You've been with us for months, maybe even years, and we suddenly disappeared back in February. I mean it too - gone. No word whatsoever. Neat trick? Not really.
Let Me Tell You A Story
Low Elo started back in 2012 as a frustrated little collaboration between myself and Dave. It was never really meant to turn into anything and I think we both assumed we'd be done with it after only a few episodes with some fun memories shared with our audience of 10 people, friends and family included. That didn't happen. Not only that, it didn't happen in a big way.
Thousands of you tuned in. You tuned in, followed us on twitter and sent us your emails. All of the attention was a little overwhelming at first but we realized that our frustrated little collaboration was something that the community really needed. In before big player behavior initiatives and 3 million view youtube videos about teamwork, Low Elo made people feel good about their decision to not be an asshole. That was our thing.
From there we brought what little educational value we could to our audience but between support reports, OPness champion analysis and telling people to ward we knew that what people really seemed to respond to was our ongoing message to be excellent to one another. It made sense - that's what we were good at and nobody else has really set out to replicate that even to this day.
Just as rapidly as Low Elo gained listeners, it also changed our lives.
Within months we were answering emails for hours each day, tapped into all of the news back channels, constantly evaluating our search engine optimization and looking for ways to give listeners more of what they wanted. Low Elo became a full time job for both of us in a lot of ways except for one - it didn't pay.
That's not to say we didn't have opportunities to make it pay. Not a week goes by that we don't get a new sponsor knocking on our door but we were very protective of our community and our names. We turned down almost everyone because they didn't bring anything to our community or we couldn't endorse their products. In the end, only Audible and Harry's ever really made sense to us and Harry's only because we loved making beard jokes!
The good news was that Low Elo also opened up opportunities for Dave and I. We both got recognized and opportunities to explore our capabilities started to come forth. Low Elo became our bootstraps by which we pulled ourselves up and out of our typical routine.
Dave went to work for a small mobile games outfit called Sneaky Games after the CEO reached out to him on email. I left my job in telecom to join the games industry - a life long dream - as a Social Media manager for NVIDIA. These moves made perfect sense to us and as extensions of Low Elo they represented the payoff for our hard work.
As time went on, we both became more involved in the real world. Dave got the opportunity to go back to school and it turned out I was pretty alright at this social media stuff but as we grew personally we were forced to make decisions between Low Elo and our personal development.
More and more, as time went on in 2014, we began to prioritized our personal development over Low Elo. That's what led us to where we are today.
Our voices have been heard for millions of combined hours of listening. We've received email from nearly 300k unique addresses. We've each received at least one marriage proposal and I'm happy to report that the only one who has ever received a death threat was me (6 of them, actually).
We LOVE Low Elo. We owe so much to you and our lives have been forever changed by the time spent serving our listeners. Along the way we've forged life long bonds of friendship with many of you and certainly with our many hosts: Christian, Rin, Darkske, Erik, Gankenstein, Stretch.
Fast forward to today and Dave is (very) hard at work pursuing his dreams in academia and looking after his son and while there's so much more that he's working on this is all I can speak to right now.
On my end, it's regular for me to be working 70-100 hours a week at NVIDIA with no time for vacations. I've been hard at work in the world of social media where I've published a few papers, done some speaking and really worked hard to try and change the way big businesses look at online communities.
Between Dave and I, there was just no way to do it all... and Low Elo was the thing we could both afford to set aside.
What's Next For Low Elo?
Dave and I are looking for a way to extend Low Elo.
This might take the form of new hosts and a production team - we're not sure. It's hard to find responsible people in it for the long haul that also have talent and an understanding of what Low Elo stands for. We're also a bit reluctant to let go of this thing we've put so much time into creating but we do want to see it live.
Low Elo is the biggest League of Legends podcast in the world and it deserves to live.
As I write this it is my last day at NVIDIA. I'm leaving the company for a new opportunity in the video games industry which I'll update everyone on soon but that opportunity is born of a relationship that started with my work on the podcast. If that results in more free time to give to Low Elo, you may have me have me back once I've settled in.
Dave and I have talked lightly about putting efforts into FFHR - being able to talk more broadly would reduce the amount of time we put into research. Erik is still our right hand man and he's basically down to make it happen. The most likely future for podcasting with Dave and I, though, is rebranding Low Elo to a broad subject or moving our efforts to FFHR.
We're not saying goodbye. We're saying we'll see you later. Heroes live forever. Legends never die.