The world of competitive video gaming has never been hotter, and Los Angeles, California’s Tricia Sugita is right in the middle of it. Also known as Megumixbear, Sugita currently serves as the Director of eSports at streaming website Azubu and is often seen hosting events and interviewing various eSports players. Long before the existence of livestreaming video game competitions, Tricia could be found gaming on titles that are now considered the biggest of classics.
“I can’t really remember the first game I played, but I can remember playing Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros. and some others,” Sugita said. “I grew up with two older brothers, so they influenced me into playing the games they played. Playing with them wasn’t always the best. I remember when they used to give me an unplugged remote, or trick me into using a different remote for the character I was playing. But growing up with two older brothers made me very competitive because I wanted to beat them. I grew up wanting to beat them at whatever they were doing.”
This competitive nature brought Tricia into the world of eSports, which has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Sugita says she is eager to do all she can to help it continue to grow, even when that means putting in long hours.
“Every year eSports is growing,” she said. “In the future, it is just going to get bigger. You’re seeing huge venues like Staples Center, Madison Square Garden and the Seoul World Cup Stadium selling out within hours for these different eSports tournaments. Moreover, there are events occurring worldwide with huge viewer numbers, and these numbers are only increasing. As the Director of eSports at Azubu, my job is to wear many hats, but simply put, my job is to make our broadcasters happy. It’s challenging to work 16 hour days, 7 days a week without turning into a zombie, but I really love eSports. If I can do anything to grow the community and help the broadcasters reach their goals, then it’s awesome, even as the expense of turning into a zombie.”
A relative newcomer to the livestream field, Azubu aims to give broadcasters a deeper and more focused user experience, according to Sugita. She says she feels these differences make the company she puts in those hours for a true alternative to more established broadcasting platforms.
“In the eSports community, we have Twitch to thank for pioneering the livestream gaming community,” she added. “For that, I’m obviously very appreciative of Twitch and what they’ve done. That said, we at Azubu look to contribute to the community in a different, more eSports-focused way. Azubu has a sleek new look from our 3.0 launch, and we provide 24/7 live customer service to all of our broadcasters. We want all of our broadcasters to receive help whenever they need it. We also love to promote the creativity and individuality of our broadcasters, which you can see in our modules. These live on your stream page and allow you to customize the type of experience you want to share with viewers. On Azubu, your stream shouldn’t just be a place to send video to, but rather a place where you can express who you are and what you’re about. I feel that we let our broadcasters not just observe their content, but really express themselves in ways they just can’t on other streaming platforms.”
While Sugita can lay claim to a long list of accomplishments in the world of eSports and video game broadcasting, she says that she would rather be known for more than her own achievements. To her, the overall results of the many mean more than the accomplishments of the few.
“Rather than a career accomplishment I’m most proud of, I’m more proud of remembering to always lead by example,” she said. “This has helped me grow a solid team. I respect and love the work they do, and when I see my team reach accomplishments it makes me feel like I’ve done my part. No matter how successful or big eSports gets, I always want to live by Harry Potter‘s Dumbledore’s principle – ‘We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.'”
With more and more people aiming to get into the growing world of eSports, Sugita chose not to hold back on what it takes to get involved. She has some frank advice for those who might want to follow in her career footsteps.
“There are plenty of people that want to be in eSports, but will never do anything to get into the scene,” she stated. “Many people think that there’s some kind of trick to being involved, but it is really a lot of hard work and actually doing things. If you want to be a player, play the game, practice and make a team. If you want to be a coach or analyst, learn the game, make videos analyzing tings and people will notice. If you want to be a broadcaster, just start broadcasting and be entertaining. There are hundreds of tips and tricks people could give you about how to be marketable, getting your name out there and so on, but really most people that want to get themselves into gaming want it to just happen without any effort. To be frank, you just have to do it. If you want to get out there and be known, work hard for it and opportunities will come.”
Tricia Sugita’s work can be seen in action at Azubu.TV. Gamers can also follow her work and adventures on Twitter @megumixbear.