Alright, a lot of shit has went down these past 24 hours. I just wanted to take a step back and open up a little. I struggle with opening up on the blog, I'll admit that and I've never really been great with written words so bear with me here.
April/May 2020 was my first introduction into the Barstool Gaming world. At this point, I was a kid with a dream. I was working an office job that I didn't hate, but didn't love. It was a job in finance and it was as mundane as it got. Figured this was just how life went - you get a job that pays the bills and live for the weekends. However, I'd constantly find myself frustrated within the office thinking what else I could be doing with my time instead of sitting in a cube.
Rewind back to college, I used to stream from my PS4 and managed to build a small community (more details here). It was my favorite thing to do, I connected my passion of entertaining and gaming. I was decent too, I found ways to entertain while having some above average gameplay. It was weird because I'd get so excited after a good stream that I'd have trouble sleeping at night. It was all I thought about and all I wanted to do. I couldn't believe that people made a living from it.
While growing up, I was constantly asked, "When are you gonna stop gaming? You know you can't game as an adult, right?"
But, what most people didn't realize is that gaming did more for my mental health than ANYTHING else. Gaming was my escape into a different world. Nothing mattered when I was gaming. When I would game, I was in my "flow state" (whatever the fuck that means). I felt the exact same way about sports, but you can't really play sports 24/7. Especially if you're 5'9" on a good day and only mildly athletic.
Anyways the reason I'm saying this is to show gaming is so much more than strictly playing a video game. It's how you can connect with friends and simply forget about all the bullshit of the outside world.
So leading up to my hire, I volunteered and helped Gametime with anything they needed. It didn't matter what I had on the schedule, I'd make myself available to help Gametime with their content. I worked for free for close to a year, never asked for a cent, but was just so excited to be part of the action. To Smitty's credit, he invited me in a lot of Barstool Among Us nights or when guests were involved.
Aside from that, my first time being in HQ for content was actually to cast a Call of Duty tournament with Jake Marsh.
Afterwards I got the opportunity to cast a UFC Warzone tournament with Robbie Fox:
Following 2 Barstool College Gaming Championships co-hosted with Smitty (see pic at top), I got the chance to sit down in front of Erika for an interview. I was offered a job a few days later and couldn't believe what my life was turning into. It was truly a dream come true.
April 16th, 2021, was the single greatest day of my life. I was so overcome with joy that I couldn't even contain it or speak. I was hysterically crying while announcing my Barstool signing.
This has been my life goal since day 1, without even knowing it was ever a possibility.
Since my first day on the job, I've had one goal and one focus in mind - grow gaming at Barstool. It's that simple. Whether it was through blogs, streams, esports events, videos, etc., it didn't matter I've trying everything to see what works and what doesn't. At the time I came into Barstool, gaming wasn't working. On my first live call with the team, I immediately understood why.
In a normal afternotes production meeting from the 2nd College Gaming Championship (late March 2021), the entire group was in disarray. Producers were screaming at content, content screaming back at producers, everyone was on a different page and I thought to myself - "What the living fuck did I just get myself into."
This wasn't a well oiled machine, it was truly the romper room. With this sort of foundation, how could you ever grow a sustainable brand?
Everyone reading this blog agrees that gaming is the ONE space that Barstool doesn't dominate when they easily could and should. Gametime was around for about 3-4 years before I even had his first appearance in the Barstool Universe. Gametime struck gold EARLY thanks to Smitty and Devlin's efforts on the Fortnite scene. But since then, there really hasn't been much growth.
Since my time within the company (which is maybe 2 cups of coffee), I've put my head down and just grinded. I've tried a bunch of different content pieces to try and make gaming content more digestible than just long form streams. We filmed Barstool Plays videos, Gamer on the Streets and numerous amounts of One Minute Man-esque videos to try and breakdown gaming drama, metas, updates to the common gamer. On top of that, daily stream and blogs.
I'm not one to sit here and post numbers because I don't think that really reinforces your work ethic, but anyone that follows Gametime or gaming within Barstool can see that I'm trying everything in my power to make this ship sail again like the juggernaut it was during the Fortnite days.
It fucking sucks that Gametime drama is even a thing and it's escalated to this point.
I genuinely feel bad for Smitty because he was so very successful when the brand initially started and he never felt in control of said project. I can't really imagine what that's like and I'd be just as pissed. Smitty has great content ideas and I hope now he has the space to execute on them. He'll be streaming from Twitch.tv/GeneralSmitty1v1 and we'll be doing our thing at Gametime.
But what people have to understand is that I have no ill will towards Smitty and there were 3-4 years of drama + fights before I even joined this world. So last night he was going to attack the team that I've been working on since my first date with no one else to defend the brand. Shit spot to be in if you ask me. But life goes on and you can bet your ass I'll be streaming tomorrow at 10:30am.
At the end of the day, I want one thing and one thing only - to grow gaming at Barstool Sports.