Meet Eliot - Community Manager
Just to start off, you mind letting everyone know a bit about your role at Relic?
Sure, so I’m one of the Community Managers for Age of Empires IV. In the day-to-day, what that means is working to act as the voice of the community for our dev team, and vice-versa. I get to work closely with the team here, and with Microsoft, to create content, do streams, and make sure the community’s voice is heard in these critical early stages of development.
You came here from the sports industry, what was that like?
I was a Digital Marketer and Event Manager for the CFL team here in Vancouver, the BC Lions. So that let me manage a lot of the game day operations, special events, fan meet-ups, as well as their email and social media marketing. Things like that.
Why the switch from sports to video games?
Well, video games and sports are two of my biggest passions, so the video game industry was something I was incredibly excited to move towards. And as funny as it sounds, sports fans and game fans are quite similar, in that they’re both incredibly passionate fan bases that love their franchises, whether that be a team or a specific game. I also used to be pretty into a couple MOBAs, so the eSports scene is something I know quite well, and there are obvious parallels there. The energy you see from both fans and players in situations like that are very similar.
Other than sports and games, I know you’re a big foodie. Let’s hear some of your favorite spots in Vancouver.
Oh man, that’s tough. One of the greatest things about Vancouver is it’s so multicultural, you can find incredible examples of almost any cuisine. We’re very lucky here. Marutama Ra-men is always one of my go-to spots. Kissa Tanto has some incredible Italian-Asian fusion. I’ve been meaning to try out St. Lawrence, a new spot focusing on classic French with Quebecois inspired cuisine.
If someone is visiting Vancouver, what’s one place they need to eat?
It’s cliché, but probably sushi. We’re lucky to have some of the best in the world here, so you kind of have to. One of my favourites is Kishimoto on Commercial Drive. There’s usually a bit of a wait, but if you want great quality at a decent price, it’s definitely worth it. But really, like I said, one of the best things about this city is how multicultural it is. So if sushi isn’t your thing, there’s almost certainly incredible examples of wherever feels like home to you.
A perhaps lesser known passion of yours is Magic: The Gathering. How long has that been part of your life?
When I was growing up, me and my friends were always either biking around, playing video games, or playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game. I was into Pokémon the video game, but the TCG was what really got me into that whole hobby. Then as I got a bit older, myself and one of my closest friends were introduced to Magic by his brother. That was around 2001, during the Odyssey expansion. We played here and there throughout high school, then that fell off after I went away for university. But when I moved back to Vancouver, we reconnected and started to pick it up again. I currently play mostly Commander, and a bit of Modern as well.
Yourself and Drew, another big Magic: The Gathering fan here at Relic, have joined forces for staff tournaments that have become super popular!
Drew I think was the one who started that, well before I was at Relic, doing staff tournaments with every new set. He has since had a couple kids, so he doesn’t have as much free time to handle that all by himself, so as someone who loves planning events I was more than happy to help. It’s been really great, people from all around the office on all different teams, whether they have played before or not, they get super into it.
Right now we’re doing a 3v3 team sealed deck tournament where we put together a new, intermediate, and experienced player on a team. They’ll work together to build three 40-card decks, then play against someone of similar skill level in a best of three match. A big goal for us doing these tournaments is to get to know Relicans that you might not know super well, and meet some new friendly faces, so this format is great for that.
What are some pointers for anyone looking to get into a Community role in video games?
I think a big thing is just being willing, and excited, to put yourself out there. You have to be an advocate not just for the dev team, but also for the community – all the fans that are so passionate. Being someone who isn’t just a strong communicator, but wants to be the voice of the fans just as much as of the game, is super important.