Today, Gamelevate was given the opportunity to learn more about GGtoor, and the staff behind this ever-growing organization.
Recently, Gamelevate and the GMVT Hub announced their partnership with GGtoor. As tournaments and events are a significant feature in not only gaming but in esports, this partnership is an exciting endeavor for both entities. To learn more about the hardworking team behind GGtoor, we were excited to interview the team.
Please tell us about yourselves and your experiences working in the Esports and Gaming Community.
Our team consists of a few very hardworking people. First, Our CEO John Whitman is the President and Chairman of GGtoor, Inc., Shadow Gaming’s parent company. Over the past 24 years, John has successfully raised just over 400 million dollars for public & private companies, including over 20 million for his own public companies.
Luis Arce is a serial entrepreneur who started six companies and has a lot of business acumen with three decades of senior-level corporate and entrepreneurial career experience in management, sales, marketing, promotion, forecasting, and event planning.
Miguel is a gamer plus many more things: web developer, TV director, musician, [and] a great human being, [involved in] graphic design, database design logic modeling, PHP programming, Java, HTML5, algorithm design, and logical processes.
Jim “Sinobii” Hurley brings expertise as a veteran event organizer and a lifelong gamer. In fact, Jim is a world-class CCG competitor; Past accomplishments include being ranked Top 10 WorldWide in Pokemon: TCG, winning Magic: The Gathering Black Lotus Tournaments, and repeatedly achieving the highest level of accomplishment over many seasons of online play in various games, often earning Top 20 WorldWide ranking in Minion Masters, achieving Legend rank in Hearthstone, and other similar accomplishments.
Nate Piep is an entrepreneur and a gamer, a hard-working human being, and an expert in the sports betting field. [As a result], Nate acquired experience and expertise in Marketing and Business Development. His focus is on developing Sponsorship & B2B Relationships plans to evaluate new and existing esports platforms.
Oh wow. It’s great to see that you’re all pursuing, or have pursued, your passion for gaming and incorporating that experience and knowledge into GGtoor. With that in mind, could you tell us about GGtoor and your services?
At the beginning of the pandemic, we changed gears from a Sports Venues centric company to GGtoor and became an esports company. The pandemic changed everything for us, we saw that opportunity, and we ran with it.
I can see how that shift might have been challenging, but it’s great to see how you’ve adapted to the changing times. From your experience, what is the hardest part of organizing and running these tournaments?[In terms of] organizing the tournament, it’s finding the right leaders in the community to help effectively spread the word to build awareness that the event is happening. There are plenty of players that would be excited to jump into our FREE to enter tournaments – they need to know the opportunity to compete exists!
When it comes to running the event, it’s finding ways to effectively educate the first-time competitors about the logistics and nitty-gritty of how to participate in the event.
Each competitor must take the time to get familiar with the rules and procedures (how to make a lobby, check the pairings/brackets, contact a judge if there is any dispute, report scores, etc.) in advance of the event. With hundreds of players in our typical event, there’s not enough time to properly help every new player individually learn the ropes if they only start asking questions right as round 1 is about to start (and this happens a lot!)
Wow, that does sound difficult. On the other side of this, what are the best parts of organizing and running tournaments?[The best part about organizing tournaments is] helping the aspiring gamer compete on a level playing field, providing competitors who want to make esports their profession an opportunity to build their reputation and compile a resume of accomplishments on their journey toward becoming a Pro Player!
I can see how this would be a fantastic thing to see and experience and how beneficial it is to an aspiring gamer. When organizing tournaments, do you find that some games do better than others?[For our tournaments, we have a particular genre – CCGs (which are Collectible/Trading card games) that have most consistently been seeing the best [turnout] numbers.
Oh really? That is surprising. I didn’t expect that at all. We’ve mentioned the best and most challenging parts of organizing tournaments and the hope you’re giving to aspiring professional gamers. But what are your goals and dreams for the future of GGtoor?
Our dream is to become a household name in the esports industry, with thousands of participants coming to our portal for players, organizers, and leagues a place for esports lovers.
That sounds like a fantastic dream, and I hope you can achieve it. GGtoor, Gamelevate, and the GMVT Hub entered a partnership recently, which is exciting for us. What are your thoughts on the partnership, and what are your hopes for this endeavor?
We are excited about our partnership with Gamelevate and the GMVT Hub, as they fall within our five guidelines of what we look for when creating partnerships: 1. Open Communication 2. Accessibility 3. Flexibility 4. Mutual Benefit. 5. Measurable Results.
They have been an outstanding group to work with so far, and we look forward to doing exciting things in the future. We hope to gain a long-term partner who will continue to grow with us and help both of our communities intermingle and enjoy what we have to offer in the esports space.
And we’re just as enthusiastic and excited to continue working with you in the future. My last question for today is, do you have any advice for people wanting to get into competitive gaming and the tournament scene?
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t do well in your first tournament. There are usually veteran players who have been practicing for months or even years, so it could take time to reach the top performance levels in a game.
If you’re aspiring to become a Pro Player, look at a loss as an opportunity to become a better player, to improve your play by identifying a better way to execute what you were trying to do.
Or even study any new techniques used against you and adapt those into your play style. Everyone started somewhere and worked to improve. If they can do it, you can do it too – Keep practicing, and chase your dream!