Certain video games are treated as sports by the gaming community. Big events on the rise where Major League Gaming (MLG), Intel Extreme Masters (IEM), DreamHack, and Dota 2’s The International are having more views than a regular sports would have. These events feature competitive titles like StarCraft, Dota 2, League of Legends, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, and other games that gives “competition” as the main attraction. With events like MLG, there will always be a shoutcaster to commentate on the matches; they give you knowledge about the game and details on what the game’s situation is. Now, I was able to get in touch with Mineski’s Events Team Commentator/Shoutcaster, Allyza Taylor, for an interview to know if there’s more to “gaming” than what she have now as a shoutcaster.
“Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Breathe deeply. Do your best. Leave everything else to the powers above you.”
Let’s start with the interview:
Lex: Hi Allyza, thanks for accepting our interview request. Can you tell me more about your general gaming experience aside from eSports?
Allyza: Hahaha! No problem! I started playing games basically my entire life. I could already talk and play. Haha. I just go by my cousin’s house then maglalaro kami ng PS kasi yun pa uso nun. Then we have a computer shop in Bicol and, of course, I stayed there because it was our business. My cousins are always there, sila yung nag turo sakin ng CS or Counter Strike after nun dun na nag start yung love ko for FPS.
When I was with my mom already and we transferred to a house in Cainta because of my studies, we didn;t have any PlayStation console or some sort. So, I would go to these computer shops just to play Special Force; it’s an online FPS game and it’s free to play. So I started playing it with my friends that I already knew from that area as well after a while of playing it casually, there is this game that my friends introduced me to: “Crossfire“.
Crossfire is almost the same as Special Force and by that time the game was under Gameclub. So my friends and I switched to Crossfire, since most of them already migrated to that game, I joined them nalang. Then I met a lot of friends with Crossfire, from school meron din naglalaro so they decided to ask me if I want to join and I always do. That time my mom bought a system unit kasi palagi daw ako lumalabas ng bahay to play hahaha. Marami akong friends sa community ng Crossfire by that time and dumating sa point na nasali ako sa group na “Vanguard”. These people introduced me sa competitive scene ng FPS. (Shout out to Vanguard and Eric Marquez!). Haha, sorry would slip that in lang since they were really the one who introduced me to this scene. But of course shoutout to my mom cause she was really supportive all the way. Super casual gaming lang by that time.
Anyway, I started joining mini tournaments kasama yung friends ko from vanguard, just for the sake of playing lang that time since it was more fun and it feels REALLY GOOD. Yung adrenaline kakaiba, para syang nakaka addict na hindi. It’s like playing against players who would like to win as well. So pareho kami gusto namin manalo which makes it a good fight and sobrang saya dahil sa bonding mo with your team during practices. You learn more about the game and you know your team mates more.
By 2012, Gameclub made a tournament called “Women’s League”, this time all girls lahat ng mag cocompete which makes it really interesting for me, since I play with guys and mostly na kilala ko is guys from Crossfire. Sa group namin sa vanguard meron din girls na naglalaro ng crossfire. So we made a team composed of five players and we were all girls para makapag compete for the Women’s League. We came 4th place for that tournament and after that medjo nag li low ako sa competitive gaming dahil I joined Mineski.
Lex: Technically, you’ve been exposed to first person shooter games when you guys moved to Cainta. We never really see a lot of girl gamers who actually play competitive shooters. So, basing on what you said, you played on a console. What was your first game on PS? Was it PSone or PS2? How was your playthrough experience with your first video game?
Allyza: PS1! We didn’t own any PS1 by that time and I will just go by my cousin’s place for us to play Crash Bandicoot. I really can’t remember a lot from that time since i was really young. But I owned a PS2 because my mom gave it as a gift for my birthday. The first game she even bought me for it was Bratz lol. But I was super boyish and I really wanted to play something with action so she bought Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for me and my mom actually helped me finished missions. She was really cool hahaha. I remember her finishing a mission which I can’t and she stayed up to 3am just to get it done.
Lex: Nostalgia with Crash Bandicoot. It was an awesome game. I’m actually amazed that you were able to play certain titles in PS2, especially GTA. Was your mom a gamer too?
Allyza: I think she was actually kinda of a gamer. Haha. She would really stay up all night just to finish missions and task. I know her favorite game was Red Alert! By the time we got a system unit we were arguing whose going to play first cause she wants to play too. Of course i had classes the next day so she would let my play first and she would stay all night to play her game hahaha.
Lex: Not a lot of parents supports their kids in gaming. You have a great mom. So, moving on, have you played first person shooter games on consoles? We know FPS games are preferred on PCs, but for you, what do you think about FPS games on consoles? And what FPS games have you played on consoles?
Allyza: I didn’t get to play with my PS2 for a long time because we had a financial problem and offered my mom that we sell my PS2 for us to have money. So I only played FPS in PCs ever since.
To be honest though when I try playing fps in a console it’s kind of tough for me. Since I don’t find it precise when aiming especially using a controller. But i have tried playing some battlefield3 on a ps3 since my friends and I sometimes had LAN parties and he actually had a PS3. But most of us brought our laptops and played there.
Lex: I agree, it’s hard to get used to the aiming mechanisms without really strafing in consoles. Currently, we heard that you have a team with Strategic Technologies? What game are you playing on? Do you play competitively til now?
Allyza: Kinda complicated though because I can’t really go on full time playing as a competitive player because I am currently an FPS shoutcaster for Mineski and a Mineski talent, which means I host eSports events and related events to gaming. Aside from not having a lot of time to play anymore, sometimes it’s a conflict especially if the tournament is hosted by Mineski. I couldn’t play, but I am actually a 6th man of Strategic Fuma. It’s an all-girls team under strategic gaming. I stand as a manager/6th man for the team. Hehe. There are a lot of issues with it since I am also studying and working at the same time, I feel like i couldn’t do a lot for the team especially being an active member. So I decided to just manage teams under Strategic technologies.
Lex: Having a lot of things to do like being employed, studies, shoutcaster, that’s honestly of work. You don’t feel stressed out sometimes? Do you ever plan doing this in the long run? I mean, sometimes we grow up and do other things, but for you? Will you still continue your part in the gaming industry?
Allyza: I am in love with eSports and I am devoted to eSports and gaming. Maybe in time I would be doing other things, but gaming and esports will forever have a place in my heart. I grew up playing, I will die playing. I want to be someone who was a part of making this industry grow. Philippines doesn’t accept eSports that much but I believe that one day eSports will become something that is worth working hard for that’s why as of now I have no doubt into switching professions or some sort.
I feel stressed but after a while and completing all the work. Seeing the outcome or the result of what you are doing is a fulfillment for me. I love what I am doing and eSports is my passion
It’s really fun in being part of the esports scene. You get to meet a lot of people, of different race and of different personalities. You get to know how to talk with these people, how to be with them and everything that follows. It’s a really huge advantage for me; experience is the best teacher and experiencing this things while I am this young is a huge part of my character.
Lex: The passion that we have as gamers is the only thing that keeps our community strong. Stronger than any other mediums in this world. For being a part of the gaming industry, what can you do to contribute as being part of the community aside from eSports?
Allyza: Before even being a shoutcaster and a host for gaming events. I was actually a forum moderator of Crossfire PH. I understand and help these players having a hard time or having problems within the game and I help them establish and connect with the GMs about how they feel or what can be the possible solutions or even making the game a better one. The greatest part of being a player of the game before being one of its personalities is that you experience it first-hand. From problems to solutions you were there.
Even with events though, before I was just attending events for fun, and I was so happy getting these ballers and freebies. To be honest I didn’t even imagine that one day I will be the one in the stage and hosting these sorts of events knowing that I was just an attendee before. I am actually secretly happy when I host events and get freebies. You know, maybe for other hosts it’s nothing to them just normal things that they give away to the people. But the feeling i get when I am the one handling these things is genuine happiness. Hahaha I’m such a kid.
Because I always remember trying to fit in to a crowd of guys trying to get these ballers and trying to raise my hand for the host to pick me. Hahah it’s just funny that I didn’t actually expect that the next events that I will be going to, I won’t even need to jump and raise my hand anymore because I am the one picking who the winner is. Kind of amazing right? Sometimes you just don’t know where fate would take you. Whatever makes you happy go for it. When opportunity comes, grab it because you wouldn’t know what would be its effect on your life. Bad or good, you will learn a lot from experiences.
Lex: That’s the perks being in the industry, right? Free ballers and tshirts and even more! Before I was just a hardcore gamer who didn’t really mind anything at all for the community, but now I was able to form a team to contribute for the gaming community by giving unbiased reviews and news within the industry. Great thing about you Allyza is that you actually also have passion in gaming and that is certainly great.
Now, do you have anything to say for your fans, for the community, and for the girl gamers out there?
Allyza: Siguro I would like to tell you guys na, Gaming is a lot of fun. Yes it is, pero NEVER ever forget your priorities. Your studies or work is important. But what is more important is the time for your family, please just please love your family. Time flies, it’s up to you to be a navigator. Maybe the death of my mom made me this person, which I would cherish every second and every minute being with someone I love. Basta, love your family more than anything. And of course pursue your dreams, do what makes you happy as long as you’re not stepping on someone and do not exchange short term happiness.
I dont really have a message specifically for girl gamers, because whatever you are, a guy, girl, gay or whatever your sexuality is. A gamer is a gamer. For all the gamers out there who is really passionate for esports. Thank you, thank you so much for being one of the foundations of this industry.
Thank you ulit! I’m really happy and flattered that you chose me for an interview sobrang naappreciate ko, and I dedicate this article for my mom. I hope she’s proud on what I achieved it was all for her. I hope she’s happy in heaven with God.
Lex: Your mom is already proud of you for who you are now, Allyza. Again, thank you for your time, Allyza. Hopefully we can feature you in one of our podcasts later this year. And I want to thank Mike for this opportunity.
Credits to: Strategic Technologies for letting us interview Allyza Taylor
Like their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/strategic.technologies