Khang Thai on the future of the event

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The Razer Invitational is one of the biggest esports tournaments in the world. It’s a world competition, with several different titles. The Invitational only started last year and has already gained a lot of followers. We met Khang Thai, Razer’s Senior esport manager, to learn more about the Razer Invitational, its goals and what is planned for the future.

Find the pros

Esport wouldn’t be esport without professional players. Khang Thai told us that the Razer Invitational was designed to find professional gamers, wherever they are. When we asked Khang to describe the Invitational in 10 words or less, he told us “it’s about cultivating the next generation of pros from the local level”.

Okay, that’s 12 words, but that perfectly sums up why the Invitational was created. Not only does this competition “find” pros, but the format is designed to invite everyone. Khang said the Razer Invitational is a way to give gamers a platform to shine:

“It’s a tournament that is made for everyone to play […] the invitation really started out as a way for amateur players – level 2 players, level 3 players – to kind of shine. They are looking for competitions and tournaments in which to play, to improve their skills, to level up. But the spirit of the invitation has changed slightly. I think it’s more about finding the next generation of pros. And they can come from anywhere. Let it be people like me who are looking for a competitive game and are thinking “hey, maybe I can be a pro someday”. […] we want to make sure everyone has this chance to have fun and compete and potentially win some really cool prizes.

Since the tournament is designed for everyone, there is a bit of talent management that needs to happen throughout the tournament. Khang says that rather than just winning, the Invitational is a chance to give players visibility they might not otherwise have had. These participants might even have the chance to play against the pros and improve their skills.

For gamers, by gamers: games for everyone

Razer’s mantra is “For Gamers, By Gamers”. Khang told us that was also the goal of the Razer Invitational. This is a competition designed to be inclusive. When we asked if there were any pros joining the competition, he told us he was really surprised the pros joined:

“I’m quite surprised that some pros have joined us. I think the majority of the players that play in the tournament, I would say about 90% of them are amateur players. In the Rainbow Six that happened [recently] we had a pro team, and yes they won, of course. But they actually faced other teams that are not well known from different regions. […] they actually fought very well. So there are talents waiting to be found. I think it’s really great to be able to showcase talent from all over the place, top to bottom, and the quality of the game. People who maybe aren’t pros can actually come in and take a game or two. of a pro. that must really do good! And it smacks of the fire of competition.

Razer’s mantra: For gamers, by gamers. Image provided by Razer

While there may be professional teams signing up, the tournament is really about giving amateurs a place to shine. Like many game companies, Razer wants to be inclusive, as Khang told us. “Our vision has always been to be truly inclusive […] and we want to be there for the underserved community.

Find the right games

As a global company and a global tournament, how do you choose the games for this Invitational? Khang said it is about choosing games that are relevant to the region where the competition is taking place. The Razer Invitational took place in Southeast Asia, Latin America (LATAM) and Europe in 2020. This year it opened to North America. Khang said the choice of games is a balance between professional programs and popular titles:

“Because we have professional teams around the world, we kind of know which games in each region are really popular and popular to watch. […] When we try to pick titles, we navigate through all of these different competition schedules. I think every year everyone knows that there are more and more tournaments and we want to be able to make sure that we can provide the community with a place to play, while also making sure that they continue to enjoy the professional tournaments they want to watch.

This strategy seems to have worked, as the Razer Invitational has attracted a lot of its competition. We asked Khang to tell us about the response and participation rates of the community. He responded eagerly, saying, “Oh, this is so awesome! During our Fortnite event, we had almost 50-60,000 tournament registrations. In Latin America we had about 5,000, and North America was about 5,000. There is a community that really wants that, that needs that.

Since these tournaments are so important, Khang says it looks like new “regions are looking for the same kind of action as well.” What does this mean for the future? Will there be an Invitational in a city near you? There certainly could be.

Teachings from 2020

Khang Thai also told us that he and the team learned a lot from the Razer Invitational 2020. Whether he worked 14 days in a row in Southeast Asia or cheered on the sidelines, Khang says he really enjoyed it. the Invitational. While commenting on the difficult aspects of the tournament – namely navigating the professional schedules – he said Razer has really learned a lot to stay relevant:

“The learning is that Razer Invitational is not a cookie cutter event. I think it’s really paying attention to the community and the region in which we operate. It’s important that we stay relevant, because if we introduce games that no one plays, or the quality of the game isn’t high, then you don’t have a lot of turnout and we’re not going to have a successful event. . So, it’s all about – Razer itself is about community: for gamers by gamers, so we want to make sure the Razer Invitational is part of that spirit. “

The future of the Razer Invitational

When we asked Khang what the future of the tournament looked like, he said with a big laugh:

“Oh man! Pie in the sky: I think if we look at the expansion of Razer Invitational, which I’d like to see if anything even bigger. Entire regions looking to come and compete at the highest level possible. Is this a Razer Worlds event? I’m not sure, but it looks cool! Right? […] yes, this is the next gen, but I think there is a part where you are always looking for the next step, and when you can play against some of your favorite players, that […] feels this fire, this competitive fire. And knowing that you are playing against the best is something we don’t see very often. If we could be that stage of the professional game or someone’s career path, that would be so exciting. “

Khang Thai said that we strength even seeing the Razer Invitational in other regions, and it hinted at some really big things to come. We will have more to share on our interview with Khang very soon. In the meantime, if you want to catch up on all the Razer Invitational action, you can find plenty of content on the Razer. Youtube channel.



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