Ever, previously of Paleo Gaming and the brain behind Rumble on the Rift, took time to sit down with me last night to discuss his leaving Paleo Gaming. It was a move that rippled through the semi pro scene, as Ever is a mainstay and a fan favourite of the community. Ever gives me the full story, with all the context and backstory to a lot of it, but for those who want a TL;DR, check the bottom of the page.
To give context to Ever’s decision to part ways with Paleo, he informed me of his past. It all started with Dark Wave Gaming, an idea of his that he started “before other organizations popped up.” There were three teams under that banner, a similar tournament style series like Rumble on the Rift called Fight Night, although on a much lesser production level. But as Dark Wave grew Ever found himself more and more micro managing teams, finding sponsors, and less and less of what he actually wanted to do. He found himself unavailable to the teams even, as he was constantly busy with the more managerial side of things. He eventually left and mulled over the idea of leaving the scene altogether.
Ever was approached by Dan, also known as Paleo Preaetor, asking if he’d come back to the esports scene again and join Paleo Gaming. “Yes… but under the right conditions,” Ever said, not wanting to return to the management/directing aspect of it. Many organizations approached him about doing what he did for Dark Wave Gaming, growing it through sponsorship and marketing, but he wanted the freedom to do something creative, to do something he was actually passionate about, and to refocus himself on content creation. Paleo offered him that.
For a while this was entirely the case. “I don’t want to be micro managed,” Ever had said, and he was left to his own devices, creating a wealth of content and a community around that content. But the more Rumble on the Rift and Paleo Gaming took off, “the more people wanted to have input on it.” More and more opinions on matters popped up and it became increasingly difficult for Ever to manage this input and demand.
The main driving force behind his departure, though, was that slowly it became the case that Ever was becoming a one man production crew. As Rumble on the Rift grew, so did the demand on Ever and the time requirements to meet this demand. Graphic changes, setting the scene, doing interviews, editing those interviews, getting teams to commit to times to play, give aways, MVP graphics, standings, and everything else that made Rumble what it was took over. Ever said that, at one point, he and his girlfriend calculated at least 24 hours of work between Saturday to Tuesday on Rumble, on top of a full time job. He found himself having less and less time outside of his job and Paleo.
What sustained Ever through this was his sole passion in it, “The only reason I was doing it was that I really, really wanted to focus on community creation. To give the teams identity.” To create the kind of community and fandom that Pro and Challenger scene got for the semi-pro. So many tournaments abound within the scene where players and teams are, “just a name,” and knowing any players in any of the teams before the tournament itself was an oddity. Ever wanted the new Imperial-Paleo league to change that, to give the scene a chance to create identities and personalities.
If you recall my previous article, this was all going to change in the new league planned from the Paleo-Imperial acquisition. Interviews with players, team organizers, past interviews, articles on sites like ours, increased sponsorship, prize pools for the players, consistency with teams and longevity of the scene were all targets for the future. The hope was to create an, “infinite amount of content for the community to sift through.”
But things were changing from what I had previously of reported on. In Ever’s own words, “With the acquisition of Imperial none of [this] was going to come to fruition, I wasn’t going to get a break, teams weren’t going to be given special treatment, and everything I had done for the past 6 months wasn’t going to matter.” The reason for the cancellation was timing: Imperial was just about to start up its 3rd Split, and Rumble on the Rift still needed time to finish its own course (it was on the 17th of a planned 25 games, and Ever had wanted to finish it prior to moving towards the League.) It’s a harsh thing to report, truly. I was beyond excited for the future of that league. Everyone at the Game Haus was too. [Edit: It should be noted that the league with Imperial WILL still have interviews, the quote was not meant to say this would not happen in the league)
All of this mixed with a feeling of being burnt out, of losing the joy for Rumble, is the main reason Ever decided to part ways with the organization. Ever is optimistic about his future, however, feeling confident in his abilities and hoping to, again, focus more on his creative content abilities than his management skills. Having helped build up two organizations, he hopes to find another one that will respect his desire to have a certain amount of freedom in his operations. Time will only tell where you’ll see Ever next, but we at the Game Haus wish him and Paleo Gaming only the best!
Ever and Paleo went their separate ways over a few reason: mainly, Ever felt burnt out from being a “one man production crew,” the recent decision to cancel Rumble on the Rift in favour of going full force into Imperial, some of the details of the Paleo-Imperial acquisition, and wanting more freedom to pursue his own creative outlets. Ever hopes to still stay within esports and looking forward to plying his trade elsewhere.