On the older end of Millennials, we still can’t remember a time before having the internet. Our earliest memories, like many reading this, are of NES ZELDA, Mario, FFI, Sonic and more. As we grew, so did our games. By 10 we were competing with Starcraft, running Baal all night in Diablo 2 and battling Orcs in the original Warcrafts.
Around the age of 12 our lives changed forever when John moved from New Jersey to Florida and met Seth at a church summer camp. The first day of 7th grade the two new friends found ourselves with mostly the same schedule. Our friendship strengthened and games were played. Around that time Halo was released and we began hosting games (before xbox live) and competing in LAN events across Florida. Competitive Halo became our obsession and would set the tone for many years to come.
Flash forward nearly 20 years later and we’re still going strong. Our gaming obsession covers as far as WOW, DoTA, LoL, CoD, Overwatch, Rocket League, PUBG, Destiny, Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, Fallout, Battlefield, Gears of War, and so much more. After graduating from USF and Clemson, it was time to build our own futures. Never being interested in a corporate work environment or wanting to stop playing games, we set out on our own and began building gaming companies.
In 2011, thanks to an extended addiction to World of Warcraft and the competitive arena, we became well known in the community. Lots of people would ask for advice on how to do better in their own games and an idea was born. After a few weeks of research, recording, and building, a World of Warcraft PVP tutorial and esports training service called NextLevelPVP was open for business. With this company we learned how to create a gaming education organization that enhanced the game for many individuals while helping grow competitive esports. It helped employ gamers, streamers, teams, and helped gamers game. With the sponsorship of our first esports team the fire was lit and we never looked back.
In 2013, we bootstrapped our second successful company, Apex Hosting. Through hard work and a little luck we partnered with the juggernaut in Modpack creation, TechnicPack, and became one of the largest and most recognized hosting companies in Minecraft. Over the next 5 years Apex became an international game server hosting company employing a dozen people and helping more than 50k gamers across 70 countries play Minecraft with their friends. Our focus on free services for libraries and schools helped progress our core values in gaming while the continued sponsorship of Youtubers and Modpack creators brought us deeper into the community. Our worlds first annual Minecraft Scholarship helped gamers game while focusing again on education and reinforcing our core values.
Then in 2015, after years of working and gaming online, a huge pain point became back pain. Ergonomic gaming chairs existed, but the consensus in competitive gaming and streams was that the products on the market are either poor quality, or way too expensive. Sensing a familiar feeling of opportunity, we began researching and after a year of testing, prototypes, and planning, we were satisfied with our first seat. In the Fall of 2015, we began manufacturing and launched OPSEAT with the goal of becoming an esports-centric brand offering the highest quality gaming furniture and accessories at a reasonable price. We continue to return a large percentage of our revenue back to streamers, esports professionals, content creators, and most importantly…we keep gaming with heart.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. We hope that you choose to join us on this journey as we grow with the esports industry into a company we can all be proud of.