TrainedToGo eSports Agency: Creating Opportunities for Players
Esports mimic traditional sports in a handful of ways, but the new powerhouse in entertainment still lags behind in terms of professionalism and organization. TrainedToGo eSports is trying to change that.
TrainedToGo eSports agency was founded in June 2016 by Houssam "Pali Boy" Abouhasira. He created the agency to provide much-needed professional services to the esports industry, specifically to players in sports games such as Madden and FIFA.
Abouhasira himself has been involved in the esports scene for the better part of the past decade. He was Vice President of an organization called Mafia Gaming, previously called Call of Duty Mafia. The group focused on comradery and pubstomping. The esports aspect began when they started challenging other clans on Call of Duty. After rebranding to Mafia Gaming, Abouhasira and crew sponsored teams that attended MLG Providence and MLG Raleigh in 2011. Eventually, Mafia Gaming changed focus and rebranded to EsportsNation, a popular Call of Duty social account and media website that has since been acquired by GAMURS.
After EsportsNation was up and running, Abouhasira took a break from the esports scene. He returned in 2014 as the General Manager for Denial eSports and then Aware Gaming before eventually founding TrainedToGo eSports, which he runs alone.
TrainedToGo eSports, or TTG, sprang up when Electronic Arts announced pro circuits for Madden and FIFA.
“[We] could get in from the ground up and help these guys take it to the next level,” Abouhasira explained.
For Madden 17, Electronic Arts created the Madden NFL Championship Series. Four separate tournaments, between Nov. 2016 and May 2017, make up the series and provide a total prize pool of $1,000,000. Competitors can qualify for events on both Xbox One and Playstation 4. The same can be said for the FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Championship Series, which will feature live qualifiers and regional finals that culminate in a 32-player championship.
Abouhasira saw a lot of opportunity in Madden and FIFA and took a chance. He notes that professional European football clubs have too. Last year, many FIFA players were signed to high profile clubs like Ajax, Manchester City, and FC Schalke. In the United States, rumor has it that Major League Soccer clubs are interested in entering the esports scene as well. Traditional sports and esports have also intermingled outside of FIFA, with NBA teams leading the charge. The Philadelphia 76ers, for example, purchased Team Dignitas this past summer.
“It’s awesome. I think there is more to come,” said Abouhasira.
Abouhasira, who has a strong background in financial management, hopes to help his clients build strong personal brands first and foremost. Professional players are not necessarily skilled in marketing themselves, so TTG is there to provide advice along the way. This has led to multiple TTG clients signing with major esports organizations like Rise Nation, SetToDestroyX and InControl Gaming. TTG helps clients negotiate contracts and keeps a close eye on them afterward to make sure both the client and organization stay on track.
Lionel “IMWILD7” Roberts Jr., a client of TTG who signed with SetToDestroyX in October, told GAMURS, “[TTG has] opened my eyes to the esports scene and all the opportunities.”
Currently, TTG aids six Madden players and a FIFA player. In the future, Abouhasira hopes TTG will be able to expand its services to sponsorship acquisition and financial management.
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