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It's been a long week in 'Super Smash Bros.' and we can only explain with a long episode. The Yard's Anthony "Slime" Bruno and Aiden McCaig, long-time tournament organizers and now staff at Ludwig Ahgren's Mogul Moves, join the podcast to discuss the nuance behind why Nintendo is enforcing its copyright rights on the 21-year-old title. You can follow Slime and Aiden here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Known as the "Internet's busiest music nerd", Anthony Fantano, aka The Needle Drop, is the web's most popular music critic. His takes on Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean and Kanye West have garnered him hundreds of millions of views and in 2020, The New York Times called him, "The Only Music Critic Who Matters (if You’re Under 25)." Recently, he got in a feud with Drake after giving Drizzy's latest album a bad rating. He joins Jacob to discuss how his work is affecting the music culture and how he's remained relevant for more than 13 years. "I'm in a very unique position that nobody else is in and nobody else has been in and I sort of take solace in that. I'm definitely a part of the conversation, like the general music discourse. I am definitely a part of, in terms of the things that I say, the anticipation for whatever I'm going to say, the reactions to the things that I say that people have. And even down to if I go on some kind of user generated, music review site or something like that, I see people throwing down like, you know, multi paragraph reviews and they'll end it off like, yep, I'm kind of feeling a light eight on this one. It's just funny to see my scoring system casually turning up in people's vocabulary." You can follow Anthony and The Needle Drop here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It's been four months since we launched 'Visionaries' and there's been one reoccurring theme: No one gives a fuck about esports. With a recent report from Deloitte that esports engagement decreased by nearly half in 2022 versus 2021 in Europe, Jacob and Prem take some time to review past interviews, answer audience questions and discuss critically why fewer and fewer people are engaging with competitive game. You can follow Jacob here and Prem here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Rosie "jasminericegirl" Nguyen is a content creator and the co-founder of Fanhouse, a PG-13 creator platform helping influencers better monetize their content. Rosie's Twitter first became famous for openly speaking about her thoughts on sex and her sex life. She founded the company after losing a work-study job while in college at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business amid frustrations with harassment on the likes of OnlyFans and other platforms. Now, Fanhouse is home to more than 1,200 monthly creators. "I'm a person with very strong convictions. I have a strong moral code that I live by and I don't do things that I believe are like harmful to people or bad for society. Talking about sex in a positive way is not one of those things. I really don't believe people or women should be shamed. For what? Being horny. That's not a crime." You can follow Rosie and Fanhouse here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
After just three years, beloved esports social media startup Juked is shutting its doors after failing to find funding and gain product momentum. Why is that esports startups continue to fail? Why aren't there deeply engaged esports fans? And are all the data reports out there about esports being "the next big thing" just absolute bull$!%&? Juked's founder Ben "Fishstix" Goldhaber joins the show to discuss what went wrong and the dismal trend the industry is experiencing, but continues to ignore. "A lot of the industry doesn't listen to some of the problems that we've discussed in this, whether that be willful ignorance or they don't want to hear it because they are super passionate about something or whatever it might be. But I do think it's really important for the future of people's careers, for future startup founders, for other people trying to work in this space to have a better holistic view of where issues lie" You can follow Ben here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
QTCinderella has become one of the most recognizable women on Twitch in the past few years. Her regular streams have built her a loving community, but her events have built her a fanbase of millions. After being nominated for Content Creator of the Year 2022 by The Game Awards on Dec. 8, she's not sure if she truly deserved the nod. After a year with TSM, she is excited about her potential to find her definition of success with her new sponsor, Misfits. "I am not successful on my own...And so without that community, I don't think I'm successful. I realize that I'm the glue that puts these people together and gives them this platform to do this really cool thing" You can follow QTCinderella here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ahmed Ali Akbar is a James Beard Award-winning food journalist, the former host of Vox Media's "Delivery Wars" and now, the host of Crooked Media and Duolingo's "Radiolingo" podcast, which releases Nov. 15. Prior to becoming a journalist, Ahmed competed in and commentated "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" mod Project M and its successor Project+. "Everybody can understand through food. It's a basic, fundamental human need that we all share. And you also get exposed to so many different things as a result of food." You can follow Ahmed here and "Radiolingo" here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Gaming may seem just like a passive activity. But as more research around its effects on mental and physical health is studied, how concerned should we be about its bigger picture impacts on players' well-being? Doctors Rachel Kowert, a psychologist who is the research director at Take This, and Cait McGee, a physical therapist who is the co-founder of 1HP, join Jacob to discuss their findings. "It's not so much about the games themselves, although I think there is a conversation to be had about content. We do know that hate is normalized to a certain extent, gaming communities. When I say normalized, I say that because when you look at the research, looking at the prevalence of the rate at which people have experienced the more extreme forms of behavior, so hate speech, sexual harassment, and doxing, it is more common to have witnessed it or experienced it than it is to have not." You can follow Rachel and Take This here and Cait and 1HP here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jacob "Alpharad" Rabon IV is a YouTuber, a musician known professionally as Ace of Hearts and an event organizer. Over the past seven years, he's become the most relevant content creator in the Super Smash Bros. community—but as he explains to Jacob, that's not enough. The 27-year-old creator is constantly looking to reinvent himself, push new boundaries with his content and remain steadfast in exploring his creative passions. "The longer you do YouTube, the harder it gets because the more times you have to flip your style, you have to adapt, and then you have to make these conscious decisions where... I understand that this is the direction I need to go to experience growth on this landscape." You can follow Alpharad here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In 2019, veteran esports journalist Richard Lewis lost his closest friend and roommate, Remilia, the first ever female professional League of Legends player. In part two of this interview, he discusses how he's gone on a journey over the past three years, fighting with depression and looking for motivation to continue on in his career. "I'm in the process of getting past the depression and self-loathing and negative thoughts, and I'm getting to a place where maybe there's a possibility at some point I could feel like happy. Joy is like @!#%^*$ miles away." You can follow Richard here. Find Part 1 of this interview here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Richard Lewis is a veteran esports journalist, the former host of ELEAGUE and the editor-at-large at Dexerto. "I don't need the spotlight, I don't need the attention. My ego comes from the work I do. Like by the time it goes out, I am proud of it. If somebody says he's lied or that's not true or you've put misinformation in it, nah, I'm not gonna tolerate it cause I know I wouldn't do those things." You can follow Richard here. Part 2 of this interview will release tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 3. Subscribe to 'Visionaries' to hear more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lester Chen is the former global head of gaming creators at YouTube and a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley's most wealthy investment firms. This week, YouTube's fifth-most subscribed creator MrBeast announced he is raising $150 million on a $1.5 billion valuation, a massive amount of capital for an Internet creator. Lester joins the show to discuss the shift happening in the creator industry and how creators are formalizing their businesses. "There are ton of creators that are making tens of millions of dollars just through ad [revenue], but very few of them wanna expand their businesses to actually build out like these functional new ventures. He has the microphone right now and what do you command with that microphone? Where does it actually tie into the DNA of what he already does from a content perspective is like kind of a question." You can follow Lester and a16z here. Enter for a chance to win a Elgato Wave 3 microphone and Facecam: https://gleam.io/5YM7Q/visionaries-giveaway. Terms and conditions apply. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week, we're changing things up. Overcome's Prem Thottumkara joins Jacob at the top of the show to discuss the recent closure of gaming network G4, as well as the recent accusations levied by Twitch's most watched female streamer Amouranth against her husband of emotional abuse. Then, Jacob's joined by ConnorEatsPants, the successful variety YouTube and Twitch creator. The two discuss recent changes at Twitch, how Connor works through his diagnosed OCD to create compelling content and the trends of where gaming and content are headed. "Our brains literally just aren't built for streaming or public figure facing in general. It's a super weird experience to go through because 50 years ago you could make a mistake and then people move on and it's not that big of a deal. But now you're online, you do something and suddenly that sits with you for a long time." You can follow Connor here. Enter for a chance to win a Elgato Wave 3 microphone and Facecam: https://gleam.io/5YM7Q/visionaries-giveaway. Terms and conditions apply. Go to https://betterhelp.com/visionaries for 10% off your first month of therapy with BetterHelp and get matched with a therapist who will listen and help. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Twitch hosted its first TwitchCon in America in three years last weekend. The results? A streamer breaking her back, mobs flooding some of the biggest creators and an unruly experience for streamers, security and administrators alike. Washington Post reporter Nathan Grayson, who covers livestreaming and the creator economy, joins the podcast to discuss what went wrong at the event and how it's changed since it last took place in 2019. "Previous TwitchCons have felt, despite their size, kind of small and chill. But this year, very large crowds could be hard to move sometimes. Lots of people getting stuck in hallways because... You'd see like one streamer with like their camera and everyone getting mobbed and their little bubble or their little mob bubble would try to pass another one doing the same thing and they'd sort of like get stuck together because there were too many people and it was hard to move past each other." You can follow Nathan and Launcher here. Go to https://betterhelp.com/visionaries for 10% off your first month of therapy with BetterHelp and get matched with a therapist who will listen and help. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Joe Marsh is the CEO of T1 Entertainment and Sports, the group behind South Korea's most successful esports team. Prior to running T1, Joe worked at Comcast Spectacor, the owners of the Philadelphia Flyers, and became a part of its initial esports group, who now own the Overwatch League's Philadelphia Fusion, have relaunched gaming TV network G4 and are co-owners of T1, alongside South Korea's SK Telecom. "The issue is the people that had bloated valuations a couple years ago and now they have no revenue to show for it. They can't raise new capital because everyone's taking a down round and that is why you're seeing the esports winter approaching." You can follow Joe and T1 here. Go to https://betterhelp.com/visionaries for 10% off your first month of therapy with BetterHelp and get matched with a therapist who will listen and help. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Brandon "Seagull" Larned is a former Overwatch professional player and a content creator on YouTube. This week, Blizzard released Overwatch 2, the sequel to one of 2016's Games of the Year. But so far, the reception's been mixed—with many, including Seagull, saying the sequel isn't actually a sequel at all. From minor iterations on gameplay to just three new characters, one new game mode, and a few maps, Overwatch 2 isn't "redefining a sequel" as it was once pitched. Or at least not yet. "Going back historically over the past couple years, it's been a pretty steep and steady decline in interest and engagement in the franchise. The community sentiment around the game has been kind of boredom and also confusion, particularly in the last year. But when I look at the overall franchise, when a developer stops working on it for years and then they have all these competitors come out one after another that are all free to play live service audiences, the interest in the game just starts to dwindle very, very quickly." You can follow Seagull here. Go to https://betterhelp.com/visionaries for 10% off your first month of therapy with BetterHelp and get matched with a therapist who will listen and help. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nathan Stanz is a livestreamer on Twitch and the co-founder of Offbrand, a new creative agency he started with creators Ludwig Ahgren and Atrioc and long-time gaming executive Nick Allen. The company's first show is "Juiced", a game show hosted by xQc, the most watched individual streamer on Twitch. "It is easy for us and we also bear the burden of the cost. We believe in our ability to go out there and secure sponsors. To go against this using things like the ability to fall back on Ludwig to help out with his brand-friendly face. So I'm confident in our abilities to do literally everything in the sphere, and we're only talking about content in the form of shows. We wanna do this in a lot of things." You can follow Stanz here. Go to https://betterhelp.com/visionaries for 10% off your first month of therapy with BetterHelp and get matched with a therapist who will listen and help. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Cecilia D'Anastasio is a reporter covering video games at Bloomberg and Zachary Diaz is the former director of emerging content at Twitch. Over the past 10 days, Twitch has been under fire. The Amazon-owned livestreaming platform banned unregulated gambling content, but then said it will reduce creator pay. It is reportedly struggling to curb child predation. "It's absolutely true that the investments or the lack of prioritization from the start really put Twitch into the position where it is today. If Twitch had taken its understanding of monetization at the time and where it needed to be profitability wise from the start and said, ads are going to be a core part of our business moving forward seven, eight, nine years ago, maybe both creators and communities and audiences wouldn't be as disgusted with the changes that are coming out right now." You can follow Cecilia and Zachary here. Go to https://betterhelp.com/visionaries for 10% off your first month of therapy with BetterHelp and get matched with a therapist who will listen and help. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ronnie "Ronnie2K" Singh is the digital marketing director and face of the NBA 2K franchise. Over the past decade, he's become the scapegoat for some of the most high-profile NBA players—the likes of Kevin Durant, Karl-Anthony Towns and others—frustrated with their in-game ranking not matching their self-assessed, real-life skill. But he's also seen something more deep in the culture, as a new generation of basketball fans become educated through the franchise. "2K is now an educational device on these guys' brands and we help them build collectively into bigger properties, and that's why Kevin Durant is involved in those conversations. Just that's why the Jordan Challengers are in 2K. There's the younger kids don't know Michael Jordan as well. And so it's our responsibility to, to keep him top of mind and relevant as the greatest of all time." You can follow Ronnie and NBA 2K here. Go to https://betterhelp.com/visionaries for 10% off your first month of therapy with BetterHelp and get matched with a therapist who will listen and help. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Brandon Freytag is the co-founder of and chief of creator monetization at Loaded, a management agency that represents high-profile content creators such as DrLupo, Shroud, CouRage, QTCinderella, Doublelift, and more. He previously represented Ninja. As companies like Microsoft's now-defunct livestreaming platform Mixer, YouTube and Facebook have vied to take market share from Twitch, Loaded's been on the precipice of multi-million dollar creators deals. "Competition's good cause it breeds innovation. Not only does Twitch have to make changes to their platform cause they see what YouTube is doing, then YouTube does the same thing. Ultimately we're getting to an end point where the platforms have a better product for the creators to use." You can follow Brandon and Loaded here. Go to https://betterhelp.com/visionaries for 10% off your first month of therapy with BetterHelp and get matched with a therapist who will listen and help. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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