x5 Neuro's Kickstarter Success: Another Step on the Path to Mastery
'Crossing at a ford' means, for example, crossing the sea at a strait, or crossing over a hundred miles of broad sea at a crossing place. I believe this 'crossing at a ford' occurs often in a man's lifetime. It means setting sail even though you friends stay in harbour, knowing the route, knowing the soundness of your ship and the favour of the day. When all the conditions are meet, and there is perhaps a favourable wind, or a tailwind, then set sail. If the wind changes within a few miles of your destination, you must row across the remaining distance without sail. If you attain this spirit, it applies to everyday life. You must always think of crossing at a ford.
~ Miyamoto Musashi
Our Starcraft 2 Zerg player x5 Neuro, in the spirit described by Musashi, crossed a thousand miles from his home to reach the CSN (Cyber Sports Network) House.
Given an opportunity to practice alongside veteran players Polt and Violet, and a chance to continue to optimise his mechanics and create content with JaKaTaK, Neuro's eyes were set firmly on that goal and he gambled on his reputation and rapport with his community to ask for support.
On December 03 2015 Neuro launched a Kickstarter as part of his goal to take his play to the professional level in Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void.
The community responded positively, and the campaign achieved its funding goal on 13 December.
Here we can see Neuro arriving at the CSN house where he will spend his next 6 months training diligently
With the project already a resounding success, and with 12 days still left for stretch goals to be achieved, Exile5 interviewed our Zerg player to find out more about the campaign and his plans for the next 6 months.
~~~~~Interview with x5 Neuro - by x5 Crescendo~~~~~
C: First of all, congratulations on a successful kickstarter! At the present stage you have already achieved two of your stretch goals: how does it feel to have had part of the SC2 community respond so positively to your request for assistance?
Neuro: Inspiring, to say the least! The Kickstarter was launched in the thick of a slump in my career results--struggling to earn a spot in Grandmaster in the new expansion. The quick support for an incredible improvement opportunity was highly encouraging. The financial boost demonstrated that people really want to see the next stage in the evolution of a mindful approach to StarCraft.
C: A slump which you appear to have already passed through, having recently regained your place in the Grandmaster League :)
Many people are curious as to what goes into setting up and running a Kickstarter project, especially in the context of Starcraft 2 and community projects. Could you please share with us first of all when you decided to create the campaign, and how did you go about putting it together?
Neuro: When I was approached with the opportunity to train at the CSN house, I was unsure as to whether I could produce enough month-to-month income from streaming to make it happen. Many viewers watch the stream on a regular basis and benefit from the strategy and discourse within, so I figured that the community would be willing to help me take the quality of my performance and product to the next level. Nicolas Chaussois, eSports artist extraordinaire and boss of TheWeeklyAllIn, helped BaseTradeTV's Kickstarter to fund their LAN and offered to help with artwork for a Neuro teamhouse campaign. With his input and help from my partner Pact, we came up with funding goals from bare minimum to excessive, and reward tiers that gave back appropriately to supporters.
The Kickstarter artwork by Nicolas Chaussois
C: The artwork by Nicolas Chaussois is definitely memorable, and perfectly suits you.
With all that was involved in putting the campaign together what was the most challenging aspect, in your opinion, of the entire Kickstarter process?
Neuro: It took several attempts to create a video which accurately represented the intention of the project while also being concise. The Project Description and Bio sections of a Kickstarter project are the intended spaces for specific details about my history leading into competitive Starcraft and the full purpose of the crowdfunding effort--not the project video.
C: With the insights obtained from having run a successful campaign, is there anything you would have done differently in hindsight?
Neuro: I could have done a better job of aggressively promoting the Kickstarter, but don't really enjoy asking for money. There is a point of internal conflict between getting appropriate compensation from the Neuro product vs focusing on finances. I try to keep the stream as minimalist as possible when it comes to various bells and whistles that squeeze more dollars out of a stream. No ads, no annoying alerts, no fees to access builds or replay packs--just strategy, tunes, and conversation.
C: If others chose to follow in your footsteps, seeking to use Kickstarter to assist in some aspect of their Starcraft careers, what advice would you give to them?
Neuro: See beyond personal gain, and focus on how you can give back to those who help you along the way. The living tenure of any person is short, but potential ripples in populations are vast. My path in eSports is not for achievements or results, rather for propagation of understanding: how the mind works, where we struggle in our mindset, and how to improve our mentalities. What unique element(s) will you bring to the community?
C: I'd like to move on now to the CSN House and the 6 months you will be spending there. Would you please share with us how that opportunity arose in the first place?
Neuro: Stardust was the previous tenant for the 4th slot at the house, and recently retired. JaKaTaK notified me of the vacancy and requirements for staying at the house. There were a couple other potential candidates, but Destiny smiled upon the house of Neuro.
C: Assuming those requirements aren't behind any NDA, could you share with us what some of them are, and how you were selected?
Neuro: Tenants sign a lease and pay their share of rent/utilities for the house, and are not necessarily signed to CSN. Interpersonal dynamic is a big factor in landing a position in a teamhouse--current members want someone who will be a respectful, positive force in the living environment. I was favored for the advantage of bringing a relatively high level of speechcraft (benefiting Violet and Polt on the path of English-speaking skill), and my specialization as a mentality coach.
C: You will be staying at the CSN House for 6 months at this time. Have you already worked out a schedule? What is your plan of action?
Neuro: I'll be publishing weekly reports on my daily regimen and training emphasis through TheWeeklyAllIn. The main idea is to construct the ultimate daily routine, maximizing fitness of both body and mind. Mornings start with water, oatmeal, and coffee, followed by 30 minutes yoga. Practice is structured as 1 hour off-stream practice (no music), then tryhard mode on stream (usually 4 hours), lunch, then commentary-focused games as I get tired. Post-stream, I'm looking over replays and vods of Violet and other players to field ideas.
C: I think we will all look forward to the results of such a disciplined approach :) What facilities do you have at your disposal while training in the CSN House?
Neuro: God tier internet, high quality video camera, professional lighting options, pull-up bar, and Violet's magical Korean cooking, The house is located in the Korea-town suburb of Atlanta, so finding fantastic cuisine and boba is ez.
Violet's Magical Korean Cuisine
C: Just looking at some of those images of his cooking make me hungry!
What do you most look forward to, or what excites you, about the time you will spend in the CSN House?
Neuro: I've already had the opportunity to do a bit of sparring against Violet. He was gracious enough to go over the game and point out a few flaws in my composition, infrastructure, and scouting. He has expressed willingness to coach me as he improves his own grasp of Zerg in the new expansion, so I'm probably most thrilled to have a highly skilled swarmy elder brother.
I also have quite a few plans with JaKaTaK for content creation. Example: a series on Sun Tzu-Art of War and translating the principles into StarCraft terminology. GET READY.
C: That is a series I will watch the hell out of! Although you have only been there a short time, what can you tell us about your experiences living there so far? Any funny stories to share?
Neuro: Lurking on Polt's stream in the background is amusing to say the least.
'Is that a grill?'
'No, her legs are too hairy.'
'I think it's Neuro?'
'That guy is a psycho, but I love him.'
I'll be hitting the gym with Violet in the coming days and adding strength gains to the multi-pronged improvement efforts endeavoured upon while I'm here.
C: Fantastic. On a related topic, one of your achieved stretch goals was being able to acquire a GoPro camera. When can we expect some new parkour footage? And will you be trying to convince anyone else in the CSN House to try it with you?
Neuro: I'll have access to the Kickstarter funds in January, and will commence the various jumping around whilst babbling zen-isms maneuvers. JaK and Violet might be keen on a bit of free running, but Polt is usually busy saving America.
C: To wrap things up, please feel free to share with us any final thoughts, self-promote, and give any shout outs that you wish to!
Neuro: Dragon shout (FUS) to all of the fantastic people who have supported the stream to keep it alive and see it thrive! Cheers to Juno, Fatalbunny, and Agile for coaching me through the recent downswing. Special thanks to those who supported the Kickstarter, JaKaTaK for presenting the opportunity, Pact for helping with the move, and Milo (neuroDoge) for keeping Pact company while I'm away.
Also Exile5, Matcherino, TheSandbox, and Bruce Lee
C: Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us here today, and good luck with the next stage of your Starcraft journey!