My Personal Info:
Andrew LaRock 24 Years Old Located in San Francisco, California, USA
I am a Business Management Consultant with a Global 500 Company, my area of work involves the Electronics Industry as well as the Entertainment Industry. I comprehend, know, and learn languages faster than most and as such I usually do a decent amount of travel between the US and Asia/Europe. I am also part of the Video Game Industry and active in Conferences/Conventions either by Attending, Organizing, Speaking, or some of everything. I attend PAX DEV and West always at the end of August and TwitchCon as a SteelSeries Sponsored Streamer.
Competitive play began in 2007 with World of Warcraft and its' release of The Burning Crusade Expansion. I joined Death & Taxes and competed clearing content in a progression race for the #1 World Rank. We were able to maintain that ranking until the end of the expansion when the guild had some sustainability issues and decided to halt raiding.
Due to the nature of play that was required of me during my raiding with Death & Taxes I continued to find my way to World Top #25 Guilds and progressed through later expansions with these guilds. I also took on the other aspect of the game, Player vs Player Achieving Gladiator and later Leading the World's Rank 1 Rated Battleground Team.
During the course of my Professional Career in World of Warcraft I was sponsored by various computer & accessory companies. Those sponsorships ended of course once I decided to play WoW at a "casual" level even though I was still racking in those Rank 1 achievements.
Now I'm not a one game one hit wonder, I ventured out to League of Legends when it had just been released. I was Diamond during all of Season 1 and competed in various tournaments as well as play with top streamers/teams. I however disliked the game back then and still do now because of well too many reasons for me to list.
I ventured to Console Gaming on Xbox One competing in MLG, UMG, and other tournaments for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare & Call of Duty: Black Ops III, FIFA 15&16, Halo 5, NBA 2K15&16, and lastly Rainbow Six Siege. Overall I captured some silvers and bronzes but never a gold in any of the tournaments due to the lacking presence of playing on a team/with teammates.
During my Professional Video Game Career, I also was a Professional Badminton Player. I played Badminton for Team USA and under 2012 US Olympic Coach Ben Lee I was a backup player for the Olympics. I was sponsored by Li Ning (China's Nike) and was the first player not of Chinese origin to become sponsored by Li Ning for Badminton. In preparation for the Olympics & afterwards I competed in Local Tournaments, US Opens, & International Cups. I have placed first in some of these tournaments as well as second to last. I am semi-retired now, in which I mean I play for fun but since the US is competing in the Olympics I am helping out a bit more with the training of the US representatives.
(About my gaming community)
Upon returning to the Gaming Community I noticed things I overlooked while I was playing at a competitive level. Things such as each individual's reason for playing Video Games. I know everyone plays Games for one reason or another however I really became aware of each player’s personal reasons. At time I also was at a new point of understanding as I had opened my mind to all of societies current dilemmas.
Now with an open mind I decided to tackle some of the challenges I saw in the Video Game Community. First off new players to Video Games or Returning Players need a place where they can find people to talk to and play with so they can fully grasp what it means to be a Video Gamer. Second players need a community that accepts them for who they are, a place where they can be themselves and not have to worry about being bullied, judged, or stereotyped.
Diversity & Inclusion are my key beliefs in not only the Video Game Community but in the real world too. Third players need a community that has Beginners, Veterans, & Professionals. I believe communities need these three types of players to be successful because when one of them needs help they can receive it from the appropriate party without having to go out of their comfort zone. The cycle then repeats and the Professional Players in the community gain a large following basis thus growing their public presence as well as their brand.
Now for the rest of the players in the community there can be casual, moderate, and Full-Time players of all levels. Fourth and last on my list is the most important rule for the community: At the end of the day always log off with a smile. Regardless of the countless reasons people have for playing video games it all boils down to these emotions: Bliss, Delight, Glee, Happiness, Joy, Laughter, and my personal favorite Optimism. No one logs on to feel anger, depression, hate, humiliation, or sorrow. That's why when all is said and done you should just smile.
Curse Voice: Instantsmile