The esports world does not just consist of professional gamers and streamers. From talent managers to casters, the spectrum of the gaming world is much more than meets the eye.
Reed “Rbro” Rosen is one such manager who works behind the scenes and manages Fortnite stalwarts like Nate “Kreo” Kou, “illest,” and more. In conversation with Sportskeeda Esports’s Debolina Banerjee, he talked about his journey in the competitive gaming world, The Accelerator Cup, and more.
Rbro’s journey as talent manager in esports world
Q. Being a manager of famous professional players and content creators at such a young age comes with its own set of challenges. Tell us about your journey as an Independent Talent Manager and your inspiration to choose this path as your career.
Rbro: I have always looked up to Scott “Scooter” Braun and how he achieved his success. One aspect of his success was finding underdeveloped talent and helping them grow to be at the top of their field.
Since then, I have always been very passionate about esports, sports, content, and social media. I started in talent management within those categories. I saw a need to help very skilled players who were not reaching their fullest potential because they were inexperienced in business and marketing.
In traditional sports, a player’s career through high school, college, the draft, and the major leagues all have representation. However, only the best players are managed in the competitive gaming scene.
After initially managing unknown talent, I now manage some of the biggest names in the esports and content creation scene. I represent all types of players, some of whom have won major esports events like Twitch Rivals, ESL, and Dreamhack. Also, my client Kreo has won over $1.4 million and secured fourth place in the Fortnite World Cup.
Q. Can you tell us more about the esports scenario in the USA? Did the Covid-19 lockdown help improve the gaming scenario in your country?
Rbro: The esports scene in the USA has grown exponentially every year.
The Covid-19 lockdown helped out gaming since it was one of the few fun activities to engage in while quarantining.
Q. Due to lockdown restrictions, as a result of Covid-19, many LAN tournaments were canceled/postponed. Do you feel that online tournaments are a better alternative? Should LAN events be encouraged to give professionals a better platform to show their skills?
Rbro: Unlike traditional sports, the great aspect of esports is that a tournament can be played from anywhere without needing a stadium. Although there are several unfair advantages people can have and problems that can arise with online tournaments like cheating, better setups and equipment, different ping/connections, etc., online events are awesome.
I feel that LAN tournaments should 100% be encouraged. It provides a platform that allows fans and professionals to meet each other face-to-face and experience the thrill of the room. It also gives more opportunities for endorsements and ticket revenue and creates a much fairer playing field.
The feeling of stepping into an arena and experiencing everything in-person is so exciting compared to online.
Q. What are some of the most popular games with a thriving esports scenario in America? Which titles were you fond of during your childhood days?
Rbro: League of Legends, Fortnite, NBA 2k, Valorant, and a bunch of others have a thriving esports scene in America.
Growing up, I did not play too many video games. I played lots of sports like basketball, baseball, golf, and tennis. Yet, I did play NBA 2k with my friends. Now, the esports scene is booming in the country.
Q. Most competitive players have a unique nickname that they are known by in the gaming world. What was your thought process behind naming yourself “Rbro”?
Rbro: My nickname “Rbro” came from my original gamertag “Rbrosen”. At the beginning of Fortnite, I saw Tfue’s name and thought to myself how it is a four-letter, two-syllable name. To make my moniker look like that, I condensed it down to just Rbro.
Q. You recently assisted in creating and executing a tournament named “The Accelerator Cup” that pitched two universities against each other. What was your vision and mission behind hosting this competition?
Rbro: Syracuse University and Clemson University were perfect because each has highly developed esports programs. Both schools also have excellent players/students who are very excited to participate in The Accelerator Cup.
I envision The Accelerator Cup growing exponentially in the next five years. With the esports industry on the rise and more schools becoming interested in starting programs, I think there will be a miniature version of March Madness within the ACC rather than just one match.
After that, I believe there will be a full-on March Madness tournament annually, including all divisions.
Q. What made you choose Rocket League as the main game of The Accelerator Cup instead of other famous battle royale titles like Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, and more?
Rbro: Rocket League was chosen for this tournament because not only is it a very popular game, but it has an easy learning curve which makes it audience friendly. The fun thing about Rocket League is that although it is a game that everybody can enjoy, it takes an incredible amount of skill to play at a competitive level.
Amateur gamers can have fun and benefit from watching this tournament and learning how the professionals maneuver past things.
Q. What are some of the key aspects that a gamer should always keep in mind before competing in major tournaments?
Rbro: A gamer’s positive mood and a good amount of rest are vital aspects to have before competing in a major tournament. Moreover, it sets a precedent for the competition. If one’s mental makeup and confidence are not strong, it will affect their gameplay.
Q. Who is that one player (international/domestic) you look up to when it comes to overall gameplay and performance?
Rbro: Aside from my clients who impress me every day, I would say that I really enjoyed watching Tfue back in the day. He was on a different playing field compared to all other professionals from 2017 to 2020.
Tfue’s aim, hand-eye coordination, out-of-the-box thinking, and discovery of exploits were terrific.
Q. In the coming years, how can the gaming scenario be improved to encourage more and more aspiring gamers to take it up professionally?
Rbro: The gaming scene could be improved to encourage more aspiring gamers to take it up professionally by spreading the word about it and making the industry more mainstream. In my opinion, the esports industry is still underdeveloped.
Hopefully, when more traditional sports teams create their own esports divisions and celebrities are involved in following or joining esports organizations (like Snoop Dog joining FaZe), it will become much more of a norm.