Interview with Mark “Krimson” Senior, Head of Esports for Acend
Yoann: Hey, hello everyone! Today I’m with Krimson, head of esports for Acend!
How are you, and how would you introduce yourself?
Krimson: I’m doing really good, thanks for having me! I’m Mark, also known as Krimson, and I’ve been the head of esports for Acend since we started, for a couple of years now!
Yoann: Great! When and how did you get into esports?
Krimson: Officially, I started as a coach and a fan of PUBG. I started watching esports like League of Legends and Overwatch. But I started working in PUBG, as a coach, I went from team to team until I found Raise Your Edge, which was the previous team Acend’s owner used to run. From there, I went to managing instead of coaching, and when we rebranded the team for Valorant, I moved into my current position!
Yoann: That’s cool! What's your role as the head of esports for Acend?
Krimson: I mostly look after our teams! I’m involved in building, organizing the teams, boot camp, travel, scouting new games we could compete in, and just making sure all of our teams are in a good position to perform!
Yoann: In which games is Acend competing?
Krimson: Right now we’re probably at our lowest number of titles we are competing in, with Valorant and PUBG, we’ve been in and out of various titles looking for opportunities, and games where we could make an impact. It’s quite difficult with the way the developers support certain esports.
Going into 2024, we’re just looking at different options, and potentially new things coming soon!
Yoann: That’s great! How amazing was it to win Champions in your first year?
Krimson: Yeah, it was crazy! None of us expected it at the start, but as we got through the year, we started to think it was a possibility! We felt that we had a very strong team, but I don’t think any of us really thought we would be aiming to win the whole thing in the first year!
I think being an underdog really helped, it was amazing!
Yoann: Awesome! What are you currently focused on with Acend?
Krimson: Some of it is still secret, so I can’t say straight away, but obviously, on the Valorant side of things, Ascension is the goal, as it was last year but we fell a bit short.
For the next season, we’ve been able to rebuild the team to the point where we, once again, feel like we have the best shot we can get for Ascension and get back into the franchise league.
Yoann: How's the atmosphere behind the scenes working for an esports org?
Krimson: At Acend it’s been great! We have a relatively small team, and a lot of us have been the core since the org was founded, so we have a very close relationship, communication is great, and it’s a really nice place to work with a bunch of people who all want the same thing!
Yoann: Let’s now move on to the quick questions part, I’ll ask you ten quick questions, and you'll have to answer as fast as possible, ready?
Yoann: Phantom or Vandal?
Yoann: What's your favorite map?
Yoann: What's your favorite agent?
Yoann: Nice! What's your favorite skin collection?
Krimson: The Champions bundle from 2021 obviously!
Yoann: What's your best memory with Acend?
Krimson: Winning Champions of course!
Yoann: Who are your favorite players of all time?
Krimson: Peak cNed was my favorite player to watch when he was popping off!
Yoann: For sure! Can you name the eight teams that won an international event?
Krimson: Obviously, us, Fnatic… The answer is no, I can’t! I can remember of Loud, Gambit…
Yoann: You also have Sentinels, Optic, FPX, and EG! How often do you play Valorant?
Krimson: Not at all at the moment, I used to play a lot when it was released, but I just don’t have time to play anymore.
Yoann: Yeah I understand. What kind of music do you listen to while working?
Krimson: My music interest is all over the place! I listen to Folk, Indie, even Blue Grass, and this kind of Country music. But I also listen to EDM, and a lot of Drum & Bass too!
Yoann: Can you quote a voice line from your favorite agent, Cypher?
Krimson: “Give me a corpse” That’s a classic!
Yoann: Haha amazing! Let’s get back to the standard questions.
What are your hobbies or passions aside from gaming?
Krimson: Music is a big thing for me, I play the guitar, the banjo, the mandolin, the violin, the trumpet, the saxophone, and the keyboard a little bit! I just like to try new things out!
Dungeons and Dragons is also taking most of my time outside of gaming! Those are my two things I think!
Yoann: Wow that’s so cool!
What would you change to Valorant if you were a developer?
Krimson: I’d like to see them fix Deadlock, I think it’s a shame to have an agent that ends up not getting played. I like some of her kit, I’d like to see them make her more useful!
Yoann: What are your short and long-term ambitions with Acend?
Krimson: When we started Acend, we really wanted to achieve, just focus on winning. Because there are some orgs that are focused on other things, which is fine, but for us, the number one thing was to get titles, to produce teams that could really perform at the top level, I think we’ve done pretty well at that so far!
For the long term, it’s getting into the Tier 1 esports, that allows us to showcase our ability to do that at the top level.
The second thing is to add more transparency to esports in general. I personally have been on the bad side of a number of orgs in the past, we need people in esports who respect the players, and have a really good working relationship with them and a great reputation. That’s something we really try to focus on.
Yoann: What advice would you give to someone aspiring to work in esports?
Krimson: The meme is “Don’t work in esports”! But you can do it, it’s definitively hard work! I don’t like the fact that it’s assumed that you have to do a lot of volunteering work to get into it and get some experience, because you often end up getting exploited. We really try to offer positions where we can pay salaries.
Outside of that, the number one thing is networking, just being a nice person to speak with, a helpful person, someone who’s answering DMs, you never know if there will be an opportunity in the future that opens up because of that!
Yoann: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Krimson: Thanks for having me!
Yoann: Thank you so much for your time, and I wish you the best for 2024!
Krimson: Thank you!
Twitter (X): @KrimsonAer