Interview with Harrison "Hariboe", VCT EMEA Technical Coordinator & Observer
Yoann: Hey, hello everyone! Today, I'm with Hariboe, Valorant technical coordinator and observer!
Hariboe: Hey! My name is Harrison, but most people call me Harri or Hariboe. I’m 22, and I'm one of the very few people in the world who's managed to graduate with an esports degree. Now, I've ended up freelancing across the esports world!
Yoann: That’s nice! When and how did you get into esports?
Hariboe: I first knew about it in like 2015 when Rocket League came out and they announced the whole esports scene. As for working, the UK scene has NUEL, which is National University Eports League, which is one of two major ones.
In late 2019, start 2020 I started observing Overwatch, when that was popular and that was basically how I got into the whole broadcast side!
Yoann: Great. What is your role today on the Valorant EMEA broadcast?
Hariboe: I would say I organize everything, any assets that are requested by talent or even the production people. I make sure we get organized on our sheets. Then our editors know what to do and have all the data they need, and then I make sure they get made in time for the broadcast!
Yoann: You also did some observing last year. What can you tell us about it?
Hariboe: Yeah, so last year was probably my biggest year in terms of esports work in total.
I managed to tick off three things on my bucket list I wanted to do. I did VCT EMEA in February, I did LCQ in August, and then I did Home Ground in Manchester which was my first and only actual international esports event.
That was the best event I did last year.
Yoann: Great! What was your first Valorant job?
Hariboe: It was definitely observing. I think my first ever Valorant job was when Team Liquid had a community proving ground during the beta.
Some of the pros definitely played in it. I think that was my first observing position in Valorant!
Yoann: How did you end up as the technical coordinator of the VCT EMEA?
Hariboe: The script writer who's called Seroph (Kim), was sort of overwhelmed with all these requests, he had lot to do.
So after week five, he was able to bring me on and I basically make sure he stays very organized.
Yoann: So basically you are talking to the host and the people like working on the stage to get the timings right.
Hariboe: Yeah, well, I have to converse with them so when our graphics or videos get edited, I make sure this is what we want. Then we'll just send it.
Yoann: Do you need to be on stage or can you work remotely?
Hariboe: I work remotely right now, but when I was there in Berlin for the playoffs, it helped a ton!
Being in-person every morning, we would go to Kim's house because he lives in Berlin. We would work for like 4 hours on his dining room table and then we would go to the studio and work there. That was class!
Yoann: That’s so cool! Do you need specific studies to work as a technical director?
Hariboe: I don't think so, but I sort of just got dropped into it, so I can't really say if you do, but just be organized, that’s the most important!
Yoann: How is the atmosphere behind the scenes?
Hariboe: The biggest part to understand is that Kim is from New Zealand, and they're all really kind. That man is the constant hype man. He's always gassing you up. He's always like, “Yo, bro, put it here!”. And I'm like, Yep, didn't do anything, but I appreciate this!
Yoann: From everyone I interviewed working for the VCT EMEA, they all told me that the atmosphere working there was amazing!
Hariboe: Yeah, it is great!
Yoann: You are also a podcast producer and technician, what project are you working on right now?
Hariboe: So the podcast I work on is called “Beyond the Game”. It's with a friend called Gregan and he works on Rocket League esports. He's an Ex-World champ coach who used to coach Vitality. And so I basically do all the technical stuff that he doesn’t really know how to do.
Yoann: That’s great! Let's now move on to the quick questions. I will ask you ten quick questions and you’ll have to answer as fast as possible. Ready?
Hariboe: Yeah, I'm ready. Let's go!
Yoann: Phantom or Vandal?
Yoann: What's your favourite map?
Yoann: Who's your favorite agent?
Yoann: Nice! Do you prefer getting your clutch or an ace?
Hariboe: Getting a clutch!
Yoann: What's your favorite skin collection?
Hariboe: The new Arcade one is amazing!
Yoann: Who is your favorite Valorant Team?
Hariboe: Fnatic right now!
Yoann: Can you name the seven teams that won an international event?
Hariboe: Sentinels, Fnatic, FPX, Loud… Oh my God. Who's won an international event?
Yoann: One is from NA, they won Masters Reykjavik in 2022… Optic!
Hariboe: Oh, my God, yeah! And then it was Gambit.
Yoann: The last team won Champions 2021…
Hariboe: Oh, Acend!
Yoann: Yes! How often are you traveling for your job?
Hariboe: At the moment, I'm not, it depends. I went to Edinburgh last month for a Fortnite event.
Yoann: That’s cool! Can you quote a voice line from Sova?
Hariboe: “Shock Dart!”
Yoann: Haha everyone knows this one!
What's the best clutch or play you ever witnessed or observed in a tournament?
Hariboe: It has to be Leo’s 1v5 clutch against NAVI. (link to the play)
Yoann: Yeah, that was incredible!
Let's now get back to the standard questions.
What's your preparation routine before an official broadcast?
Hariboe: Wake up at 7 to 8 a.m. Look at the request sheets, put all the requests in the many documents we have.
Find the data like statistics, if they need it. Let our editors know the requests have been put in the documents, wait for them to edit it. Converse with the talents if we need to check it with them, and send it!
Yoann: Great! What are your hobbies or passions aside from gaming?
Hariboe: Keeping fit right now, I love watching videos of technical stuff, vehicles, city skylines intersections, public transport… I love museums, and films in general!
Yoann: If you were a Valorant developer right now, what would you change or add to the game?
Hariboe: I would add a replay system! I’ve been waiting for that for years. Man, where is it? We need it!
Yoann: For sure, I hope it will come soon! What advice would you give to someone trying to work full-time in esports?
Hariboe: It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and passion, and just got to push through the hard times.
But eventually, something will pop up, and just go for it!
Yoann: Awesome! What are your short and long-term ambitions on Valorant?
Hariboe: I'd love to have a more cemented role in the broadcast crew where I'm needed year-round, perhaps an assistant producer or something like that with the international crew would be amazing!
Yoann: Thank you for your time, I wish you the best in the future!
Hariboe: Thank you for the interview!