Matt Choi - Pocket Gems blog

Mobile Heroes

Matt Choi by Matt Choi | August 3, 2020

Once a professional gamer competing in Starcraft II and League of Legends tournaments, Matt Choi turned his passion for gaming into a career in mobile marketing. Matt is currently part of the performance marketing team at Pocket Gems, focusing on user acquisition and retargeting for the mobile game Episode

Learn more about Mobile Hero Matt on his profile

Let’s get something out of the way right up front. I love playing games. A lot. My passion for gaming started like most people in my generation, by buying and playing the latest games, religiously. And like others before me, I got quite good and aspired to become a professional gamer. Getting paid to play video games sounds like a dream come true, right? It did to me. And as grassroots organizations laid down the path for competitive gaming to flourish, pursuing a career in eSports became less of a pipe dream and more of a reality. 

I started with Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty during the beta, and quickly hit Rank 1 on the North American server within a year of playing. After a few successful local tournaments but failing to advance far in South Korea’s acclaimed GSL Code A, I transitioned my gameplay to League of Legends where I played competitively on Challenger and collegiate teams. Now that was some serious competition.

I have since left my professional eSports career and brought my love of gaming into marketing gaming apps at Pocket Gems, a company constantly breaking new ground with graphically rich mobile games and fun new genres of mobile entertainment. While the careers and skills needed to succeed are quite different, there are 2 traits that I find are necessary to succeed in either field: passion and competitiveness.

In eSports, it is a prerequisite to be competitive. Training to get to the top requires a time commitment well beyond a typical 9-to-5 job: players often put in 50+ hours a week not only playing games but watching videos-on-demand (VODs), discussing strategy, studying rivals, and so on. In mobile marketing, passion and competitiveness are manifested in a different way: always wanting to drive stronger results, pushing the quality of work, and proactively looking to see where you can add value. 

Accepting that mistakes occur and learning from them is also a commonality. Not everything will necessarily turn out perfectly – it is okay to make mistakes! In gaming, you can learn from missing skillshots and blundering a strategic play. Likewise, in mobile marketing, you can learn from campaign setup errors or uploading the wrong creative.

In both professions, the ability to communicate clearly and work in a team is essential. eSports, such as League of Legends, is much like app marketing in the sense that they both rely heavily on coordinating individual goals to achieve teamwide objectives. As important as individual mechanics are, being able to communicate in a clear, concise manner with your team is often the deciding factor between success and failure. Similarly, communicating progress, managing expectations, and summarizing key takeaways are all incredibly valuable skills when working in user acquisition.

I feel fortunate that my passion for gaming extends to my passion for mobile marketing. And that I can apply what I learned as a professional eSports gamer to mobile user acquisition. If you share similar interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.