Some of you eagle eyed enough have already noticed on my social bios, but I left Esports Scotland back the start of Dec last year having been with the company for just shy of 4 years. For the penultimate 2 years I’d been Head of Content & Creative Director for the Scottish Esports League and tldr, it’s made me realise my passion and shown me it’s time to take the next step and forge my own path.
ESS Staff at SEL4 Finals Nov 2021
Back to 2018, I was still pretty fresh out of uni and was being an extra in Outlaw king, as a way to get a feel for the blockbuster film industry and see if it’s a world I wanted to be a part of. (here’s a fun video I made of all the bits I’m in)
Yep that was my real hair and it stayed like that for all 4 Months of filming!
There was another extra my age I'd buddied up with and one day we sat waiting to get our muddied makeup done talking about Overwatch, specifically about the Overwatch League and their inaugural season about to kick off. I said to him how excited I was by the idea that my grandkids would be able to talk to me about the 1st ever year of the overwatch league with amazement that I was a fan from the beginning... Time has shown now that OWL isn’t exactly the inter-generational esports goliath it was built up to be, but that conversation sparked an idea in my head about the future of esports and the part I could play in it.
Once OWL had kicked off, I caught esports fever and googled ‘scottish esports’ just to see what existed locally. There wasn’t much there but I managed to find a fairly crude wordpress website of an organization called Esports Scotland that was putting on a couple small community events. Fairly intrigued and desperate for freelance work I sent over an email for their video editor job listing. This single action kicked off the next 4 years of my life.
Since then through an enormous amount of passion & dedication, I grew. I discovered I'm a really good social media manager, but I don’t care for it. That editing esports videos is definitely more fun than corporate, but I couldn't do it full time. That I’m a much more talented graphic designer and creative director than I would have ever previously credited myself. That my emotional intelligence, natural instinct for leadership and management aren't skills everyone inherently has. That my passion for business is greater than I actually realised. And that as much of an imposter as I’ve felt since graduating in 2017, that’s just a feeling, not reality.
Why leave then? The short answer is I grew enormously over this time and want to continue to do so. SEL4 was the first season of the Scottish Esports League where I was given full creative control. Finally getting a chance to be in charge meant I could fully push my vision and see what I’m capable of. Executing the process I wanted, redeveloping the brand identity system, the implementing that system working with my designers to ensure consistent quality across the event. And damn am I proud of what we created! We shot soo far above our weight and budget and created an event that looks and feels like the best esports league in the country; that people can get excited about, be proud of, anticipate into the future and desperately want to be a part of.
My time at Esports Scotland introduced me to something now incredibly important to me. My professional life goal: helping boost esports profile up so it's on the same level as traditional sports. It's now a core part of me and it's the thing that makes me excited to start work in the mornings. Esports Scotland is always going to hold a special place in my heart and it’s a weird feeling having such an integral part of my life for the last 4 years no longer be there. But I am ecstatic about the future and what challenges I’ll face next...
And let's just say watch this space as there may or may not be some news coming very soon about what that next step for me actually is. Thanks for reading!
Dale R Murray | Esports Creative Director