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HomeCEO SeriesThese M'sians Found A Way To Run A Thriving E-Sports Team Without...

These M'sians Found A Way To Run A Thriving E-Sports Team Without Relying On Just Winning

Geek Fam is one of the up and coming names in the competitive scene of e-sports, with teams playing competitively in Dota 2, PUBG, Mobile Legends and League of Legends. Geek Fam was established in 2016 by Lim Keat Kuang and Joseph Yeoh, both entrepreneurs in their own right. 

The world of e-sports has been gaining ground in Malaysia with more tournaments being held and also bigger prize pools involved. With that, more up and coming teams are making their names heard in the Malaysian e-sports scene. However once such team—Geek Fam—has been in the e-sports scene for awhile and are quite well known, especially in Malaysia’s Dota 2 scene.

Geek Fam was established in November 2016 with the goal of being one of the best e-sports organisations in Malaysia. It was founded by Lim Keat Kuang and Joseph Yeoh, who met during their university days and bonded over football and Dota.

“Joseph and I are best of friends and we play games together a lot. We sort of needed an excuse for why we were playing so much games,” Keat joked.

However, since e-sports was still in its infancy, they felt that fans and brands were oftentimes shortchanged, thus they wanted to change something. He added, “We felt that there was a gap in the market and combined with our passion… we decided to go for it!”

Building A Family

Keat is 33 and Joseph is 32 this year. Joseph utilises his strengths with his business network and personality to bring many parties together, advocating a win-win for all. Keat is the strategic planner and operational head that puts into motion growth plans.

Both of the founders already have successful careers outside of this venture. Keat kicked off his career with starting up several businesses ranging from financial services to F&B. He is also a director and major shareholder at Cause Effect, a digital marketing agency.

As for Joseph, one might know him for his background in property and development as he is the Vice President of YTL Land Development and YTL Hotels & Properties Sdn Bhd. He specialises in the day-to-day operations of retail and hospitality assets, and is currently overseeing the development of YTL Retail, a new subsidiary under the YTL Group of Companies.

The both of them are still working in their respective industries, however they see Geek Fam as a passion and juggle their responsibilities by being organised and working hard. Keat added, “Having an amazing team doesn’t hurt either!”

Geek Fam currently has teams playing competitively in Dota 2, League of Legends, PUBG and Mobile Legends.

Branching Out

Keat and Joseph have also pivoted Geek Fam to not only have one foot in e-sports, but they also have delved into other markets under the Geek banner. They have Geek Events where they help to organise events as they are of opinion that many event organisers don’t truly understand gamers.

“Being gamers ourselves, we believe we have an intimate understanding of the gamers needs. Similarly, some tournament organisers are just tournament organisers as opposed to e-sports event organisers, taking care of fans, sponsors and partners,” Keat said.

Thus there is a gap on both ends and that is where Geek Events comes in. Keat believes that with their business experience coupled with their confidence in execution, Geek Events can be one of the major gaming events organisers in the near future.

Other than e-sports and events, Keat stated that they have a physical activation space in Lot 10—Geek Arena and an exclusive content producing team for partners—Geek TV, together with Geek Fam and Geek Events, all under the holding company of K&K Revolution.

When asked about his thoughts on the emerging mobile e-sports scene, Keat added that they are extremely optimistic about the future of the mobile e-sports community.

“The focus of mobile game developers like Moonton (Mobile Legends) on growing the community and supporting pro-tournaments will ultimately grow it into a mature e-sport like Dota 2. Plus, mobile e-sport is still relatively young and we believe that it will catch up in a couple of years.”

Behind The Scenes

One might wonder how an e-sports team rakes in revenue other than winning tournaments. Keat states that Geek Fam earns revenue from sponsorship deals such as Predator, Xiaomi and HyperX who are their sponsors. Geek Fam also facilitates in brand activation which was seen in the recent Influencer Festival where Digi had Geek Fam’s Mobile Legends players to participate in a couple of activities to interact with fans.

One of the biggest challenges that Keat constantly faces is finding the right talent to grow the organisation. Keat added, “People who are passionate about games might have too little discipline to complete tasks, while people from more traditional backgrounds like business, finance and engineering have the discipline but may lack the passion or understanding.”

However, Keat has managed to take up the challenge well and is very proud that Geek Fam has consistently scouted new talents and developed them.

“We are especially proud that even after our players left for some world class teams, they still remember us fondly and are always going around telling people how much we have done for them and their career.”

Their PUBG team managed to finish 7 out of 20 teams representing Malaysia in the JIB PUBG Southeast Asia Championship 2018 which just concluded over the weekend. However in the beginning when the team was just established, they didn’t perform well as they lost in a local tournament, but Keat believed in them.

“We spoke with them and told them our reason for picking them. It was not that they were the best at the moment, but because of our belief in their humility, passion and teamwork. It was only a matter of time before these values presented themselves as massive strengths.”

As for his plans for the future of Geek Fam, Keat added “We plan to establish ourselves as one of the top, sustainable e-sports organisations in the world. We hope to be a positive contributor to the e-sports ecosystem.”

If you would like to know more about Geek Fam, you can check out their website here and their social media here.

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