Nerd Street's Esports Meta Podcast

by Nerd Street

Esports Meta is an esports podcast from Nerd Street where we interview players, streamers, business executives, casters and more from around the esports industry.

Dec. 22 -- Erin Ashley Simon

In the first live-recorded podcast at Nerd Street's The Block, XSET's Erin Ashley Simon discusses the difficulties aspiring professionals face when entering the esports scene and having the courage to be true to yourself and speak your mind on social media.


Nov. 21 -- Zachary "zekken" Patrone

XSET VALORANT player zekken gives a recap of the chaos from Day 1 of the NA VCT Last Change Qualifier, and what it is like to be a student while also maintaining a career as a professional VALORANT player.


Nov. 12 -- Naori Mizuki

Press 4 to Defuse host Naori Mizuki, aka Samantha Timms, joined the podcast and new host Jessica Scharnagle to talk about how she got her start in casting. Then Jess and Sam made some predictions for VALORANT Champions and discussed how VCT Game Changers is going.


Sept. 17 -- Jason Lake

The CEO of Complexity joined Esports Meta to chat about what his organization has been doing to promote physical and mental health among his org and why the conversation around these topics is so important.


Sept. 3 -- Nicholas Braylan-Yanovsky

The founder of True Neutral, an esports organization based in Argentina, joins Esports Meta. True Neutral is best known for the org’s Rocket League team. The winners of RLCS Season X in South America are relocating the roster up north to compete in NA RLCS for the upcoming season. One of True Neutral’s first competitions against NA teams came in Nerd Street’s Summer Championships in early August.

In addition to talking about that relocation, we also cover the explosion of Free Fire in South America, how the esports world is developing in the region and plenty more.


Aug. 27 -- Harrison "psalm" Chang

Nobody in esports has had as tumultuous of a career as Harrison “psalm” Chang. Since 2018, he has competed in three different esports in three different genres. In Heroes of the Storm, he was part of one of the biggest league failures when Blizzard shut down HotS esports unexpectedly in 2018. Less than a year later he won one of esports largest prizes ever at the Fortnite World Cup, where he placed second. Now he plays VALORANT where he competed for Dignitas before they dropped their roster in March.

On Esports Meta, psalm talks about how he would do his career differently if given a chance, the logistics that come with a seven-figure prize and how he has been successful at so many different esports over his career.


Aug. 13th -- Yannick “KOLER” Blanchette

DarkZero’s KOLER joins Nerd Street’s Esports Meta in the midst of North America’s VALORANT Champions Tour Challengers Playoffs. Two games were ongoing when this was recorded Thursday night. XSET ended up beating Rise while Envy took down FaZe Clan. KOLER gave his prediction live for both games while picking Envy to come out of the lower bracket as the third North American qualifier at Masters: Berlin.

In this episode we talk about DarkZero’s results against top teams including TSM, FaZe Clan and XSET. Then we move on to Nerd Street’s upcoming Summer Championships. Featuring almost all the top VALORANT teams besides the ones at Challengers Playoffs, Summer Champs should be an awesome proving ground for teams like DarkZero on the cusp of breaking into the top level of competition.


Aug. 6 -- Adam Fitch

The business of esports, FTX’s spending spree and how to break into the industry

On this episode of Nerd Street’s Esports Meta, Dexerto’s award-winning business reporter Adam Fitch lifts the cover on the esports industry. With a focus on the core differences between sports and esports, this show dives in on the opportunities in esports at large.

As a digital platform, cracking the code on esports profitability will likely come with digital innovation. But so far, it hasn’t happened. We look at the massive sponsorship deals coming from FTX, why organizations are placing more focus on content than competition recently and why esports is a great place for young journalists wanting to break into the industry.


July 23 -- Brandon “BcJ” Cole Jensen

XSET upsetting Sentinels, NA VALORANT Challengers Playoffs and BcJ’s Apex Legends background

With a 2-1 victory over Sentinels, XSET became the first team to beat the world’s best VALORANT squad since the middle of Stage 2. BcJ was the leader of the team, putting up a better average combat score than any individual player did against Sentinels at Stage 2 Masters.

Read more: XSET’s BcJ on prep for VCT’s Challengers Playoffs

On this show, we look at XSET breaking through to the next level, what new IGL Rory “dephh” Jackson brings to the team, and why XSET’s goals have grown with their sights on Berlin for Stage 3 Masters. We also talk about BcJ’s background in Apex Legends and what that provided to his VALORANT game that other players didn’t have.


July 16 -- LJ Browne

Chief Gaming Officer of the Kansas City Pioneers on growing an org, establishing roots in KC

In esports, more organizations are being founded with a focus on one city. The majority are tied to one of the Activision Blizzard franchise leagues which makes that a requirement. But a few others, like the Pittsburgh Knights and Kansas City Pioneers, have other reasons for the name association.

Read more: From VALORANT to CoD, why the KC Pioneers are an esports org on the rise

On this show, KC Pioneers’ 19-year-old chief gaming officer and co-founder joins to talk about contructing talented Rocket League and VALORANT squads, signing former champions like Doug “Censor” Martin and Cameron “Kronovi” Bills, and how the org is working to become a Kansas City staple like the Chiefs, Royals and Sporting KC.


July 9 -- Tyson “TenZ” Ngo

The star of Sentinels on winning, KAY/O and partying with Mang0

There is no bigger star in VALORANT than TenZ. After an MVP performance in the grand finals of Stage 2 Masters, the star duelist on loan from Cloud9 became a permanent part of Sentinels. We talk about how that decision played out, locking in Sentinels’ spot for VALORANT Champions and why Sentinels were able to steamroll the competition in Iceland.

Read more: How TenZ became the biggest star in VALORANT

In addition, TenZ gives his side of the story partying with Super Smash Bros Melee star Joseph Manuel “Mang0” Marquez in a Croatian casino, his personal esports journey and how the meta is shifting as we look toward Stage 3.


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