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Connor Hall graduated from the University of Missouri Columbia this May, but not before creating two businesses in line with his passion for gaming: EpidEd, a company that promotes the positive aspects of gaming to kids through classes and camps and Team Allegiance, a North American gaming team of which he is the president and general manager.
Hall has actively been involved with the Entrepreneurship Alliance for almost two years, which helped him grow his two companies. At Startup Weekend he secured a sponsor for Team Allegiance, which had grossed more than $500,000 in revenue. Now in the process of building a college recruiting and consulting firm to create and support e-sports programs where colleges would compete against each other, we took some time to speak with the recent graduate about his work, and the future of eSports.
We have created a competitive gaming pipeline for young gamers to develop into professional players and to learn about the career opportunities in eSports (competitive gaming). Our professional eSports organization, Team Allegiance, which owns three professional teams in North America, recruits the most talented players who graduate from our pipeline program.
What is the toughest aspect of the eSports field?
The most common quote said by our staff in the office is “eSports is not the future; it’s the present.” Although we believe this is true, it’s very difficult today to convince non-eSport enthusiasts that gaming can be beneficial for their kids.
What’s going on with your business right now?
Our gaming organization signed a professional Call of Duty team on 7/25 and will be competing under the Allegiance brand at the Major League Gaming Orlando event (8/5-8/7).
What are the goals you have as you look to the future?
In the next 5-10 years we will leverage our youth development to recruit the best players in North America to become the strongest franchise in eSports. Providing a solid path for young gamers to live their dreams and acquire a profession in eSports is the ultimate goal for our company.
What is some of the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
Being persistent when trying to acquire things in business. In recent months, our persistence in asking for additional business from our clients has given us a lot of success.
Who is another founder or professional, local or not, that you admire and why?
I’m a very big fan of Marcus Lemonis and his show “The Profit”. His ability to quickly understand a struggling business and make the necessary changes for them to be successful is an exceptional skill set.
How do you wind down in your off time?
I play video games.
If you weren’t running Team Allegiance and EpicEd, what would you be doing?
I’d be using my finance degree and would most likely be working as a financial advisor for a local firm in St. Louis.
Can you talk about a moment of doubt, when was it and how did you overcome it?
During the beginning stages of our business I asked myself if I was qualified for the job as the General Manager of Team Allegiance. For most of my life I was a competitor in eSports rather than being a leader of an organization, and thought I was meant to only be a competitor. Even though I started my competitive career many years ago, I realized the same strategy to become successful still applies today: gain confidence in yourself, obtain more knowledge than your competitors, and work harder than anybody else.