Michael O'Dell
Pro Gaming Manager

“There are lots of satisfying things that I do. I travel the world every month, I see so much cool stuff, I’ve met amazing people”, Michael O’Dell tells about his job as Pro Gaming Manager for Team Dignitas. His biggest challenge is the financial situation: “It’s very hard to find new revenue streams, it took us three years to get our first sponsor, for example.”


Drei Ratschläge an Dein 14jähriges Ich!

When I was 14 I was very good at football, if I went back now I would tell myself to carry on playing. I decided to switch to American Football for some stupid reason; if I had carried on playing football in the team I was playing I would have be a professional player for sure. Six or seven of the players in my team at that age became professional players and I played American Football for the UK national team and got no money whatsoever. But if I hadn’t done that I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now, so actually that’s a really tough question because, being a professional footballer when you are a kid, that’s every kid’s dream I think that plays football but knowing what I’ve done in the last 10 years in professional gaming, money is good for me and I’ve seen a lot of really cool stuff. So I wouldn’t be doing this. So that’s actually a really hard question. I would still say play football at that point.

Was steht auf Deiner Visitenkarte?

Michael O’Dell, managing director, Team Dignitas.

Was ist das coolste an Deinem Job?

The coolest thing about my job is the satisfaction of wining tournaments, so when I was playing I wanted to win. If we go to a tournament and one of my guys wins, just knowing the feeling they have and the amount of time and effort it takes to get to that level, when you are a pro gamer all you want to do is go up win a tournament, go on stage win a tournament and hold a big check up and get a giant trophy. So that’s the most satisfying thing. There are a lot of satisfying things that I do though. I travel the world every month , I see so much cool stuff, I’ve met amazing people, I’ve met idols; two weeks ago I was a Blizzcon front row of a Metallica concert, a gaming event, there's some really cool stuff that I’ve done.

Welche Einschränkungen bringt Dein Job mit sich?

The hardest part about my job is, because it’s so new we are inventing a lot of the industry as we go along, there’s still not a huge amount of money in the professional gaming scene where I can pick up a player and say right you’re wrong £60,000 a week like professional footballers are in England. There is a lot of uncertainty with economic situation, where do you get your money as a professional team it’s very hard to find new revenue streams. It took us three years to get our first sponsor for example, now we’ve been established for a long time, it’s easier for us but because we’re bigger we have many player we have bigger salaries. So balancing the books is probably the biggest problem that we have and it’s business, that’s probably the scary part for me because … and when I had a real job, I was working for somebody in an established government agency my money would come every month I wouldn’t have to worry about where money was coming from at the moment. It’s getting better though, it’s a lot better things Twitch for example have changed a lot of what we do. Now it’s easy for people to watch what we do and understand it and the more people that understand what I do the more the economic situation will improve for players organizations.

Worum geht es in Deinem Job?

I am the managing director of Team Dignitas, we are a professional gaming team, basically my job is to make sure that we compete at the highest level in as many games as we can and keep our fans and sponsor happy. We have such a varied set of tasks and jobs that we do. So anything from competing in tournaments like DreamHack to balancing the books to doing presentations, to monthly reports, to doing consultancy work for companies that we deal with, to cleaning up the fish tank in the office there’s many thing we do. When I’m in England, I’m in the office every single day on there but this year I’ve travelled probably I would say 150 days around the world.

Wie sieht Dein Werdegang aus?

I was born in England 1971 in Sari, just south of London, lived there all my life still live there now. I left school at 16 probably when I was about 12 to 16 I started doing jobs, I started knocking on people doors and asking if they wanted me to do a job for them. So in the winter if it was snowing I’d clear their drive, in the summer I’d cut the grass then I started writing down list of what I’d done, how much I’d earn and then I’d put it the bank and then try and save as much as I could and then buy something that I dint need probably computer games at that time. So I left at 16 because all I wanted to do was earn money, I didn’t see the point of staying in school I wasn’t interested in learning at school, that’s all to be honest I like to learn from real life experiences and all I liked at school was geography and I thought I knew everything about geography at that point which I didn’t obviously. So I got a job luckily an office job as office junior in a company which basically made postage stamps for about 50 countries around the world and I worked there for about 18 years. Basically Team Dignitas I went full time in 2006, Dignitas started in 2003 and I was a pro gamer from 1999. So there was a crossover between my real job and my soon to be new job. As soon as pro gamming came along all I wanted to do was earn money playing video games and that’s what I set out to do, that was 15 years ago and now it is my full time job. I now employ people to work for my company which is a video gaming company.

Ginge es auch ohne Deinem Werdegang?

I don’t think my background had that much to do in what I do now. Literally my desire to win in sporting tournaments basically from a very early age seven years old, I played football. One of my team mates is now in that particular team when we were seven I played with him till we were 16. So one of my team mates is now the assistant manager of Real Madrid so we played quite high levels football when we were that age, I played American football from 15 to 22. I played for the UK national team, I’ve done boxing that’s why my nose is flat, I wasn’t very good at that. So I’ve always wanted to compete and then I got in to video gaming competitively because I snapped my crucial ligament on my knee and I was crutches. My mate bought me Quake and I put Quake in and I started playing it was competitive; I wanted to beat the other people on the other end of the internet. And then I found out people are earning money in tournaments and that’s why I wanted to do that, that’s my sporting desire. Moved in to the computer gaming world and it’s still as strong as it was when I was seven year old I want to win.