Meet Mike Ovecka, the Head of Esports for YGG. With years of experience in the gaming industry, Mike has worked with AAA game publishers, including Blizzard Entertainment.
This is where he ran regional esports programs and created excitement around games through competitive gaming.
💼 What were you doing before Web3?
I worked in the gaming industry. I run regional esports programs at Blizzard Entertainment, where I got exposed to how AAA game publishers work. And got to create some exciting buzz around games using competitive gaming as the conduit.
I’ve been a gamer my whole life. So, it’s always been a pleasure to be working in this industry. Even more so working in Web3, where we’re using a new technology that I find deeply interesting and exciting.
🤔 How did you get into Web3?
It started off with me researching about Bitcoin. This eventually led me down a deep crypto rabbit hole.
Moreover, I came across Ethereum and NFTs, and it just clicked for me. I was a fan of trading card games growing up. And having actual digital ownership of my cards in games would have been awesome.
Discovering NFT collectibles was a throwback to the old days of trading physical cards with my school buddies during recess.
I’ve always been fascinated with technology and how it changes our lives, so Web3 was a natural fit. Especially in an industry where the business models are still being defined. I find the uncharted territory exciting and deeply engaging.
🚀 What was your first crypto or NFT project?
The first NFT project that got my attention was Forgotten Runes Wizards Cult.
I’ve always been a fan of pixel game art. And I couldn’t help but fall in love with the art style.
The founders are real creatives, and it’s been inspiring watching them create IP around these wizards.
🧠 How would you explain what you do to someone outside of Web3?
I think it’s actually not that hard for people to understand, especially if they are already familiar with esports or competitive gaming.
I oversee traditional aspects of esports operations. However, I also work to integrate and leverage the benefits of blockchain technology to enhance the overall experience for players and viewers alike.
I enable competitive players to pursue a career in esports with games that offer users a piece of the upside through digital asset ownership.
Fundamentally, people understand the desire to compete and become better; the difference is that I work in an industry that is pioneering new technology to supplement and enhance this for both players competing and the fans and spectators watching.
💡 Which creator or thought leader do you enjoy learning from?
I love listening to Balaji Srinivasan. I really enjoy the way he thinks and talks about complex topics. Whenever a new podcast drops, I’m all over it. I’ve always been a technoptimist, and Balaji is one of the biggest ones out there.
🥳 What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?
I would say it’s interacting and working with some of the brightest minds in this space. It’s really inspiring to see bright and driven individuals navigate this space and build out products.
📈 What tech or crypto trend are you watching this year?
Soulbound tokens. I think we will see many projects start to fully implement them, and I’m excited for new standards to develop.
🤝 What advice would you give someone starting out in Web3?
Soak in as much information as you can and take your time with it. Get involved in different communities and find ones that make you want to stay. Hop in Discord. Message founders and various community members. Also, get a hardware wallet!
🎤 If you could do a TEDtalk on any topic, what would it be?
The power of competition in communities.
🚨 What is the one thing you would bring if you were stuck on a deserted Island?
A flare gun with many reloads so I can get rescued!
POW stands for “Proof of Work.” It is a new feature article series in The Mega Maxi to highlight the savviest builders in the Web3 space.