In an era where eSports is rapidly growing across the globe, the search for new eSports talents to create an exciting and better future for the industry has become increasingly essential. The likes of the United States have set out on a path of creating what looks like an eSports academy to identify and groom the best talents from their country.
In one of our previous posts, we discussed how vital the setting up of academies to scout for and develop talents is to the growth of eSports in a country. It will thus be such welcoming news to know that an eSports organization is embarking on the journey of fulfilling this essential mission.
One of the international eSports groups who are focused on eSports talent search is US based Xit Woundz. Since 2017, the organization has scouted for and signed several talented eSports athletes who have gone on to become very competitive in their various genres. The tall list of signees includes Africa’s Sylvia Gathoni, popularly known as Queen Arrow, who has demonstrated great potential in the industry.
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The organization whose name goes back to 2005 is not just focused on finding the next eSports stars in the United States, but have eyes across the globe including Africa to search for new eSports talents.
We, therefore, caught up with the owner of Xit Woundz, Cody “Mr. Xit” M to speak to him about Xit Woundz’s global search for talents, the scouting processes involved as well as his take on the potential of the African eSports industry.
About Xit Woundz
“XiT Woundz was formed as a professional level Halo 2 team at MLG Las Vegas in 2005 by two brothers nicknamed “ItWasLuck” and “Bonfire”. Their team went on to become a dominant and consistent top 8 team from 2005-2007, earning roughly $40,000 in prize earnings and over top 20 placings. The team disbanded in 2009 after MLG Columbus 2009 and since then the name was never in use until 2017 when I and my crew sought to revive the group again.
“I was working as a journalist at the time when I was approached by an acquaintance of mine about reviving the brand’s name. With a unique agreement set in stone, we brought the name back into the business in 2017 and since then we have attempted not to only build upon the brands’ legacy but to evolve its identity into a strong eSports identity across the globe.
“We work in any genre of competitive gaming possible- FGC,MOBA, FPS etc. Our main specialization is developing underdog talented players and transitioning them into pro tour lineup competitors. It’s never about necessarily signing the best possible talent out there; it’s about building the best.
On their global search
“In our first year, we only featured players from Canada, Cambodia, Venezuela, and Kenya. This season we grew our players’ capabilities and saw them level up their expertise across the board. We have also expanded into Germany and other parts of Europe.
“We believe that every player and region is different so we have to treat every player in a unique way. We do not only learn about the individual; we learn about their culture, scene, and tournaments they regularly attend as well. It’s safe to say our expectations and objectives are set on a more global frontier but we will absolutely be focusing on strengthening our bonds and ties in the USA soon.
Criteria for signing players
“Our criteria vary from season to season. It truly depends on what we are seeking to accomplish for that given year. However, I can confidently say that if you’re a player looking to broaden your horizons and seeking a traditional grassroots team to sign to and you are both level headed and ready to work, there is a very good chance we will seek you out.”
The scouting process
“Usually, we have someone from our staff on the ground at tournaments. This helps us evaluate the playing field and gives us a good idea of who can play against the pressure on the main stage.
“Outside of this method, we also do an incredible amount of research online. On the global aspect, we research every scene possibly from every country. This allows us to get a feel of what is out there.
“There are also the tournament records themselves. Genuinely speaking information exists all over digital media. Finding talented players via Google, YouTube, SRK ranking boards is all vital information so as long as it’s kept up to date.
“The final method is truly just getting to speak with others out there. The more we learn, the better idea we have of a player’s potential and their natural skill ceiling. We utilize every method possible and see what works best, every player is different so every opportunity has to be treated differently.”
“I would say the biggest benefit our players receive from us is being able to travel to majors both domestically and on a foreign level. We treat our players with incredible respect and want them to succeed at all levels of gaming and at life. When they are with us, they are with a dedicated and passionate team who are there for them 24/7.
“We expect our players to compete at the highest level possible and uphold all the traditions the brand has while maintaining a positive image and always being integral. For our players if you are always passionate, committed, and dedicated to improving your game, you will always succeed with us.”
On Africa’s eSports talent
“Africa’s biggest strength is in its community and so long as they keep helping each other grow and improve then it’s only a matter of time before a hidden killer attends an international major and surprises the crowd.
“We saw this same scenario with Pakistani Tekken going above and beyond some of the most well-known players in Tekken and we can absolutely see the same scenario happening for Africa. Africa is also huge, to say the least.
“There are communities in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, and many others all wanting to showcase their individual scenes to the globe and because Africa has had time to study and see everything we have out here in the states, they can now take that knowledge and apply that to their own individual majors and showcase what we have been missing.”