Recently a videogames website called Geex reached out to me for an interview. The guys have started a storytelling contest related to League of Legends, which we were happy to offer some prizes for -- and eventually the thing went as far as doing an interview together. We talked about League, making music and even some big questions of life in general, so I thought it might be worth sharing it here too. Thanks for the opportunity guys!
Below you can find and English translation of the Geex.hu article.
Thanks to Real Gamers for the picture
George Roth was the first person from Hungary who went to Riot Dublin to help developing the Hungarian scene of League of Lengeds. Besides he is working on his band and various other projects. We asked him how he got to Riot and got a sneak peek into his everyday life too.
You have been working and living in Dublin for a while now. What are your past and current responsibilities at Riot?
— It's totally unbelievable, but it's been almost four years that I've made my transfer to Riot Games in Dublin. Originally I was hired to do the Hungarian translation of the game, and the plan was to have a team of four Hungarian guys by the time we officially release in the country. While working on the translations we kept trying to find people, but somehow it just didn't want to happen. Finally, instead of waiting forever, we've decided to launch the Hungarian version and use the interest from that to attract people. Before the release we could hire one person, CéciDog, who was a tremendous help: honestly, I don't know how we would have managed without him. For months we were working for seven days a week, often until 1-2am in the morning... but it was totally worth it. It was amazing to see the willingness from Rioters around the globe help us with the release, while the attitude, activity and help from the Hungarian players totally exceeded our expectations. Now we really do have our team of four, besides CéciDog we also have Flymojo and Arwyll in our team — moreover, as a kind of a reward, we got the task to help the ecosystem of the neighbouring countries too.
How do you see the trends of League in the country? I'm sure you have a ton of statistics that you follow when a game enters into a new market. How is Hungary doing?
— When it comes to League, Hungary is doing great: of course there are more players in an 80 million Germany or a 60 million France, but the number of players in Hungary have almost doubled since we officially launched. The Hungarian market was considered pretty active even before the launch (by that I mean the number of inhabitants divided by the number of active players), and since then this number really skyrocketed. All in all, the number of Hungarian players has grown greatly and they are super active too, but of course there is always room for improvement and adjustments. We hope that this is just the beginning.
What is the biggest missing piece in the Hungarian League community? Can Hungary get into a place where the country has professional, paid players?
— Yes, in the team we truly believe that the country can get there. Right now there are two major obstacles that we have to overcome. First, the community can really go against itself sometimes. Of course there are exceptions, but in the case of more famous players, content creators, shoutcasters etc. we very often feel that they are fighting for absolutely ridiculous things. They would often go at each others' throat instead of trying to help each other and work together. If we can have these huge fallouts for a VIP ticket, what would happen if a serious sponsor entered the scene and offered a way to make a living? And with this, we've arrived at our next problem: unless sponsors can find someone or some people that are consistently creating high quality content, have a big enough reach and, very importantly, have a positive, professional attitude, we can't really expect a big bank or telecom company to invest into the scene. I think that we are slowly making steps towards this though, and as Riot, we are trying to help out as much as we can. Hopefully in the next couple of years we will have some tangible results on the table.
You were the first to work on bringing League to Hungary, and as a player you were waiting for a job opportunity to come up at Riot. Why did you want to start this project?
— Oh man, League os my favourite game! I remember that whenever we could, we were playing 3v3 on the old Twisted Treeline where you couldn't do a single thing against Trynda — and of course in the meantime I was constantly checking the website of the developer / publisher, Riot games. During that time I was working on a Swedish football management game, and since we had pretty great numbers in Hungary, I wanted to try myself on a more serious project too. One day, when I haven't been checking the website for a while, my mum was asking me about the company I had been telling her about... so thanks again mum for reminding me!
You are working on a number of things, but it seems that you have always somehow done so. What direction was your life taking before 2012 when Riot wasn't in the books? Amongst the number of projects you were working on, was there a direction you wanted to single out and start in, or did you never want to tie yourself down to one way?
— Committing oneself to one way doesn't really work anymore in today's world I think. The world is constantly changing, there are new opportunities popping up all the time. This has its upsides and downsides of course: it's hard to imagine someone working at the same job for 30-40 years, and this means that the security of the old days has shrunk quite a bit. In return there are a lot of interesting things to deal with and work on. If you have a positive attitude and work hard enough, you surely won't be bored. Before joining Riot I had a small webdesign firm (that was so small that it was only me in it!), and we were doing bigger and bigger shows with my band, Just Another.
How do you have time for other things next to your job at Riot? I'm thinking about your band or your webdesign company.
— To be honest I don't have too much time for other things. I have completely given up making websites, I'm only working on my own small website every now and then. With Just Another we do a show when I'm back in Budapest and the others from the band have time too... but I wouldn't say that we are too active. To be honest I really miss making music sometimes.
You consider yourself a lucky person. But as the saying goes, you can't win if you're not trying. Are there any projects that you failed at, or which didn't work out as you would have wanted it to?
— I have been dealing with a lot of stuff, and honestly, a lot of stuff didn't work out. I think a very few people can nail things perfectly the first time, and that's actually okay. As Einstein says, "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." The solution is to learn from our mistakes, raise our hat and keep trying after a failure — of course this can be extremely hard sometimes, everybody that are playing ranked games knows that. Before joining Riot I'd had a leading role in the biggest music theatre of Hungary that didn't work out, I was working as a Central-European assistant manager at a huge worldwide band contest that didn't really live up to my plans somehow, and if we look at Just Another today, well, the band nowadays is not in a spot that I had imagined in my dreams either. This, moreover, is completely my fault.
Finally: do you have plans after Riot, or have you found the perfect place where you can shine?
— I have a lot of plans! In the future I would definitely like to make more music, and I'm also planning a project that is about helping talented children coming from humble backgrounds. Those are all ideas that I would like to work on besides my job at Riot though. I don't have any plans after Riot, and I'm currently not thinking about leaving the company or about what will happen afterwards. This is mainly because there are a lot of different opportunities inside Riot anyway, and our current plans look really interesting too. I hope that if we have another interview in, let's say, a year, we will be able to talk about how those plans actually worked out and how much you and the players like them!
Thanks for the interview!
Thanks for the opportunity guys!
Disclaimer: the articles on this website solely represent my personal views, opinion, ideas, etc., and although they might be similar in nature, concept or vision, they do not, under any circumstances represent the views or opinion of Riot Games, Just Another, Managerzone, or any other person, firm, or entity. Click here for more info.