Wildcard Dreamhack Interview!
By: William “Musashi” Lucas
After many attempts to qualify for an event in the past, Wildcard Gaming PUBG and Brawlhalla have exceeded expectations and qualified for the Dreamhack Showdown Stage in June!
For Wildcard Gaming, this event is more than business, it’s a family reunion for the owners and staff. This tournament event in Austin holds even further significance for this will be the first event that all 3 owners will be attending together along with one of Wildcard’s Lead Graphic Designers (Captain Innes), and Social Media Manager (Musashi). Wildcard Owners Ben, Griff, and Wolfy started the company last year in April 2017 and since its inception, they have worked vigorously to get the company off the ground.
Dreamhack Austin will be the first PUBG Lan event for the former Gambino roster (Toumai, Pride, Kickstart) and former God Squad sniper (Sharpshot). This event will also feature Wrenchd, Wildcard Gaming’s star Brawlhalla player who will be competing on the group stage in his largest lan experience yet under the organization.
The past 12 months have been a roller coaster ride for Wildcard, starting out in mobas with games like League of Legends and finally establishing themselves as a Battle Royale Organization. Wildcard attended several lan tournaments before Dreamhack, including the first ever PUBG invitational in Cologne Germany, Dreamhack Montreal for Rocket League and League of Legends, New Orleans for Call of Duty, and several PAX events for a multitude of different titles over the last year.
“Wildcard Gaming has always been a top contender in online tournaments. Many lan event qualifiers in the past have been a close race to this finish with Wildcard falling just points short of making it into the event. But after a ton of hard work, it’s finally here!” -Musashi
Musashi: How does it feel to qualify for Dreamhack?
Wolfy: It feels great! I’m excited to finally meet a lot of people that I’ve worked so long with. I finally get to see what we can do together and it’s in the home state of Texas so it makes it that much better!
Ben: The first thing for me was just excitement and relief. After a year of hardwork and a lot of sacrifices, we were able to accomplish an achievement of this magnitude. It is very rewarding to know that all of the hard work our staff and players are putting in is paying off, and we at Wildcard look forward to the bright future of our organization.
Musashi: What is the company and team culture like?
Wolfy: Very family oriented. I feel like everyone really understands that they have a role and no one in particular is above anyone else. Everyone puts in 100%.
Ben: I like to think the culture at Wildcard is similar to a big family. Everyone here is valued for what they do for the organization and they are very helpful to one another. Each individual in the organization knows the goals for Wildcard, and everyone does their part to achieve those organizational goals.
Musashi: Does anyone on the team hangout outside of the office?
Wolfy: I’ve hung out with several members in the past at other events, but outside of the org, Dreamhack will really be the first time I get to spend time with the other members outside of office.
Ben: Yeah, Wolfy, King Rhoades, and other members have gotten together outside the org but this event at Dreamhack will be the first time that we’ve really all gotten together.
Musashi: To date, what are you most proud of in the organization?
Wolfy: That’s a tough one, there have definitely been a lot of iconic moments. I think that when we won the very first big PUBG tournament which was the Curse Trials in July 2017, it really started snowballing us from there.
Ben: I’m proud that the business model Griff, Wolfy, and I started just over a year ago has grown so rapidly in such a short period of time. I’m also proud and humbled by the amazing people I have met and get to work with on a daily basis in Wildcard.
Musashi: What are some challenges you as an owner have had to face and overcome?
Wolfy: Seeing opportunities mainly. It’s more so that I love the grind that I do and even though I have to give up a bunch for it, I never really look back and go, “well dang I missed out on a bunch of stuff!” I do give up a lot like my social life and things like that, but I do it so I can build something greater.
Ben: I’d say the biggest challenge for Wildcard is our limited resources. Having a budget that is almost non existent compared to our competition and us being able to compete around the same level in certain gaming genres has been nothing short of extraordinary. I attribute this success to the hard work that went into scouting, relationship building, and in-game knowledge that has helped grow our teams to be successful.
Musashi: What does a typical day look like for you?
Wolfy: First, I wake up and if I wake up in time, I make breakfast. If not I go straight to work without breakfast and I start my normal work day. I answer discord calls and messages in my spare time and between breaks. After I’m finished with Work, I come home and grind out emails and org related things until about 3 cst in the morning.
Ben: Honestly, this is a difficult question to answer in terms of specifics for the organization as it varies from day to day. That said, I made a major life sacrifice, put a previous career on hold, to focus my sole effort on Wildcard Gaming. I typically wake up at 10am est and answer various discord and email messages to start my day and continue to work until roughly 2-3am est at night while taking breaks throughout the day.
Musashi: What are the current goals the company is focused on, and how does the team work to hit those goals?
Wolfy: Battle Royal 100%. We want to continue to dominate that scene. We want to continue to scout and look at other games to see if they have potential. Battle Royale is just so hot and unless something drastic changes, this genre will always be this organization’s focus.
Ben: I mean the end goal for Wildcard Gaming is to be one of the most successful esport organizations based out of North America. In order to achieve a goal of this magnitude, we have a multitude of goals we work toward inside the organization everyday. An example of one of these goals, is how to optimize our PUBG team’s performance. Currently, we are focused on improving in game micro communications and improving our players mental toughness and focus towards the game.
Musashi: What gets you most excited for the future of Wildcard?
Wolfy: My favorite game as of right now to watch and play is PUBG. Having our team be successful definitely gets me excited! Tournaments are popping up “left, right, and center” so I can assume the future can be very exciting in terms of competitive PUBG. I’m pumped to see what other Battle Royale games will form around PUBG and Fortnite and what kind of competitive scene they will bring as well.
Ben: Knowing the capabilities and professionalism of our staff and the determination of every person inside the organization for Wildcard to be successful. The talent on our PUBG and fortnite team is most definitely something to be excited for. Finally, some of the partnership and/or sponsorship deals we are currently trying to finalize has me personally excited for the future of Wildcard as I know when this organization has more resources to work with, nothing will get in our way from being a top tier organization!
Musashi: Where do you see Wildcard in 5 years?
Wolfy: We’ve seen a lot of growth in the 1 year that we have been an organization and honestly I can't even imagine what we'll look like in 5 years, especially with the epic growth that we have maintained. #stackthedeck
Ben: Ideally, in 5 years, Wildcard will have a top tier team in all the successful Battle Royale genre of games. We will be participating in some franchised leagues along with having top tier teams in major games of the North American market. We will have added an investment team that is conducive to Wildcard’s goals and we’ll have partnered with a traditional sports organization for branding and sponsorship purposes.
The entire org, including the owners are working diligently to prepare for Dreamhack over the next few weeks. The owners and staff are equally excited to qualify for Dreamhack, and establish themselves as world class contenders in 2 different games. “I started working for Wildcard over 6 months ago.
I’ve seen ups and downs and everything in between, however I’ve never been more excited to work for a company, than right now. I can’t wait for what the future holds for Wildcard and for myself! #stackthedeck” -Musashi