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Interview: For the Love of Gaming – Brian Barasa on Laying the Foundation for Greatness

Interview: For the Love of Gaming – Brian Barasa on Laying the Foundation for Greatness

If you keep on meeting your enemies you are going in the right direction.

When asked to describe himself, Brian Barasa has three words: adventurous, observant and patient. The 29 year old co-founder of Naiccon, founder of Bars W Bespoke Tailoring and Head of Business Development for Pro Gaming Series (PSG) exudes the quiet confidence of a man beyond his years- a man who knows exactly where he is headed.

He talks to Damaris Agweyu about his well laid plans to disrupt the entertainment scene in Nairobi through his passion, Gaming.

Gaming is huge eh?
And we’re only just getting started. We have entire generations of people who have grown up with gaming and as new technologies emerge, the numbers will explode. Worldwide, the gaming and e-sports industry is currently worth over 100 billion dollars; it’s even bigger than the music industry.

And yet the mention of words like ‘gaming’ and ‘e-sports’ invoke mixed reactions in people- many don’t understand or attach any seriousness to it.
That’s true. One time I heard someone asking how anyone in their right minds can show people playing video games on a sports network, he simply didn’t understand the logic. He was given one of the most profound answers I ever heard, he was told: “You don’t have to understand it- it is here.”

That’s a great answer.
And I echo it. When Mpesa came, who understood it? Gaming is a disruptive technology, whether it’s understood or not is not the issue- it’s how Gen Zers are consuming content right now- you can’t fight it- you’d rather align with it.

I along with many other people reading this have a Gen Zer or two in our homes- how do we align?
My advice would be try and see it from their point of view- if its gaming they want, they are most likely going to get involved in some way. You might as well start to understand it better and support them on their journeys, take them to tournaments. It’s the same thing that soccer mums do- take them for practice, try and understand what games they are playing, get involved; you will learn something about them that you didn’t know. They could build a career from it.

Now that’s what’s baffling. How does one make a career from gaming?​
The very same way one makes a career from traditional sports. Jobs of the future are unconventional and e-sports is one of them. It’s Ok to be a lawyer, a doctor or an engineer but there are so many other sources of income and while we might say that technology is replacing old jobs, we should also recognise that its creating a lot of new ones. And careers are not just the for gamers alone- they say those who can do those who can’t teach- there’s a whole ecosystem around the industry; there is production, social media, there are coaches, analysts, commentators and you know commentators are some of the most highly paid individuals when it comes to the sports industry. People are make a living from this industry.

Today, big names in the traditional sports industry such as LeBron James, Shaquille O’neal and Rick Fox are heavily invested in e-sports companies. Think of the way football clubs are run, it’s a similar concept. With e-sports an investor can put up a mansion with state of the art facilities, gym equipment, trainers, a chef and have his team stay there. They have a timetable where mornings are spent on physical workouts, lunch prepared at 1 then playing begins from say 2-7 pm. This is practice-time. The gamers perfect their skills the same way traditional athletes will train to perfect their skills- then in the evening they might have a night out. They are showered with all kinds of perks and if they don’t perform during the tournaments, they are dropped.

Sounds a lot like the life of a pro athlete
It’s exactly like the life of a pro athlete. The biggest name in the industry right now is…

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