TENSTAR & Adamo Gaming General Manager Matt Loftus gives us a look into his past, personality and his TENSTAR journey.
How did you enter the esports industry? Why?
I was always interested in esports, and whilst I was at university studying for my long prospectus career in Policing, I started volunteering doing some League Operations for the ESL Play platform back in 2013. This position was purely voluntary until ESL UK came on the scene in which I had a fruitful career spanning more than 5 years in League Operations, running some of the biggest events on the global esports calendar.
What was your first job?
My first proper job was working for ESL UK in various roles starting out, but predominantly taking up that League Operations role within the business. I also dabbled in running production, through technical directing, graphics and more! In the early stages, it was tough in the bigger shows you could have up to 5-6 people in the production team where we ran shows with a single person, so it was tough having to fill many roles, but I think those experiences made me a well-rounded individual for this diverse industry that we’re all so lucky to be a part of.
What inspired the creation of TENSTAR?
I was approached by Tom and Ben to come on board as General Manager and help build a new legacy within esports which led me to the creation and initial idea of TENSTAR. Upon onboarding within the company, the idea was to build out Adamo Gaming as the next big thing in esports, but being truthful, I wasn’t a fan of the name and knew we had to be impactful to make moves in the industry. TENSTAR was a punchy and impactful name that I adapted from a business Tom owned previously to Adamo Gaming and TENSTAR called Tenstar Personnel.
Knowing they would both be owned and utilised by Tom, I thought it would be a good fit as well as serve our purpose well. From brainstorming the idea in March of 2021, it only took 2 months for us to come up with a brand and identity to get ourselves off the mark, lucky for us, we were also able to pick up, what is now a phenomenal VALORANT roster to help us launch and put our name on the esports map.
What is your highlight of 2021 so far?
The highlight of 2021 has to be the creation and development of TENSTAR, being able to drive a force through the industry from just an idea off the cuff to be able to see the boys where the black and green colours and put up a fight against the likes of Team Liquid and FNATIC during the VALORANT Championship Tour stages this year, as a General Manager, I couldn’t ask for any more from what not only the team has achieved, but also all the staff working behind the scenes tirelessly tweeting, creating content, making sure that we’re on schedule and ensuring everyone is cheering us on! It makes me immensely proud of what we can achieve in the second half of 2021 and moving into 2022.
What is your favourite game and why?
I find it extremely hard to pick a favourite game, I rarely play games due to the pure fun of it. I have recently been playing a lot of DayZ with a bunch of new friends and enjoying that. I have also been actively playing F1 and putting in far too many hours into VALORANT to try and keep up with the team (it’s not going well!)
VALORANT for me was a breath of fresh air when it launched early 2020, right when the pandemic started, I was out of a job due to COVID-19, and I put in hundreds of hours through streaming and YouTube content. Coming off 4,500 hours in CS: GO, VALORANT was the next big thing in FPS titles coming out and it is great to see the competitive scene booming as well, as this is what I live for.
Where do you see TENSTAR by the end of 2022?
TENSTAR has come such a long way in a short period of time, we are 3 months into this project and have such a long way to go. Where I would like to see TENSTAR throughout 2022 is a strong base within the UK, some extremely strong partnerships formed to enable us to continue the development of the current talent we have and to hopefully fight against the esports giants on the global stages at LAN. There shouldn’t be any doubt in people’s minds that we are heavily focused on VALORANT for our initial phase of the organisation, however, I’d love to see us branch out by the end of next year and solidify ourselves as a T1 org in more than just 1 title, what it is, who knows!
If TENSTAR could enter any game what would it be?
There are so many games that make the global esports scene with loads of viewers, lots of prize money and dedication from publishers. If we lived in a world where budgets weren’t a thing and we (TENSTAR) could do what we like, I’d love to see us in the major franchised leagues such as LEC, CDL. Other games that have huge potential are the likes of Apex Legends, Fortnite, Rocket League etc. What is great about the esports industry is that there is so much choice and appetite to work with!
Other than gaming – tell us about a passion/hobby you have
Other than gaming? I’m not entirely sure what this means… Gaming is what I do. If I’m not working on the day-to-day of TENSTAR, I’m probably grinding VALORANT ranked, or Apex ranked.
If you had to describe yourself with a song – which song?
The first song that comes to mind is… Tenacious D – Tribute.
If you had one piece of advice for someone wanting to enter esports what would it be?
One piece of advice… pick something you want to specialise in, grind as hard as you can, make an incredible impression and apply for the correct jobs with the correct amount of experience. This industry benefits you greatly should you have vast amounts of experience actually doing the job role that you want to be doing.
Any upcoming TENSTAR news?
Some very exciting news, coming very soon! Stay tuned on our socials.
Follow Matt here