The eSport scene is growing larger and larger each year and as such we were able to attend a local competitive event, Super Smash Con last month. During that time we were able to meet the guys over at DC eSports who were holding their own pop-up tournament at the event. The grassroots of eSports started at the local scene and we are very interested in getting to know one of the organizations in that vein. Ray Bulaclac was kind enough to allow us to interview him to get some insight on their organization, their goals and what they bring to the local eSports scene in the Washington DC area.
UE: Tell us a little bit about DC eSports and what you guys do:
Ray: D.C. eSports is a gaming organization located here in the Washington D.C. Metro Area that is focused on pushing local competitive gaming events to the next level. By hosting quality gaming events in our area, we aim to do two things:
1.) Introduce eSports to the local community in order to grow the scene.
2.) Provide various events for our area’s top players to hone their skills for when they travel out of region.
Ever since the beginning, this is organization has been all about the community.
UE: How did you guys get started?
Ray: D.C. eSports actually derived from my passion for FPS Events. In 2013, I ended up founding “D.C. Halo” as a way to brand a few smaller-scale LAN events for Halo 4. Since those humble beginnings of hosting 12-man LANs, we’ve branched out from JUST doing Halo to hosting a variety of other titles (COD, Killer Instinct, SFIV, SSBM, Smash 4, etc.) over the years. Fast-forwarding to the present, we’ve established ourselves as one of the most player-friendly Smash 4 weeklies here in the D.C. Metro Area.
UE: What games are you hosting in your tournaments?
Ray: Currently, we’re primarily focused on helping to grow the Super Smash Bros. Wii U local scene. While this is the case, we’ve got something up our sleeves to try to revisit and support an old title that we’ve done in the past – stay tuned!
UE: Do you have a set location that tournaments are hosted?
Ray: We’ve hosted many events around our area in a variety of different venues. One of our biggest strengths, and admittedly one of our biggest weaknesses, is the fact that we don’t have one concrete venue. We’re able to partner with other establishments (restaurants, bars, gaming stores…you name it) in order to provide a unique experience for everybody! For our flagship Super Smash Bros. Wii U weekly tournaments, we’re working with our friends over at The Fantastic Store in Chantilly, VA!
UE: What short and long term goals do you have for DC eSports?
Ray: Short-term goals for D.C. eSports revolve around continuously growing our weekly tournament numbers without sacrificing the overall player experience. While there’s certainly no real number in mind, we’re always working to improve our attendance and make our events a go-to destination for those traveling from out-of-region.
Long-term goals? Outside of becoming an entity known for some of the highest quality gaming events on the East Coast, there’s not too much more than that. Though hosting a large-scale tournament (300+) would be awesome, we’re keeping our eyes on what got us to where we are to begin with: the local community.
UE: What do you see as the future of eSports in general? Do you think it will continue to grow to mainstream?
Ray: It’s hard to say, but we’re certainly very excited to see where it goes! All I know is that we’re going to continue to do our part to establish a backbone for eSports in our local scene so that the eSports community as a whole can continue to thrive. As far as whether it’ll continue to grow to mainstream, I think we’ve got a ways to go before competitive gaming gets accepted by the “mainstream” folks. With so many big names supporting it, I’d say eSports heading down the right path! Needless to say, I’m stoked to have a small hand in it’s growth.
UE: Where can people go to look up future events by your organization?
Ray: Check us out on our pages below: