33:25 Mins

Duran Parsi on Not Getting Burned by Sponsors, How CSL Started and To-Do Lists

September 01, 2017

In this Episode I talk with Duran Parsi, CEO of the Collegiate Starleague, about how he got into esports, how the CSL started, how to not get burned by sponsors and the importance of checking all of your equipment prior to an event and how to-do lists have helped Duran stay organized and focused day-to-day.

I'm now able to offer employment to people in esports. Something @CSLDuran ‏ is most proud of. #esportsnarrative

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Time Stamped Show Notes

  • [1:24] How did you get into esports and how was the CSL started?
    • [1:35] Starting playing Starcraft 1 in 1998
    • [2:10] Played competitively for quite a while, before it was even called esports
    • [2:48] Started organizing scrims and clan wars to try and help his team improve
    • [3:40] Helped to co-found The North American Starleague and was previously a manager for Fnatic before starting the CSL
    • [5:15] Played in a Starcraft tournament in college and realized there were a lot of really good players. So he put a team together to compete and CSL formed from there
  • [5:54] What is esports?
    • [6:00] Competitive gaming/gaming culture
  • [7:55] Worst moment in esports?
    • [8:00] Their first live finals they had a sponsor back out at the last minute and they were left with very little money and it caused a lot of production problems. Duran had to scramble to hack together a live event
    • [11:00] They also had their streaming laptop die in the middle of a match and Duran had to point a webcam at his laptop where he was observing the match. He had his caster right over his shoulder.
    • [12:45] What did you learn from that experience?
      • [12:52] Always check on equipment prior to the event
      • [13:30] Be careful making deals and negotiating with sponsors
  •  [14:05] Biggest accomplishment so far?
    • [14:10] After the finals in Toronto some of the players came up to Duran and thanked him for hosting CSL and Duran met some of his best friends from CSL
    • [15:00] That and the fact that Duran is able to employ people in the esports industry is gratifying for him. The impact he has on people, he says, is pretty cool
  • [15:55] Why is esorts so exciting?
    • [16:00] Partially because it’s a new thing
    • [17:30] People, at least in the US, are more comfortable with coming out and saying they are a gamer. There is more people to express their excitement
  • [18:05] How do we capitalize on the excitement of esports and make a career?
    • [18:35] Understanding the landscape is important. There is a lot of misinformation out there. Understand that while it is a big thing it’s also still small
    • [19:30] Figure out what you are good at and passionate about and try and make that fit into esports
  • [21:15] 5 Question Combo Breaker
    • [21:20] Best advice someone has ever given you? Making a to-do list and sticking to it always helped Duran
    • [23:10] What does the esports industry needs to grow and continue to be successful? More professionalism and accountability. Most gamers are not used to working in a professional environment
    • [24:36] Best play you have seen or the most memorable moment in esports? When Duran was managing Fnatic, Rain vs BoxeR, MLG Main Stage Game 1
    • [25:50] Share a resource that’s been beneficial to you in your career. Twitch has helped CSL so much over the years
    • [26:45] What’s one daily habit that’s been the biggest factor for your success? Daily to-do lists and sticking to it as much as you can
  • [29:35] What is your advice for someone new to esports wanting to get into the industry?
    • [29:47] Being aware of what your skills are and what specifically you are passionate about
    • [30:35] If you love esports but you’re not sure what you want to do, go pay attention to whats going on. Go on reddit and follow people on twitter. Try things and see what it is you might like to do. Go to events such as TwitchCon and PAX

You can connect with Duran on Twitter @CSLDuran and you can follow The Collegiate Starleage @cstarleague and their website

3 Big Narratives

  1. Be careful when making deals and negotiating sponsorships
  2. Professionalism and Accountability is something we need to focus more on as an industry
  3. Try to be aware of your skills and your passions and if you’re not sure what you want to do in esports, go get exposure to different things, go to events and try things you think you may like


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