, The Weeknd is an investor in one of Toronto’s teams. It’s a who’s who out there. Michael Jordan, Steph Curry, Shaq, and A-Rod are part owners in a team called Energy. The list goes on. I can’t even keep track of who’s investing, but every top celebrity is doing it.

And I think because traditional sports, particularly football, a little bit baseball, it’s an old men’s club. You know, these are billionaires and there wasn’t really the opportunity for players to become owners in a lot of leagues. And so now with eSports, all these players are saying, hey, this is finally my opportunity. You know, I couldn’t be a part owner of the Golden State Warriors, but I can be a part owner of, you know, this California eSports team.

So, and these guys are so competitive. So they love the action. And I think that’s where that transition moves in. And they have a big fan base and they can bring that over to the eSports team. And so for all those reasons, we’re gonna see way more, like every single basketball player, every single sports athlete is gonna be in it, if they’re not already.

Interesting. And what about the, I mean, how do these teams professionalize? Do you expect professional leagues or they still already exist where you can do the same thing as the NBA or the NFL, that you actually have teams that are professional, that are run by professional coaches and where you have some stability and they keep playing the same games? How do you get there?

Yeah, there’s kind of two models. One is a franchise model, which is similar to the NFL, NBA, NHL, major league baseball, soccer, where you will purchase a franchise, a city-based franchise from the game publisher and you’ll have it. So there’s a Toronto Call of Duty team, there’s a Seattle Call of Duty team, you know, just like there are in sports.

And that’s one model and that model does provide a lot more cost certainty for the owners, a lot more stability for sponsors, and it’s probably the future is to franchise. There’s now other leagues that are kind of more like soccer, like golf and tennis, where there’s no franchise spot. If you’re good enough, you can qualify. And there’s a tour, there’s major events, there’s minor events, and you just go around and you compete in them.

And those tend to be single-player games. And then there’s a few in the middle that are merit-based, team-based, you know, that you have to qualify to win. But once you’re in, you get some perks and benefits of a franchise without having to buy a franchise. So those are kind of like the three different models that we’re seeing right now, and it’s always evolving and changing.

And then what about these games? I mean, they seem to be some games come into fashion, go out of fashion, like Fortnite was really huge two years ago and then Minecraft before it. What do these teams do? I mean, they get good at a game and when it goes out of fashion, then they switch to another game or how does that work?

Yeah, though you’re right. That is the challenge. So one strategy that some teams have is to just say, let’s just have them all. So you hedge your bet. If one of them goes under, you go under. But the biggest risk, especially when you’re gonna buy a franchise in one of these closed leagues, this is a $25 million investment. So if people stop playing that game, you’re in trouble.

The other problem to think about is, in traditional sports, let’s just use football, like American football as an example, they’re not making any more football, right? Like there will never be other football leagues. They’ve tried XFL or so when you have a football slot, you have a football slot for life. When you have a call of duty slot, that same company can make other call of duties and competitors can make more shooter games. So you don’t have that cost certainty that people are gonna play the same sport forever like you do in traditional sports.

So that seems like a big challenge. So anyway, we probably could spend hours digging into this and understanding how that works. So as a leader of your company, I mean, do you have a leadership team that you’ve worked with and where you are, you know, people that you’re building up or it’s basically you are all professionals that are doing your own thing and it’s a loosely organized professional service firm, like a law firm where everyone is practicing law and they come together but it’s not really, they’re not really working together. What does it look like in your company?

Definitely. We’ve got a very close team, very collaborative. We try not to have any hierarchy. We kind of structure, there’s different brand leads. So people will lead a particular brand, but we very much have like a lateral organizational structure and we don’t like kind of having, you know, managers and reporting and things like that. We want it to be an open collaborative environment. And I think that’s, that fosters a little bit more creativity, a little bit more entrepreneurship. And I think that’s how we’re gonna continue to do it.

Awesome. Well, very interesting. Ben, anything that I should have asked you and would make sense for the show that you want to share with us?

No, I just think, you know, gaming, if you don’t play any games, you know, give it a try. Like, I know it seems very daunting that these games are so complicated. They’re not. Like, honestly, I hadn’t played a PC shooter game in 20 plus years and I picked it up pretty quickly. So I think it’s good if you really want to understand anything, you got to try it out, right? Like, and you’ll never really understand eSports unless you jump into a game and try to understand what the product. So for people who are watching or listening, that’s my advice to you is to give it a shot, have maybe someone younger than you teach you how to do it and just enjoy and have fun gaming.

To be honest, I’m a little bit intimidated with these games. I don’t know how much time I would need to invest in it to get decent and not feel embarrassed about my skills. But yeah, I might pick up FIFA and see how am I doing with the new version, the 2021 version.

That’s the beauty of matchmaking, is there’s a system that will put you against people at your level so that you don’t have to have that feeling.

That’s a good point. That’s a good point. Excellent. So, Ben, very fascinating stuff. People who would like to learn more about eSports and Amuka and the leagues and how you can help them, where can they reach you?

Yeah, you can check us out at amookaesports.com. That’s our website. And best way to connect with me is probably LinkedIn. Ben Feferman. I’m usually putting out interesting eSports content every day. So just drop me a message.

Fantastic. Well, thank you, Ben. So Ben Feferman, CEO of Amuka Esports. Thank you very much.

My pleasure. Thanks for having me.


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