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Hey there! Just a friendly note, this is my LONGEST blog post yet. So grab your reading glasses, grab some snacks, and get comfy. Cause this is a long one.
If you aren’t in it for the long haul, though, here’s a table of contents:
If you only know me through these blog posts (which, jesus christ, really? Join the discord or hop on a stream some time, cause that’s probably really boring), you probably didn’t hear about my break. Essentially, I needed to take some time off of work and streams. But really, it was a culmination of multiple events leading up to it - from an esports org I’ve been with for over a year, basically going down in a few weeks, to my rapidly deteriorating mental health, I absolutely needed to take my mind off. And that’s exactly what I did, from May 3rd to last week (nearly a month.) I didn’t relax for 3 weeks straight, though, I had my mind focus on a lot of stuff, so really it’s less like a “vacation break” and more so a “break because of other things happening.”
Okay, enough rambling, I’m supposed to give a rundown, lol. Basically I was screwed for a couple months and I needed to take that break. But what actually happened? I didn’t share too much details about it back then, so why not do it now? Why not add in a couple of extra stuff too that I might as well update you guys on?
Well, that’s why I’m making this post. And it’s a long one. I already said that at the start and I don’t know how to segue this… Screw it, let’s just jump right into it.
Silver State Esports
Picture this: you’ve recently joined a club or membership for your favorite hobby. You also find out that there’s an organization that massively helps run it, but you can tell it has a million different flaws and that you can fix at least some of them. You can either leave it alone and just don’t bother with it (after all, it is a hobby), or you can help kickstart your own career, somewhat loosely tied to your hobby. If it’s not obvious, I chose the latter.
The Founding and my time in SSE
I found out about SSE somewhere around late October, 2019, and they’ve been in operation since at least the start of August of that year. It was founded by a teen named Davis Kong, along with a couple of his friends - Scisto, Angie, Billy, and probably a couple more that I don’t know about. They started small, mainly having roots from UNLV’s own esports team. But over time, it grew to be partnered with not only every HS in Clark County, but also multiple other organizations and companies. Off the top of my head, there’s Skullz Inc that does merchandise, LVL Up Expo, which is a major gaming convention locally and a major helper for SSE and esports here in general, Gameworks for occasional tourneys, HyperX for minor involvement in their Esports Arena here, AVGL, which does…something… and probably a lot more that I don’t know or forgot about. They even list Microsoft as a partner on their website, but I’ve never actually seen anything involving them, so take that with a grain of salt.
When I found them, SSE was technologically bankrupt in my eyes - they used (and still uses) Wix for their website, and barely has any software developers or technowizards on their staff. I reached out to Davis about this, mainly about their website, since you really don’t want to be partnered with one of the biggest tech companies in the world and use Wix for your website.
He explained that the current devs have already coded a site in plain HTML (just like the one you’re on right now) and they needed stuff “hella quick” (sic) in order to update their calendars and PR (or player scores.) At the time, I didn’t know much about WordPress or other potential solutions, so I shrugged it off and said Wix was probably the best, at least for now. And looking back at the chat logs to jog my memory, he basically gave me admin access and added me near instantly because I was the only other person who knows how to code there. BTW, this was back when KAaNE was actively getting updated and I didn’t know what express was. Yikes.
Over time, I got to know the staff, both personally and over Discord, which was their main platform for communication and the community. I later realized just how bad they needed me - they had someone way more skilled than I am (even now), who was there since the beginning. That person was Billy. Just checking their ‘GitHub (which is not linked due to privacy concerns), they had code for assembly and various complex apps, set up the server and 2 websites nearly by himself, and even a god damn home server. So, how is that an issue?
It was nearly a one man department for a whole organization. You think TF2 has it bad with 4-12 people on their team? Try having one or two people handling nearly everything related to tech in an org. That might not sound bad, especially since the biggest concern was a website that barely anyone knows about or uses, but it also handles one other thing - their Minecraft server.
If you were in the “Factions” or teams event last year, you’ll recall how much of a terrible experience it was. Included with multiple allegations against me (since I was an admin and participating), there was also the fact that the server was set up by two people pretty quickly - Billy and snakeye. (I think snakeye did. Don’t quote me on that though.) For the past few months, it had little to no traffic, usually having 5 people online at most. On the first hour, there was about 30-40 people. I can’t comment on what happened behind the scenes since, unlike what some have said, I did barely any admin work at that time. What I can say, though, is that there was a lot of pressure put on to the staff, and they were probably incredibly panicked, since nearly none of the server issues would be solved (including after the event.)
SSE commonly stated that these issues would be fixed in the future, and that a new event would happen soon. If you knew about the event, you probably know of the outcome of this too. A new event has always been planned, but whether due to declining interest or from upcoming events, it permanently stalled. Billy, the previous server owner and only other real developer, left due to finding a more sustainable but demanding job, and I was left as the only proper dev in the org. (To clarify, there was another person that supposedly knew coding, but I’ve never actually seen them do it or help me during my time on SSE.)
At that time, I’ve already done substantial work on other projects to help the org, like DSA Bot or the now defunct Wordpress rework website. And to try and help SSE as a dev, I restructured the discord server to be updated with newer (and more helpful) additions/features, and have also taken over as the owner of the Minecraft server. In fairness, I didn’t do much over the entire course, but I did do a couple things. I had to move the server due to an overdue bill from the host (twice), pay some of those fees out of pocket, fix multiple issues including resetting every permission due to the move, and even temporarily ran the server on my desktop for public use. Which made my IP public for a small amount of time. I was promoted to a supervisor shortly after Billy left, and I helped as much as I could in that aspect, too. But nothing could have predicted what happened next.
Near the start of the year, Scisto, an original founder, was fired from the organization. The proper resignation was never made publicly (at least, from my knowledge and what I recall), as the reason was never given. It was soon revealed around late March that the main reason was…emotional at best. Angie, Davis’ girlfriend, revealed that she was in an abusive relationship with Davis for some time, and after Scisto had tried to help Angie out of it, Davis quickly fired him. This was all revealed in probably the best way possible - a TwitLonger. Soon after, two more notable ones where made, this one by Scisto, and this one by Davis. There was also a google doc later made by Davis (and multiple other people suggesting edits to him), but it is commonly barraded on as being nitpicking and biased. (Also, lol.)
As for my stance on this whole thing, I initally coughed it up to petty Twitter drama (since…y’know, Twitlonger.) Over time, though, I quickly grew to support Scisto’s side. And despite the bad evidence shown here, privately, I’ve gotten enough evidence on my own to decide that Scisto is telling the truth. Whatever the case, it’s been months after it’s happened and both have somewhat moved on at this point. So where do I play in to all this?
Well, either on purpose or by sheer luck, a major event was happening just a day after the whole thing started. The usual event organizer, Coolkidd, was moving to a new house and needed other people to handle the event instead. Having the proper streaming equipment, and being a supervisor, I offered to help. So, on Saturday, I was meant to stream that day’s events with all the proper software needed. On Thursday, I was setting up all the necessary software and scenes (it turns out event organizers really like their custom software.) On one test, N0te (the other person that was going to stream), mentioned something about Angie’s posts and it affecting the event and SSE as a whole. I didn’t know about it at that time, and coughed it up as drama that will subside over the coming weeks. This was mere hours before Davis made his own post, on 11 PM, and took all of the drama over to their main platform.
Sadly, due to the late hours it happened in, and my constantly shifting sleep schedule, I didn’t get to see it happen live. My impressions, though, is that the entire org was basically on fire right now, and we needed to fight it through the event. And in retrospect, it somewhat worked - SSE as a whole was saved, but did little to pick a side between the two. Honestly, though, it was a miracle we even had an event to begin with.
It was half a day after the fires broke out, and even then, many have already left. I don’t know how many were gone, but I do remember we had about 2-3 people left for casting, with one of them basically casting throughout the entire event. On my own stream, I had multiple issues, some simply from my hardware - the CPU had a horrible stock fan, with temperatures commonly reaching up to ~150-180°F, which meant that it both throttled constantly and was lowering its lifespan. To combat this, I set my AC to cool about 24 hours before the livestream. This resulted in having my entire house at a freezing 45°F (which in vegas is about 30°F lower than the average temperature outside), which not only meant I was absolutely cold, everyone else inside it was as well. The best part was it did little to help, as it turned out the CPU would still freeze for no discernable reason.
In the end, the event happened to be the last one SSE did (at least as of writing), and while it wasn’t great, it definitely helped a bit. Also, apparently it was lengthened and I was supposed to stream for their 4th day (woops sorry guys lol.) But as it turns out, that wasn’t the end of what I had to do.
By the end of that event, there was only 3 supervisors - me, Coolkidd, and N0te. There was also Davis and Naya, one of which doesn’t count cause they’re the main source of the problem, the other is someone that was unable to interact with anyone outside of a couple people for months. N0te had the idea to make a “committee” of sorts, having them deal with all management in the organization. I thought it was a good idea as it would both solve the current problem and prevent future ones, so I was on board with the plan.
We (well, mainly me and n0te) quickly set up a server for the various members to use, and we held a “mini-meeting” of sorts to both introduce everyone and quickly talk about certain issues. As with every meeting, I recorded it, but it contains some information that still pertains to me that I would rather not have the general public know about. (Plus, I don’t want Davis to know about it, lol.) Basically, we talked about everything but what would happen to Davis - we mainly talked about a potential future for SSE.
The day after, this post was made. If you can’t already tell, there was some details that I (along with nearly everyone else) was not informed about, especially the part where it was specifically made to be against Davis. This post was later removed to save face.
A day (or a couple days) later, Davis sent n0te an email, stating multiple things from SSE’s bylaws and threatened legal action. You probably shouldn’t trust my words since I’m no means a legal expert, but jesus christ are the bylaws horrible. They basically don’t allow removal of board members (one level higher than supervisors) unless they’re removed by another board member. There was two members - Davis and Naya. Since Naya wouldn’t be able to do anything for months, Davis was essentially safeguarded. If you want to see the bylaws for yourself, here you go.
So, there was pretty much nothing we could do. I disbanded the committee, and either shortly before or after that, Davis announced his own changes with the remaining staff members. As I’m not on NDA, I’m free to publicly give this information to the public. And, if it isn’t obvious already, I left SSE, as I was no longer needed and I did not want to involve myself with them anymore.
As for what happened afterwards? Well, I’m not really sure for SSE. Even in my last days there, I was not in the know of their activity, since I technically was still deciding whether or not to leave. In reality, I was waiting for a couple stuff to happen before I left - a future job, and “severance pay” of sorts. (Just a week or so before this happened, merch came out for supervisors to use. I wanted to get one ‘cause why not.) I would never get the severance pay, but I did get that job rather quickly - something I’ll briefly talk about later.
As for the community, well, it’s been pretty much dead for a while. There has been some activity every once in a while (it does have ~400 members), but overall, it’s been stagnant. I don’t really know about other events, but for SSE, there has not been anything happening since the one I was in. As for me, I was done with SSE, but I was not done with mental stress - I was far from that.
This section was originally going to be pretty long, but I realize this is already a novel, so I’m going to make this bit fast. This all happened at the start of my final quarter and ended nearly 3 weeks before final exams. Imagine trying to fit about 3 months of work in about 3 weeks. That has been what I had to deal with for the past month. Luckily, I did manage to graduate and I no longer have to deal with them, so let’s move on from this.
Future (and near future) projects
Now that I’m done with school and SSE, what’s next? Well, I’m heading to university. That might sound bad with my already slow progress, but don’t worry, I’ve been told it’s pretty leniant. If you want to look it up, I’m attending Full Sail University’s online classes for August 2021. I’ll be done sometime between late 2023 and early 2024.
As for esports, I’m still in their community. I’m just not with SSE anymore. In fact, I’m already in a different org, I’m just not allowed to say which one just yet. (They currently aren’t public.) What I can say, though, is that it’s going to be big. And we already have quite a bit of stuff set up.
If you’re a regular visitor of this site, though, you know that isn’t my main gig - what about software? Well, most of my original projects are still underway, but I do have a couple more stuff coming up.
MC Server (GGs)
As mentioned before, I was the server owner for the SSE minecraft server. Now, while I did give them back the server files, I was still paying a good chunk of it by myself and legally owned it. I’m 99% sure that they won’t be doing the event anymore (or at least until the next year), so why not do it myself?
GGs is a minecraft server that is better than the original SSE server in a number of ways - instead of just survival (and later an anarchy mode that I added), there’s now 3 modes. Survival, Anarchy, and Creative. We’re also on a Fabric server instead of Paper, which means we’re able to use CaffeineMC’s suite of optimization mods (some of which are even better than OptiFine’s optimizations.)
Sadly, Minecraft’s 1.17 release is coming in a couple days. Since we’re trying to use the latest version, the server will not be available until plugins are available on 1.17. Either that or I just give up and just use 1.16 instead. Even without the release, the server would take about a week for it to release. Even though you could technically join and play just fine, there’s still a lot of problems that still need to be fixed.
While being bored, I found this domain at a surprisingly cheap price. I’ve been thinking of making a URL shortener as well, so hey, why not. The shortener itself is not done yet, but the website and private custom URLs are set up. If you want to see the website: ggt.bz If you want to see an example of a link: ggt.bz/l/d
DSA Bot and KAaNE
DSA Bot and KAaNE will still exist, but both will be getting new versions. I’ve already talked about KAaNE before, but basically, there will be a final version made on C++ and parity updates will be made on the Android version. Both will release by August. If you don’t even know what KAaNE is, let’s move on.
DSA Bot was originally made for my esports club in DSA, hence the name. It later spiraled into a full-time project and made for both esports and general users. Because of that (and my departure from that club and DSA as a whole), the project will be getting a rebranding, moving to GPL3, and an actual proper team by the end of June. Before that, though, the final update will be made - music. I promised it a long time ago since repl.it started supporting it, so hey, might as well. I’ll also be fixing any remaining bugs that I can.
If you’re worried about DSA Bot, don’t worry - the repo will still be available under public domain, as originally intended. The bot itself will go down, but users are still able to run their own versions and make any changes they want to.
There are also a ton of hidden projects that I’m being involved in - some of which will be available in the near future, others will be in a few years time. I know I’ve made big promises before, but trust me, this time I’m serious. As for what I can say about them? Two characters. D and H.
Conclusion and TL;DR
For the past couple of months, I’ve been in a mental limbo and went through a lot of shit. And I won’t lie to you, I’m still kind of in one. It’s getting better, though, and there’s a lot of good stuff coming out soon. Speaking of mental limbo, I don’t really know how to make this conclusion. Yeah, I’m not the best writer, lol.
Well, here’s your TL;DR: I was a part of SSE cause they needed help, the founder did several idiotic moves, and I left after dealing with the aftermath. I also had to deal with my school, and I have several projects that’ll come out soon.
…anddd that’s about it. I’ll start streaming again next week, so if you want to say hi, feel free to check it out. As for projects, I’ll be making regular updates on both this blog and my Discord server. That’s it for what I have to say, so you guys next post!