Twitch Partnerships PH Julius “Banoobs” Mariano shares his incredible eSports story.
You could definitely learn a thing or two from talking to this guy. Now in his late twenties, Julius can confidently say he has made a career out of what he is most passionate about: eSports. He works for the biggest streaming website dedicated to gamers all over the world (Twitch.tv). He makes his own hours, works at home, and is paid a competitive US salary doing it. At this point in time, he has achieved the financial stability young gaming enthusiasts can only dream about. The road he had to take though, was not easy.
Julius playing DotA back in his early years
Julius started advocating for Philippine eSports when he joined the Mineski Family back in 2007. He was joining tournaments at a time when nobody saw it as anything more than an unhealthy hobby. Very few patrons wanted to hold tournaments so he and his friends took the liberty of doing it themselves. Ronald Robins (CEO of Mineski) and his group of friends funded to create their own computer cafe called Mineski Grounds. Afterward, Ronald decided to create an events team to revive and uplift the eSports scene. Mineski-Events Team was born. Unsurprisingly, his parents did not approve. With both parents working abroad at the time, he recalls skipping school and even taking some of his tuition fee money for games. He was just like any other young Filipino gamer up until 2009, when his father suffered from a heart attack.
Julius getting hospitalized for Dengue fever
With all their family’s savings going into hospital bills, his parents could no longer support his education (or his voluntary gaming work). Facing financial instability and needing to quit school took a toll on Julius’ health. After getting hospitalized for Dengue fever, it seemed like it was just one unfortunate event after another. Julius suffered from depression and went through a nervous breakdown. He was also diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and Chemical Imbalance after literally going two weeks without sleep while playing the popular MMORPG Cabal. This surreal experience helped him realize the value of keeping personal connections and maintaining balance in one’s life. He understood the importance of pursuing your goals with sheer dedication and a passion.
Julius with the rest of the Mineski Events Team
It was after five years of volunteer work when he decided to apply for a job that would pay the bills. He decided to turn down what could have been a stable high-paying job as an IT specialist (the work he went to school for) to pursue his passion for eSports. He put his experience to use and got a job at NetEssentials as a Marketing Associate for well-known gaming brands such as SteelSeries and MSI. He eventually landed a job at MSI as a Marketing Manager. As a gamer himself, he knew exactly what the gamers wanted and started doing his work with that in mind. He even pushed for his employers to support the eSports industry. All that hard work as an events coordinator for the Mineski Events Team turned him into an asset in the corporate world. Twitch eventually recognized the hard work he was putting in and chose him out of a huge number of applicants for a new position handling partnerships.
When asked if he had any advice for the hopefuls who would like to pursue a career in the esports industry, he said this:
“Most of the successful people behind eSports started as volunteers. It’s just sad for this generation that once people hear about working as volunteers they immediately say NO. Big guys like Tobiwan, redeye, and most of the people in the industry started as a volunteer”.
For Julius, everything can be achieved through patience and hard work. He was never afraid to put in his time and effort doing what he loves. He was able to prove that if you’re really passionate at something, you can definitely be successful at it. He also credits his achievements to Ronald Robins, his Mineski Family, his mentor from NetEssentials Marian Gomez (who taught him most of the stuff he knows), and Twitch SEA Lead Partnerships Matthias Beyer for the opportunities he was given. He stresses that without their equal amount of sacrifice and commitment, none of it would have been possible.