In this instalment of Getting to know we speak to Ben Drew - TENSTAR and Adamo Gaming Co-founder. Ben is a big personality who is a key figure in both organisations. He tells us about the future, divulges fun facts and admits his Football Manager addiction...
What most excites you about TENSTAR?
Talent…..seeing young talent develop into world-class esports athletes with our support. I’ve always been a huge player of sports and in particular team sports, I love everything about winning and losing as a team. Seeing TENSTAR develop in such a short space of time to be competitive on the VALORANT world stage has made me so proud but it’s the emerging talent and the future that excites me the most. If we can achieve this in a couple of months…..what can we do in a couple of years???
What is your highlight of 2021 so far?
Without a doubt…my highlight is seeing what we’ve created from scratch and how we’ve done it. When I originally mentioned creating an esports business, people looked at me like I’d gone mad. Who’s mad now? I knew and know this is the future of sports entertainment and we’re still very much in its infancy, the next 10-15 yrs are going to be very exciting as technology continues to evolve.
What was your first gaming experience?
I come from a world where I had to wait 15 minutes for games to load on my Commodore 64….my first gaming experiences were: Altered Beast, Jet set willy, 1st Division Football Manager, Paperboy. Classics back in the day. I still play Speedball 2 today occasionally, not on the C64 though.
Where do you see TENSTAR in 5 years?
Absolutely no idea….why? because we don’t know where we’ll be in 5 months let alone 5 years. But for sure we’ll be pushing boundaries, finding new ways of challenging the status quo. It won’t be long before F1 cars are driven from an office, Fortnite is played by gamers controlling robots on a purpose-built island or FIFA is played by people in VR suits. Gaming sports entertainment is where the next rock stars will emerge and I can’t wait for TENSTAR to be right in the middle of it.
Other than gaming – tell us about a passion/hobby you have
I still try and play football a couple of times a week, not the standard I once did but enough to keep the heart pumping. When I stopped playing football competitively I formed a Golf society TOfF’s (Too Old For Football) which meets monthly - we’re up to 65 members now I think. Other than that, I’m getting back in the gym post covid (need to lose my covid 3 stone) I like to cook, Travel and Spend time with my family and our German Shepard.
Tell us about an employees success story through your peopled development?
To pick one would be too hard, I only have to look around at the 160+ employees we’ve worked with across Adamo Gaming and TENSTAR, each one has had their own journey and I’d like to think the people development processes we’ve put in place has enabled each and everyone to be in a much better position for their future career than when they joined us.
If you could meet one person from any time in history, who?
I’d like to meet my 14-year-old self and tell him not to worry about what other people think about him. Enjoy every day of growing up, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, take calculated risks and when you get the opportunity to play football in the US take it……..And definitely take that year out to travel the world. Live life with a smile.
Describe yourself in 5 words?
Supportive, Ambitious, Thinker, Spontaneous, Hungry
Who do you support in Football? and if it’s not Wolves – I’m disappointed
This won’t go down well then……I’m down the road WBA….boing boing
(Dom here, I am not angry...just disappointed)
If you had one piece of advice for someone wanting to enter esports what would it be?
Grind Grind Grind….the harder you work the luckier you get. Sport is about hard work. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. But the most important thing is to love and enjoy what you do, if you don’t truly love it, then find something else that you do.
Some fun facts about yourself?
I once played Football Manager for 26 days consecutively, all day every day, only stopping to collect food and drink from the kitchen and the occasional shower(I was between jobs). I still to this day can get lost for days in the game.
The circumference of my neck is 17 inches