Take “Without Ad-Block, Caster +1″

Dennis Gehlen

Hey Dennis, how are things going?

Things are going pretty well lately, at least when we talk about eSports and me! I had a hip surgery and I am still in recovery but everything should be fine soon.

Yesterday you released information about the 3rd TeamStory Cup. Could you tell us a little bit more about it?

Yeah, actually we are happy to announce that we have a third edition of our Acer TeamStoryCup powered by Intel and we will once again run a full season with an offline finale. Around mid of March we will start with the qualifiers and afterwards with the season itself. Same prize money and same system. We will have a few changes but nothing toooo big!

Talking about sponsors: You’ve managed to acquire Acer, Intel, ROCCAT and NEEDForSEAT for this league. Tell us a little bit about their eSport engagement and how they support you.

Our sponsors for the team league beside Acer/Intel and NEEDforSEAT are not 100% sure. We are still talking to two more and we hope to find some cool solutions. But talking about our sponsors, they are helping us with actually having this league running which is not a cheap thing to do when you have a look at the prize money, travel expenses and our own work we have to do. Besides that, they always offer great stuff to raffle away to promote our streams and give something back to the community which is also great for us being the hosts of the tournament.

In a recent streaming marathon of yours, you spoke about ad-block and how it hurts you. “Don’t crush the house!” If every one of your viewers would disable it, could you live a comfortable life and move to Bali?

If everyone would actually turn off ad-block we would have the chance to hire at least 1 more guy, working fulltime for TaKeTV. Might be a caster and we could do even more shows and other games. That would be great! Actually, I don’t want to move away from Germany and Krefeld, where I was born, right now because I love the area where I live and I feel great working from here. I still have the chance to see my family and friends who also helped me so much developing TaKeTV!

You’ve been doing this for quite some time now; streaming and casting. From the early stages, where viewers could see part of your kitchen, to the now beloved leather couch… What has changed the most?

Hmmm…..what changed the most? I am actually not 100% sure about it but everything became a little bigger and sometimes also more professional, which can be pretty awesome but also a little lame from time to time. Back then we had strippers and so on and everyone loved the idea! Nowadays you have to be afraid that someone says you are totally unprofessional and I shouldn’t do that. I have more people helping me at work and I can focus on the most important stuff which is just awesome. This is what changed a lot.

“If every gamer who watches Starcraft 2 would donate 1 Euro a month, Starcraft 2 as an eSport could sustain itself.” – You said to your Co-Caster Naruto. Could you elaborate on that a little bit more?

That was more or less a little joke from my side but yes, if most people would donate it would work. Many internet users  think that everything is for free and take it for granted. They don’t see the costs behind a product like TaKeTV and other streamers/tournaments. I guess it’s not a secret that a lot of people enjoy watching what we and other streamers do. For how much time we invest, our income is not that big. I have to admit though that I have a pretty cool life and I have no money problems but at the same time I work 7 days straight and between 10-14 hours a day and didn’t take  a day off since the 2nd of January. I love doing this and I honestly have a passion for it and I want to push eSports as much as possible.

It’s not even the money, it’s just the time you don’t have if you want to be successful in eSports. Only a few can actually do what TaKeTV does besides the big companies in eSport. At least from my perspective.

Imagine TakeTV without sponsors. Do you think the community would be able to sustain your business through subscriptions, donations and no-ad-block? What needs to be done to be less dependent on sponsor money?

Let’s be honest! I have a lot of cool sponsors who help us so much but if we could run the promotions like we see fit, without having to accept deals like “You have to promote us xx times.” it would make life easier. Don’t get me wrong, I have to run and sustain a business. I am not complaining. Again I am very grateful for the support I am getting from various companies. A scenario without sponsors: For this to happen we need tons of subscriber (TakeTV Ultras!) and no adblock for most of the people and even then it’s pretty expensive and I am not sure if it’s possible. I like the idea and if this ever would work I would love it!
But sometimes you need to find a good middle way to make everyone as happy as possible!

What/Who are the “TakeTV Ultras”?

Who are the TaKeTV Ultras? We are the hardcore TaKeTV fans who love what we do and all of us have the passion to let eSports grow and enjoy our time by watching eSports and TaKeTV and bring it to the next level. Let’s see where it goes but I think it has a great future with all the TaKeTV Ultras who are supporting TaKeTV already (subscriber on twitch.tv/TaKeTV but also donations or no ad-block).

[* TakeTV Ultras are the most dedicated,  hardcore fans who support the show through the twitch subscriptions and donations.]

Last question: Bill Gates contacts you and wants to give you 1 million Euro to push TakeTV to the next level. He doesn’t want a return. What would you do with that money?

That’s actually a tough question and I am not sure what I would do. Host an awesome tournament with tons of people watching it offline, in a big venue, that would be sick! A show on a next level, no breaks, just content with a lot of fun and stupid stuff. Just my first idea! I think I could have many more ideas. Oh and the event should take place during the summer!

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