Monday, January 26, 2015

One Small Step For The Empire; One Giant Leap For Jamaica!

Representing Jamaica worldwide, the son of Tony Johnson and Melody Frazer continues to push the envelope for eSports in Jamaica. Bringing his experience from the trenches of the eSports industry from abroad, TriForce Johnson has made some aggressive moves at the start of the year to make sure that eSports continues to improve in Jamaica.

This morning, January 26, 2015 TriForce was a guest on the RJR 94’s “Guest Room”. Paula Anne Porter and Alan Magnus interviewed him in regards to his past growing up as a gamer, to what he’s doing now with Empire Arcadia and his most recently contracted position at Cyberbox as their eSports Ambassador for the LAN Centre at Halfway Tree in Kingston Jamaica. Have a listen to the recording or watch the playback (RJR Link: or via Cyberbox YouTube Channel below.

Let’s find out more about some of the topics TriForce covered while he was on the show today.

Q. Welcome back to Jamaica TriForce. You left in September of 2014 and now you’re back in January 2015, what brings you back to Jamaica?

A. The food and the air. *laughs* Seriously speaking, Cyberbox is the real reason I’m back in Jamaica. I spoke with the Director of the company and we engaged in some serious talks about eSports and some of the initiatives he had in mind. I like his aggressive approach and he likes some of the things I’ve done in eSports. He then offered me a contracted position as Cyberbox’s eSports Ambassador to help him launch his eSports League.

The position comes with sponsorship and all of the trimmings. I honestly was pretty shocked in a sense. I discussed with him what is it that he wants to do and he said that he wants to provide the resources to the Jamaica’s gaming community so that it can be respected as a legitimate eSports scene. There were a lot of things that we see eye to eye on in terms of being aggressive in this endeavor and taking the necessary risks to make things happen. So my job now is to use my 13 year experience in the gaming industry and the accolades of my teams brand to position Cyberbox as the authority in eSports for Jamaica.

Q. As Cyberbox’s eSports Ambassador can you give some examples of how you plan to accomplish that goal?

A. Well honestly, Cyberbox gives me a distinct advantage. Of all the partnerships I’ve had recently, we’ve had to work from the rock bottom, up. That is one of the most difficult things to do and the success rate isn’t high. With Cyberbox’s resources such as their LAN center, vision and flexibility; it really makes my job a bit easier to perform. I’m able to onboard international sponsors such as Noscope because of the flexibility of the Cyberbox Executive team.

Cyberbox provides real measurable opportunities through their venue. It enables us to set up direct sales for sponsored products and services. From mobile phone cards and top up’s to video games and video game accessories. Their desire to uniform teams and create a professional environment for competitive gaming is what every eSports scene throughout the Caribbean should aspire to. These elements gives me the ammunition to approach potential sponsors with real opportunities to expand on the eSports initiative here in Jamaica. When I look at companies like PUMA, LIME, Wisynco, Inctomex and more, I can see the real integration of their sponsorship opportunities with the Cyberbox eSports League.

Before that it was tough because we had to put together community based resources along with the Empire Arcadia team brand and even with that, honestly it isn’t enough at times. This would put me in the position to put out 120% more effort than what was fairly needed to complete the required job of our sponsors. Thank goodness I had the help of some professionals who are passionate about eSports in Jamaica like Wayne Benjamin of the Lab Video Game TV. His work ethic is to be admired and was key to setting up the early landscape for eSports in Jamaica last year, that we work with now.

Q. ePro, eLearning and eSports; three things I heard you mention on the radio broadcast. Embellish on those three elements for us?

A. Technology is the future. It has always been the future. When you look at society from a global point of view, everything that we do from banking to mailing, to learning, sports, music, etc… all has been evolved by technology. The use of the lower case letter “e” before any of these words signifies “electronic”. Thus for Banking then, it’s now eBanking today. For Mail then you have eMail. The same goes for Sports in the traditional sense we call electronic competition eSports today.

For Cyberbox however it is more than just eSports. Cyberbox has a responsibility to Jamaica to provide more than just entertainment through technology. Jamaica needs the development tools to empower people today and our children tomorrow so that Jamaica can have a brighter future.  LIME’s CEO Garry Sinclair embraces this very same concept and has helped turn around the LIME brand. It is that visionary persona that attracts us to LIME as we have similar outlooks on what technology can do for Jamaica as a whole.

One of the key projects that Cyberbox is working on is its eLearning initiatives. We are very excited about this because we are working on a unique formula to combine the competitive aspect of eSports with the ability to learn. This would make learning not only fun but competitive. Something that would drive our children to learn more. In the United States and various countries around the world, there are scholarships that comes from games. MLG (Major League Gaming) has done it and so has EVO to name a few. That is needed here in Jamaica, tremendously and Cyberbox is the working on making that happen, this YEAR!

Q. You mention that Saturday January 31st, 2015 that Cyberbox would be launching its “Cyberbox eSports League Open”, what can we expect from the league’s launch?

A. The Cyberbox eSports League Open is the first of many events that Cyberbox will be hosting throughout the year. The open will feature FIFA 2015, League of Legends and Candy Crush. Now I know some of you may be thinking “Candy Crush?” Yes, Candy Crush. This game is one of the most played puzzle games in the world and is a gate way game. The problem people see in it is that usually played on a phone. This should not be a problem as Pokemon is played on a Handheld and the Pokemon World Championships has thousands of competitors.

This game gives ladies yet another path to enter competitive gaming despite not being exclusive to their gender. I know some ladies that would destroy guys at Candy Crush and it’s a simple game. Especially older ladies like mothers etc. The real issue is that the game needs an opportunity and we want to give it that opportunity. With the right partner and sponsor, Cyberbox envisions a wonderful experience that may not be matched by any other game in Jamaica outside of FIFA. Our idea sponsor and or partner would be LIME. We’re working on finalizing an agreement with them to continue the eSports Integration initiative that I started with them late last year.

Going back to our main game FIFA, well that game speaks for itself. It’s FIFA and this is the #1 played console game in Jamaica. After the Cyberbox Open then it will host the Cross Country Tour and the All-Star Finals, then the actual Cyberbox eSports League Season starts and we’ll introduce other games like Dota2, Halo 2, Call of Duty AW, Super Smash Wii U, and more.

Q. Controversial question here. You stated that you’ve worked with Digicel and LIME in developing eSports for Jamaica in 2014 but you said that you prefer to work with LIME because you like the way they do business along with their involvement regarding the Youth which caters more to your style. Please go into depth with us why you choose LIME?

A. The first thing I want to do is express the professional pleasure I had completing the work we did with Digicel regarding the eSport DigiCup Championship back in July 2014. If not for that first footprint we would not have gotten this far in Jamaica regarding eSports. I learned a lot working with a corporate giant like Digicel which prepared me to create my next eSports project with LIME.

My preference to LIME has nothing to do with either of their services, it’s literately Garry Sinclair. He is a leader that walks among the people he leads. The man comes on LIVE STREAM to answer questions from his consumers. He provides information to the people about the direction of LIME and its services. He reminds me of a much more mature and experienced version of myself. His work ethic is without question. He has a continued interested in technology and entertainment and we need that from a corporate giant like LIME if we are going to do eSports right in Jamaica. No one person or entity can do this. This is not to say we can’t have a leader but we need all hands on deck to make this work. Cyberbox has the resources, experience, innovation and vision to lead as the authority in eSports for Jamaica but that alone is not enough. We still need powerful partners and significant sponsorship to make this a successful venture.

Q. The Cyberbox eSports Cross Country Tour. What is that and when does that happen?

A. The Cyberbox eSports Cross Country Tour is a 7 week tour that starts out of the Cyberbox venue here in Kingston and passes through every region in Jamaica. Here is the schedule:
Sports Day – Saturday, Jan 31 (Pre event: Cyberbox Springs Plaza, Kingston)
Sports Day – Saturday, Feb 7 (Event 1: Jesse Ripoll Primary, Kingston)
Sports Day – Saturday, Feb 14 (Port Antonio High, Portland)
Sports Day – Saturday, Feb 21 ( Manchester High, Mandeville)
Sports Day – Saturday, Feb 28 (Godfrey Stewart High, Sav-la-mar)
Sports Day – Saturday, March 7 (Dinthill High, Linstead)
Sports Day – Saturday, March 14 (All-Star eSports Finals: Cyberbox Springs Plaza, Kingston)

Cyberbox will be hosting a FIFA tournament, Candy Crush Tournament and a Tetris Ultimate Celebrity Challenge for 6 weeks which will end in Cyberbox for the All-Stars Finals for the championships. It will be the first eSports Cross Country Tour in the Caribbean ever. In fact the last Cross Country Tour eve hosted was Walter Day who is the Founder of eSports itself and that was back in 1983.

This tour will effectively spread eSports throughout the entire country and lay down the strongest foundation for eSports in Jamaica and possibly throughout the Caribbean. It is this type of aggressive campaign that we need to show others just how serious Jamaica is when it comes to eSports. With the full coverage provided by the RJR Communications group with Radio and TV; from TVJ, JNN, RETV and TVJ Sports Network, this will be the most comprehensive coverage for eSports in Jamaica and most certainly throughout the Caribbean. What better way for Jamaica to open up with eSports in 2015 than this.

Q. What’s your trade secret in getting sponsors on board for these eSports projects that you do in the different countries that you visit?

A. Honestly, there is no trade secret. My experience, passion and persistence is what gets the job done. It doesn’t always work. Some people are just too short sighted to see down the road. Let me tell you a story. In the United States, I engaged a sponsor for a digital eyewear product called Noscope and they decided to give our brand team a chance. I told them straight up what our team was about, what we’ve done and what we plan to do for them with Empire Arcadia’s global eSports initiative starting with the United States, to the Caribbean, then out to Africa and back.

They were skeptical but fair. Then we got some disbelievers telling Noscope that it was the worst decision that they’ve ever made sponsoring our brand team. With the integrity that Noscope has, they decided to let us show and prove. They were not interested in word of mouth. We are #5 out of 10,000 + accounts that they have. They are glad to have us and we are glad to have them as a true sponsorship. The integrity they showed us by standing by what work we do and not the fear of those who may influence others to not give us a chance is so much appreciated.

The same thing happen with Cyberbox and we found it funny. In my 1 week of work we have covered so much terrain and created so much ground breaking opportunities for Jamaica to effectively and significantly quadruple the eSports progress in just the first quarter alone in 2015. For me and Empire Arcadia, I’ve recently learned that it’s not how many partnerships and sponsors that you have on board but the integrity of your partners and sponsors who stand by the work you do for them.  At the end of the day this is business right? So what matters most is not what people say but the grade of the work you do that satisfy the people and your sponsors and partners.

Q. What can we expect from you in the immediate future?

A. I’m working with Cyberbox right now to lay down some real bedrock as a foundation for eSports in Jamaica and when I’m satisfied with that work, then my next move is to Africa where I can join my partner from Nex Gen who is working on similar initiatives to help develop the final frontier for eSports in Africa. My partner Nathan in Africa is working on a “Rally” game which we are in talks with having a Beta Tournament for the game here at Cyberbox. This would be to support the completion of the game’s development. Don’t be surprised if Cyberbox pops up in Africa in the future.

Right now, I just want to focus on the plans that we have for Jamaica and that is to onboard and integrate the potential sponsors that we are engaging with such as LIME and other sponsors that we can’t mention right now. You’ll hear more from Cyberbox before we even reach the middle of this week. First I want to thank you for the platform again Zalgo, it’s great to be back in Jamaica. I want to thank my sponsors NoScope Glasses, Cyberbox and DigiGear Pro. I want to also thank our supporters LIME, RJR Group, Guinness World Record, The Lab Video Game TV and all the remaining members in Empire Arcadia who understand the goal and the vision. Excelsior!

Thanks For Stopping By