AwakenMilitia: Exclusive Interview with eLevate/ESN Matt
AWAKEN MILITIA: THE INTERVIEW
BY BIJ MATT
The eSports community is clustered with a plethora of amateur organizations, all with the same goal of one day breaking into the professional circuit. With so many organizations to choose from, and all almost basic carbon copies of each other, it’s a difficult and tedious task to meticulously sift through all the lower-tier organizations, and pick out the true standouts from the crowd. While it’s an uncommon skill to have the know-how to find these diamonds in the rough, there are rare cases where dreary eyes can finally find these gems, and awaken.
Awaken Militia is a relatively new organization making huge leaps and bounds in order to propel themselves towards the top, leaving what seem like similar organizations, back in their places. I was lucky enough to sit down with the owner, founder, and CEO of Awaken, Tristin, to discuss the pass, present, and future of Awaken Militia.
Matt: Hey Tristin, thank you for taking time away from your busy schedule to come on for an interview. So let’s go back to where it all began, with you. What first brought you to eSports?
Tristin: Thanks Matt, always a pleasure. What brought me to eSports in 2007 was the concept and originality of it. The passion that people had for [eSports] during that time I had truly never seen before. Of course now you look at how its grown and how big it has become and I’d compare it to the standards of mainstream media and actual sports.
Matt: So it's 2007, you’re at that time infatuated with the idea of eSports, what then drives you to the point where you go ahead and say to yourself, "I want to create an eSport organization.”
Tristin: I wanted to become noticed. I wanted to, along with others, put ourselves in a position where some day down the line, people would consider us to be not only professionals, but veterans as well.
Matt: What would you call the moment in which you would say you first got your foot in the door with eSports?
Tristin: The moment that I would say I first got my foot in the door with eSports was probably at the MLG Las Vegas Championship where I competed as a player in the open bracket.
Matt: If I may ask the question, how did you do? [laughing]
Tristin: Hey! I did pretty decent in my opinion; in fact my team even placed top forty.
Matt: Tell me about your beginning thought process of creating not specifically Awaken yet, but an organization in general.
Tristin: For me, it started with finding those who shared the same passion and enjoyment of the industry, while at the same time being dedicated to the same ideas that I envisioned.
Matt: The early days of the idea that’s been stirring in your head finally comes to fruition. Awaken Militia. How was it created & who helped you along the way?
Tristin: Awaken was created with me, my cousin, his brother and four of our mutual friends who I believed were the best fits I could get for the tasks at hand. We were from the beginning attempting to run things like the professionals. Along the way, more people I knew I could see loved what I was trying to do and wanted to get in this huge project in the making.
Matt: Why Awaken Militia? What drew you to that name?
Tristin: A big reason was because I was big into action movies at the time, and militias were always the not scared of anyone or anything type. Plus the members of them were tough and had a set goal that was equally shared amongst the group. Another factor that drew me to the name was that it was something that people could remember off the top of their head and had a good ring to it like, Complexity, Optic or Faze.
Matt: What eSports specifically do you want Awaken Militia to delve into?
Tristin: I originally had my mind set on Call of Duty and Halo. However as time progressed and I’ve been introduced to so many more, and even larger eSports, I think I may need to look into some others as well.
Matt: With Awaken Militia on the brink of becoming a top amateur organization, do you feel that also focusing on maintain a YouTube channel will distract you from progressing other aspects of Awaken?
Tristin: Not at all. YouTube has personally been a passion of mine for at least seven years now. I loved watching what people were first making and in 2012, I created my personal channel focused around gaming entertainment and helping my audience become better at the games I played while entertaining them as well. If it ever became a problem then it would be addressed with other high-ranking members of the organization, but for now we’ve been able to balance this focus with the progression of our org.
Matt: Looking back on everything, do you agree with the choices you've made regarding the organization?
Tristin: I’d be lying if I straight up said yes, I do. I agree with 95% of the choices I have made regarding the organization of Awaken throughout the years I’d say.
Matt: What is included in the 5%?
Tristin: Some of the original choices I made such as divvying up responsibilities to parts of management I realize should’ve been in other places, and some of the decisions I made in the beginning, but that’s expected of any organization in it’s beginning phases.
Matt: 2016, whether you like it or not, is just around the corner. What changes do you want to see in the organization by the end of 2015?
Tristin: I want to see us grow and make an impact in the eSports industry. I hope we produce entertainment content that is high quality and that sets us apart from the big solo channels and team creators out there. The changes competitive wise that I want are to develop a professional CS:GO team to compete in major events, a League of Legends team, and a Call of Duty teams that can place within the top sixteen at MLG & UMG events. I also want Awaken Militia to be going up against household eSports brands.
Matt: It looks like you have a grasp on your long-term goals. So I’ll finish it off by asking what are some of the short-term goals that fans should expect to see in the coming weeks and/or months?
Tristin: Some of the short term goals are to work with other teams to create a even bigger passion for eSports, create a live-streaming program, create an apparel shop and a lot more of incredible and exciting things to come. Trust will want to be on board for the ride in order to experience the changes that are about to happen.