One of the more down to earth entrepreneurs I follow is Gary Vaynerchuk aka Garyvee. He started his career with a wine website and now makes a living off his personal brand of speaking and consulting in the creative & business space. His brash, honest, in-your-face style leads to an authenticity that permeates his work. I follow his Instagram and Twitter as a motivational boost and a constant reminder of the kind of energy and motivation I need to bring to my work.

One concept Gary has spoken about is Clouds and Dirt. Basically the idea that to be successful at anything in life, you have to be both up in the clouds and down in the dirt at the same time. What Gary means by this is that your mind, thoughts, and dreams of the future need to be lofty - up in the clouds so to speak - while your actions and daily work needs to be down in the dirt, sleeves rolled up. You can have the greatest ideas in the world but if you're not putting in the work, you'll never reach your max potential.

For the outsider that looks at LAN Mob it seems like a very easy business, but there is a lot of work behind the scenes to keep us moving along. The idea of clouds and dirt helps drive my daily work here, be it planning or running an event, to scrubbing toilets and mopping floors, to the 70+ hour work weeks I've been operating on for a few years now. I see the future of where I want to be in one, three and five years and never lose sight of that dream.

Streaming - Clouds & Dirt

Streaming is another great example of clouds & dirt in action. So many people want to be a successful streamer, YouTuber, or pro gamer, but very few of them are putting in the consistent work that it takes. It can be a grind very much like any job to truly make it in this space, but there are a few out there locally that I see are making a consistent effort at it.

Esports - Clouds & Dirt

I'm inspired by the Rome Revolution teams that show up every week for practice, but more so the in-between when I check Discord on an off night and find the group putting in extra games. The wins feel great for the organization, from Zehn Masters to Clash Beta to seeing Kolunas being selected for the AGA national in Las Vegas.

Read the full article about Thomas heading to Las Vegas by clicking here

We all have those few hours of our life every night after our work, family, and social obligations are met. If we're unhappy with our lives in some way, how we spend that leisure time can have the greatest impact on our future trajectory. It's both possible to work too hard and burn ourselves out, and at the other end of the spectrum waste all that time on leisure and self indulgence and find ourselves stuck.

Playing games by its nature usually falls under leisure, but the growing field of esports has brought gaming forward as a viable pursuit with legitimate careers and futures available to those who pursue it. The "dirt" here is the hours of practice we pour in and the hard work of keeping and maintaining a healthy team atmosphere. It's not always an easy thing to do pulling together for a team meeting around multiple work and family schedules where we talk through our issues and plan for the future.

Then there is finding that balance in our play - when are we having fun, and when are we trying hard. Even here you'll find polar opposites between those that approach their play in a 100% competitive-improving attitude, and those that say the game should remain a game and not ever be held in a competitive light. The former approach is likely to lead to some burnout, and the latter is somewhat dismissive of the entire field of esports as being viable. The truth for the person on an esports path is finding a middle road as the healthy way forward. Work to improve and keep it serious, but always take some time out to enjoy the game in a social way and remember the love of the game that drove you there.

Aug & Matt taking top two in our Black Friday night Fortnite event

We haven't written in a while here, spending more time streaming at our twitch channel at Since it's been a couple months I wanted to check in quick with some updates on the business, local happenings, and upcoming plans!

Outside Events

We've had a number of events happening outside our doors this past year, with the outdoor Mario Kart and Fortnite events at City Hall, a Rocket League event at Rising Stars Soccer Academy in Westmoreland, and a fighting game series Copper City Clash at the Rome, NY MVCC campus. These events can be a lot of fun for meeting new people and helping us spread the word about our business, and everyone always seems to have a great time at these.

2nd & 1st place Rocket League winners at Rising Stars Soccer Academy

Some Victory Royale Winners at the outdoor Fortnite Event on the Rome City Hall green

We're happy to see everyone having a good time, but the downside for these events happens for us behind the scenes as a lot of added stress on the business. We often have to tear the shop down to pull out equipment including monitors, systems and cables, leaving less stations to be in use by customers at the shop. There is also the stress of having so many environmental factors out of our control - Internet, electricity, networking, weather, and equipment failures can make for a lot of running around and putting out fires so to speak.

There are other expenses too - staffing, marketing - that from a business standpoint make these events break-even to unprofitable for us. I can see with some tweaking how this can be a successful arm of our business, and am aiming for some reinvestment into the business in the 2019-2020 timeline to improve our ability to offer these types of events. For the immediate future we're looking to rein in this side business somewhat, and I'm planning to decline a couple of outside events in November and December. This doesn't mean we're completely halting all outside events - we would love to get back down on the Rome green again next year if the stars align, and also are looking forward to continuing our partnership with MVCC Rome on growing a fighting game scene through the Copper City Clash series.

Copper City Clash 2 - Thursday December 13th 5 pm

Be sure to stop by MVCC Rome on December 13th between 5 and 9 pm for Copper City Clash 2 featuring the brand new Super Smash Brothers Ultimate! We have so much excitement for the game brewing around the shop and are aiming to throw a massive event. $5 venue fee, $5 per bracket you wish to play in (Smash Brothers Ultimate, DragonBall FighterZ, and SoulCalibur VI). You can RSVP to the Facebok event here:


Two things of note on the Fortnite front

1) We've heard the overwhelming demand for another Fortnite event and we'll be having a tournament this upcoming Black Friday (November 23rd) at LAN Mob, you can view the event details here: 

2) There is big news coming from our partners at ggLeap regarding Fortnite, something unique to LANs like ours. We're as in the dark as the rest of you but as soon as we have any details they'll be out on our social medias - stay tuned!

Zehn Masters

Apologies to everyone on the delay here. We've been assured this is just a delay and the events will be returning soon. We're in the unusual place of already holding most of our qualifiers, with the Overwatch qualifier being the one exception. Once again as soon as we have any details we'll be sure to pass them along, but in the meantime if there are other online series you would like to see brought to LAN Mob please let us know! We'd be happy to run some local qualifiers to larger series buy-ins to help sponsor some teams reach that next level of play.

Kolunas Does LA

We're so happy to see Kolunas head off to Los Angeles to participate in the Alienware Gaming Arena | Team Liquid | League of Legends boot camp. An amazing partnership between some awesome organizations and Thomas had the experience of his lifetime - some pictures below of his trip. This is one of the things we set out to do early on - find the best local gaming talent and promote them on a national stage - and we're so stoked to see that happen for a guy like Thomas who has spent so much time around our business and as a part of our esports program. Thank you AGA and Team Liquid for making this possible and be sure to tune in for the AGA finals in Las Vegas December 1st where Kolunas will be competing with the boot camp team for some major prize money - we'll definitely be having a watch party at LAN Mob that day so stop in and check it out!

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