Is Pokémon GO ready to become an Esport? At least one company thinks so. Mazer Gaming has entered the competitive GO PvP scene. They’ve sponsored ten Trainers, building two teams of top Battlers. Those teams will face off in this week’s Friday Night Fights. These will be epic battles.
To learn more about this exciting development in PvP, we spoke with Sam Kijak, owner of Mazer Gaming. Here’s what he had to say about the current state of the game and what the future holds for GO as a competitive venue.
Bringing in the Pros
Q: First, what is Mazer Gaming?
Sam Kijak: Mazer Gaming is a professional esports and entertainment organization currently competing in games such as Pokémon Go, Super Smash Bros., Due Process, CS:GO, Street Fighter V, and Rainbow Six Siege! Mazer is also home to dozens of content creators on Twitch and YouTube. Mazer Gaming is one of the most crypto-friendly and integrated esports organizations out there. They are making strides through their partnerships, esports tournaments, and more! On February 21st, Mazer Gaming held the second edition of their Mazer Gaming Gives Back tournament series in Super Smash Bros! This event was sponsored and partnered with a plethora of different crypto and blockchain-based companies and featured payouts and charity donations in Bitcoin! Stay tuned for more awesome events put together by Mazer.
Q: How do you define e-sports? Like, to your mom.
Sam Kijak: Esports, in my opinion, is competitive video gaming on every level. I see esports on the same level as any regular sport in the world, minus the physicality part. Players put countless hours into their respective game and train like any other professional athlete to get better.
Q: Does Mazer Gaming have a philosophy about e-sports?
Sam Kijak: Our goal at Mazer Gaming is to produce championship-winning teams while providing our fanbase with the most enjoyable and interactive content and tournaments.
Q: What inspired Mazer Gaming to get involved in Pokémon GO PvP?
Sam Kijak: PanicK23 was our introduction into the realm of the Pokémon Go PvP scene. With the intention of bringing him on to our organization solely as a content creator, we were interested in hearing about the competitive scene’s state. We saw the insane amount of potential with the PvP scene and the esports culture slowly developing in Pokémon Go and wanted to get involved as much as we could.
Q: Is Mazer looking at this as an e-sport for teams, GBL, individual Silph participation, or something else?
Sam Kijak: We like to look at it as a team. All of our players train and work together to make sure we are the strongest team in the scene. Of course, there are individual tournaments and even times our players match up against each other, but we all have the intention to move together as one and help each other out. Obviously, there are many team-based tournaments that we will be partaking in as well!
Q: What do you look for in team members or the people you sponsor?
Sam Kijak: We look for people who share the same morals as our team. As you can see from the list of our players, we have a ton of hard-working talent that strives to be the best. On top of that, they all individually work hard to entertain their fans and put out content on a daily basis.
Q: What do you think about the state of PvP in GO? What does it do right? What does it need to do better?
Sam Kijak: What the PvP scene does really well is being united. The community is insanely strong, and everyone seems to be working together to bring it to the top. In my opinion, the only thing really holding it back is having a huge amount of hype around tournaments with big prize pools. If there can be more tournaments, with more esports organizations involved, the sky’s the limit on the esports side.
Q: What have you learned from or seen in other competitive games that you’d like to see in GO PvP?
Sam Kijak: As mentioned above, I personally think that having big tournaments or leagues with a strong prize pool can really get a lot more people involved in these tournaments and get more people tuning into tournaments.
Q: What has been the most surprising thing about getting involved in GO PvP? The most challenging?
Sam Kijak: The most surprising thing about getting involved in GO PvP has definitely been how strong the community is. The most challenging thing for us is to make everything as appealing as possible for a fanbase that is used to FPS games!
Q: How can GO PvP have a broader appeal to more players?
Sam Kijak: I personally believe that Niantic needs to be pushing out the PvP side of the game more and working on putting together their own tournaments to give back to the community. The player base for the game is already there; it is not like there aren’t people playing the game. They just need to give it the support and promotion it deserves.
Here are the rules for Friday Night Fights. Each team selects 5 battlers. Those 5 battlers confer to determine 5 Pokémon that they do not want anyone to use in the battles. Team composition is basically done like a draft tournament. Within each team, only 1 battler can use any given Pokémon; there can be no duplicates. Each battler will face one battler on the opposing team. The pair of battlers will play 3 matches. Every win earns 1 point for their team. The team with the most points after all 15 matches have been played wins the Friday Night Fight event.
Still, have questions? Drop them in the comments section or in the Twitch chat.
No member of either team can select one of the banned Pokémon for their battle party.
Chief2Speediest vs Doonebug97
Reis2Occasion vs MartoGalde
PanicK23 vs 4TheBattles
AliLuckey vs Gucc1G4ng69
Mathmagic10 vs PurpleKyogre
Where and When to Watch the Battles Friday
The broadcast for this Team Mazer showcase will feature pre-recorded battles with live shoutcasting on TeamRocketPvP. Tune in to the Twitch channel on Friday, March 5th at 7 pm PST to catch the action.
A few days after the event has already been broadcast, you can find the video on TeamRocketAcademy’s YouTube channel, along with other Friday Night Fights and PvP content.
I’m personally really excited to see the birth of Pokémon GO PvP as an Esport. I missed the release of PvP in the app and the birth of The Silph Arena. One day I hope I can look back and say, “I remember when Pokémon GO became an Esport. It started with ten people and look what it has become!”
I strongly encourage you not to miss the stream this week. There’s more exciting news coming that will push GO forward as an esport.
Have fun. Fight fair. And as my Uncle Jimmy used to tell his kids, “No pulling hair!”