The new Razer Invitational NA will cater to aspiring semi-professionals in multiple titles. We spoke to Razer’s Senior Global Esports Lead Khang Thai about their upcoming event.
On April 20th, Razer announced the expansion of their Invitational series to North America, with sign-ups now open to the gamers in the USA, Canada and Mexico. The Razer Invitational NA will have a prize pool of $30,000. Last year in 2020, Razer launched their Invitational multi-gaming events in Latin America, South-East Asia and Europe, with the titles for each Invitational tailored to the region's preferences.
In SEA for example, Mobile Legends and Dota 2 were amongst the game titles, while in LATAM the popularity of League of Legends made it an obvious choice. For Razer Invitational NA the titles will be Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege and Brawl Stars. Prizes include Razer gaming hardware and $10,000 prize money for each of the three events. If you wish to register for one of the tournaments you can find the overview here. All the events are completely free to enter. (direct links below)
The bridge between grassroots and the top flight
The goal for the Invitational series is for it to be the bridge between the grass roots and professional scenes according to Khang Thai, Senior Global Esports Lead at Razer.
"There is a middle tier level of competitive gaming that is currently unserved and that's what we are trying to address with the Razer Invitational," said Khang Thai.
"Our goal is for it to serve the community by offering a platform for those players in the middle tier to shine and maybe get scouted or take the next step in their careers. It's all about discovering that next generation of esports professionals, and that's where I think the Razer Invitational is special."
Creating the Razer Invitational NA series meant accounting for the diverse calendars of the titles chosen, but it was a rewarding challenge despite being a "complicated puzzle" according to Khang Thai. Razer's conversations with the publishers ensured their event dates did not take away visibility from other initiatives but instead offered gamers another avenue to satisfy their competitive drive.
"Our goal is for it to serve the community by offering a platform for those players in the middle tier to shine and maybe get scouted or take the next step in their careers."
"There needs to be more education on where mobile gaming is right now" - Razer's Khang Thai
After joining Razer, Khang Thai was part of the mobile business groups and hopes the Razer Invitational will also help to enlighten more gamers to the progress mobile gaming has made over the last 3 to 5 years. The choice of Supercell's Brawl Stars for the NA Razer Invitational is a testament to that goal.
"Mobile is important because it is growing so fast. There needs to be more education on where mobile gaming is right now," said Razer's Khang Thai. "The kind of games that have been released and the quality of those games is just crazy. We have a kind of responsibility to show the people around the world that modern mobile titles are seriously competitive. We're not talking Candy Crush or Pokemon: GO anymore."
With five regions catered for in the 2021 season of the Razer Invitational, could a Global Invitational be on the cards in the future? "Every tournament that we've put together, it's gotten bigger and bigger and bigger. And I think everyone sees that it's building towards something," said Khang Thai. "I can't say yet what we're working on but it's pretty clear that it's going to be culminating in some kind of tournament or event. Maybe not this year, but in the coming years."