TL Community Spotlight: Marco Gallardo

June 03 2019

Part 1: The Beginning of an Era

Hey guys! I have a really cool idea that I think would be awesome for our fans.

Sure, what do you have in mind?

What if we interviewed Team Liquid fans and made it into a community series?

Sounds like a pretty cool idea.

We should start with someone who has been following us for a while. Someone who cheers the loudest, even when our teams are at their lowest.

Someone like…a Team Liquid SUPERfan.

I know just the guy for the job.

Part 2: The Encounter

Hey Marco! The content team wants to interview a bunch of Team Liquid fans, and I think you’re the right guy to start with for our first interview. Are you down?

Yeah totally! I’m down. Bring on the questions!

Awesome, let’s start then. First off, how did you become interested in Team Liquid?

I started playing League of Legends in 2013, and I didn’t know anything in terms of professional scenes. I wanted to get better at League, so I started watching a bunch of Voyboy’s YouTube videos. I was noticing that he had names like “DiG Voyboy,” “CLG Voyboy,” and “Curse Voyboy,” and I didn’t understand what that was. Eventually, I kept looking into it and I found out about the professional scene for League of Legends. At the time, Voyboy was on Curse, so I just looked into Curse and watch a lot of their content. I’d stay up until around 2AM in high school just doing that. Watching just a bunch of silly videos that they would post, like interviews and stuff. That’s how I got into being a fan of theirs.

Eventually, I ended up going to MLG Anaheim 2013, my first ever live esports event. They were holding a small meet and greet where you could go and get their autographs. I thought that was the coolest thing ever and I didn’t see any other teams doing it. I was thinking, “These guys are awesome!” After a while, Voy had announced that he was going to step down from professional gaming. At that point, I was conflicted. I was like, “Shoot, what do I do? Am I fan of the player? Or the org? What’s going on?” They changed into Team Liquid, and I basically just stuck with them. I never really got invested in other teams like I was with Curse & Liquid. I just kept following them, cheering for them, and going to live events. I had never watched Curse/Liquid win a game live until one of their first games with Dardoch, Laurlo and Matt.

The day that I saw their first win, I saw Steve and I told him, “Hey, I appreciate everything that you do!” and he said, “Thanks!” and that felt great. It felt nice to be able to talk to him, one of the faces of Team Liquid. My passion for Liquid kept growing from there

One time, I had planned to go with my friends to a match vs. TSM, and I basically cheered for Liquid so loudly that Twitch chat could hear me in the sea of TSM fans. It was posted on Reddit, and after seeing it, I was like, “Holy cow, I made it to Reddit!” I replied to the thread and got a bunch of people asking me to do an AMA. I did the AMA, and Artress reached out to me and gave me a free shirt (which I still have, it’s one of my favorite shirts).

So that was YOU! Man, that takes some dedication.

Haha yep, that was me! I later found out that Ken was there and had taken a picture of me because I had a sign that said “Paid 4 by Steve.” I didn’t know who he was or that he was staff, I just thought he was another random fan, so I didn’t think much of it.

About one split later, TL was doing something to promote the first game of the split, and I remember Steve tweeting something along the lines of, “Hey everybody! Come to the tailgate, it’s gonna be huge, a bunch of people are going to be doing it! It’s going to be fun!” I didn’t buy tickets for day one, so I asked on the thread, “Hey, is it worth it to just go and hang out if I don’t have a ticket?” I didn’t get a response, but Ken later reached out to me asking, “Are you that one Liquid fan?” I thought it was weird, but I replied, “Yes.” He had told me that he was the Head of Content and had mentioned that he was the one who took a picture of me. He then asked me if I wanted to go and help out with the tailgates. I was down, but it never worked out because I would ask him, “Should I go this week? Should I go this week?” At that point, I decided to stop asking and just go and see what happens. So I just went and started helping with the tailgates.

He had mentioned that I should go to Oakland, so I went and it turned out really well. From then on, I would ask him what I can do for Liquid and how I can get involved, because I want to help the organization out with as much as possible whatever I can. When we came back from Oakland, we had a small conversation-like interview. He had given me some hard-hitting questions, but there was one particular question he asked that I wish I could remember. When I answered it, he told me that I answered it the way that Steve would answer it, and that was one of his major things in hiring me, so here I am now.

That’s so cool! Your journey sounds super exciting. What exactly do you do for TL?

Generally, I do a lot of tailgating stuff. I help out and manage our tailgates at LCS. When I first started, I was in charge of letting people know about our Alienware truck (aka “The mobile training facility”). We then started playing Connect 4 with fans.

I also try to help moderate the Discord server. Recently, I started doing stats for our past games at LCS. I started doing it a couple of times, but now it’s something I’m going to be doing more of in the future, like for this upcoming split.

You have been cheering us on for years. And spent so much time at events and on the Discord. Was all the effort you put towards TL’s community worth it?

100% yes. I don’t know when I started wanting to work for Liquid, It was just something I thought would be cool to do. I wouldn’t change anything that I have done to get here, like putting myself out there and cheering as loudly as I can. Even if it’s a small position and it doesn’t come out to anything, I can still say it was worth it and that I did something I wanted to do. It’s all worth it going through the stress of school/work and then figuring out what I can do for Liquid. 100% worth it.

There are so many teams to cheer for in esports. What made you stick with Team Liquid?

Initially, I didn’t follow any particular org. But then I started noticing that Steve was doing things that other orgs weren’t doing. At the time, Curse was never the best in LCS for the most part. They were always in the middle of the pack and they had the forever 4th meme. I always wanted to see them overcome it and they always ALWAYS ALWAYS came close. Something always changed in LCS, and it seemed like if these changes didn’t take place, then they probably would have had the chance to win or advance. I wanted to see them overcome this, go to worlds, and be successful. I saw the passion in Steve doing everything that he was doing, from importing people to having three people from his academy come into the main team. At one point, I think they were one of the best teams in LCS, but then breaking point happened.

Everything Steve did, like building the training facility and doing as much as he could to give people resources to become the best they can, was so inspiring to watch. I haven't seen the passion in any other team the same way I saw it in Liquid. After they won this recent split, I can still feel it, not just Steve, but all of Liquid to not only be the best, but pave the way for esports to become better. They just seem like a family.

There has to be some moments from Team Liquid that have made a great impact on your life. Can you tell me a few of them?

One of them was definitely watching the Dardoch/Matt/Laurlo team win live, since that was the first time I’d ever seen a live game since I had been going. I didn’t go that often, but it was still nice to see them win. Winning finals was also really nice to see happen.

Additionally, I liked being able to go up to Steve and talk to him, telling him that I appreciate everything he does. Even though it doesn’t seem like a huge thing, it still felt nice as a fan to do that.

Going back to when I went to MLG Anaheim and they did the meet and greet, I actually went on my birthday. Nothing really happened because of it, but it was cool that they did that and it just so happened to be on my birthday. I still have the signed paper of the team with their picture on it.

Going to see them win finals in Oakland was great too. A lot of what I love is just fun staff and seeing them overcome their downfalls. A lot of the fan interactions were pretty much the best thing.

Who are your favorite players from the org (either current or former)?

As weird as this sounds, I’m not necessarily a fan of any of our LCS players. I’m not saying this in a negative way, but it’s because of the idea that players can leave and go at any time. One split, we can have Doublelift, and if he decides to leave the next split, what do you do with that fandom then? You’re a fan of him and whatever team he’s on next, and it gets very conflicting after that. So I stopped being a fan of players specifically because I knew at some point these players are going to leave or step down, so I like being a fan of the org and what they do rather than the specific player. I don’t think it’s worth it to invest in them, I’m more invested in Liquid than anything.

I do also like HBox and Dabuz in Smash, though. They’re really cool.

I think that’s pretty much all of the Team Liquid related questions, but now I wanna throw some spicy curveball questions at you. Since you’re really into all things math, I gotta ask: What concept of mathematics do you think fits Team Liquid?

For the memes, we are the 4th dimension. We are forever 4th. We are untouchable to other teams. We’re in this next dimension and you can see that with everything we do and what the other organizations don’t do. We’re one of the few orgs that do something as simple as tailgating. No other org does it. On top of that, things like the recent event we had, Fan Appreciation Week. Who else does that? No one. We’re the 4th dimension. Other organizations aren’t even on our level. They can’t comprehend us.

You said you like HBox earlier, which means you probably watch his YouTube series, “Hungry as F*ck”. Is there anything that you do with food that people might think is unconventional?

You know those Chips Ahoy cookies? I basically take about 8 of them and i put them in a cup. I pour milk in them to cover all the cookies and basically make cookie milk. I’ll drink some of the milk, and then I’ll just crush up the cookies. No one I’ve shown has liked the way it looks, they always say it looks disgusting. I don’t know why, it just looks like liquid cookie to me.

Anything you’d like to say before we wrap this up?

Thank you for acknowledging me as a fan. I was always described as the biggest Liquid fan and it feels nice, so thank you for reaching out to me. #LETSGOLIQUID

Anytime, dude. Talk to you soon!

Part 3: The Beginning of a Legacy

I just finished interviewing Marco. I think we got ourselves our first community article!

That’s great, what a cool guy.

Yeah, he was really nice and I learned so much from him.

I think this is the start of a beautiful series.

I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

Writer // Vivian Nguyen

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