This website was supposed to be merely a place for me to document my writing and work on little projects, but since joining TSM, a lot of fans of the team have been curious about my future involvement and personal decisions. For those who are interested, I thought this was a good time for a recap and update.
After leaving Boeing, I applied to a few places, but was really only passionate about one or two companies and when I didn't get those, I chose to just commit to taking some time off over working at a place that I didn't wholeheartedly love. It was a weird process of figuring out what I wanted to do, planning out my finances, and allotting a deadline for my return to a work-life. The name for my website literally comes from the number of days I calculated that I could financially sustain myself with no income without dipping into my cushion fund.
I decided to start with e-sports first, starting off by writing about things I knew or learned. I'd receive some comments at first, some constructive criticism, and a few people who were interested would add my on Skype and we'd have a conversation about e-sports. This industry is extremely niche and connections are everything. I somewhat stumbled into meeting a lot of cool people by doing something I liked without intentionally networking, and I look back and realize how lucky I was.
After briefly volunteering for Alliance and Leviathan, I posted my work and went off on my education pursuits. By using some creative travel methods and a lot of couch surfing (thanks to everyone who let me crash), I interviewed 30+ people (teachers, researchers, administrators) in 8 cities around the US, mostly discussing our current system of public education and their thoughts on how to change it. I've actually written a giant piece (70+ pages), but it's currently in a state where it needs to be heavily edited and re-worked. I really want to get back to some of this work this year in my spare time.
Sometime late 2014, I began to help TSM as an analyst, first as a trial basis, but then a remote, paid position. The amount of hours it took to keep up with other regions, watching scrims, and helping create documents actually took a lot more time than I initially thought, so I put some of the education work on hold and focused on TSM instead. I happened to be in the area for the TSM-CLG match with the pink hair bet because I was speaking to SpaceX at the time and got to meet the team. Throughout the Spring Split, I was casually applying for random positions at startups, but after MSI, TSM offered me to bring me on full-time. It was extremely competitive compared to what anyone else in the west was being offered. When I started out, I wasn't expecting to end up as an in-house analyst for a major team, but it was an incredible opportunity that I knew I had to pursue.
The details of my role are in a different piece, but work was simultaneously brutal and awesome. From watching other regions, coaching staff meetings, scrims, 1-on-1 sessions with players, data work, scouting documents and other presentations, I would be constantly thinking about the team, players, and the game from the moment I got up at 9 am till I passed out to Netflix playing on my Chromebook at 1 am. On Sunday evenings, we would have free time, but if we lost, I wouldn't be in the mood to do anything but prep for next week. Staring at Excel on Sunday evenings was the most relaxing part about my week. Despite the struggles (there were a lot), I enjoyed every second of what I did.
There were a lot of important moments for me. I remember the electricity in the room before the first TSM-CLG game during the Summer, a sense of urgency and pride that's indescribable. I remember the respect emanating from every person in the room for Andy's first review after he stepped in as coach. I remember crying for a long time after watching Dyrus's final interview, denoting the end of our season and his career. There's a lot of heart in e-sports, it's a very gritty industry where you have to be passionate about the work to justify the amount of yourselves you put into it, and as much as we like to treat it like a job or business, there's a strong emotional component that's almost more important.
I'm really excited to transition into a managerial position within the organization next year. I have a lot of respect for Andy, there's no one I know that is more hard-working and passionate about his work or who cares about the people working for him. I'll be working alongside Dan and Leena, who are both incredibly talented and do an immense amount behind the scenes. I'm currently helping the League team/staff put together a system for next year, then I'll be stepping back and overseeing the process throughout the next season, which will free up Andy to focus on his other projects.
Overall, I'm incredibly fortunate to be in the position I find myself in and am looking forward to pushing TSM, the teams and the organization, to be the best they can be. In my spare time, I'll be looking to return to my volunteering work in education, so this website will still see some new posts. Finally, in addition to my friends and everyone I've met in the last year, I want to thank my best friend Sanjeev and my girlfriend Amy, who encouraged me to start my journey and supported me throughout.