We uncover the origin story behind Rogue Energy, the world’s most delicious gaming drink in a chat with CEO and Co-Founder Zac Dudzik.
Origins in World of Warcraft
Rogue Energy was founded by Chris Turzinski and Zac Dudzik, two savvy businessmen who also happen to be best friends. Aside from a shared passion for traditional sports such as soccer and american football, the two founders also shared a passion for gaming.
“Chris originally came up with the name Rogue Energy. Our game of choice for the last 16 years has been World of Warcraft, and Rogue is a class in WoW. We were pondering names for the brand and it just kind of popped into his head and we just ran with it.”
“Gaming is one of the things that blossomed our friendship. We were freshmen in high school over a decade ago and we’d be excited to get done with school so we could log on and play. We raided together, we did PVP together and it was the game we always talked about,” said Zac Dudzik, Rogue Energy’s CEO.
The pair remained friends even after embarking on their individual careers. Zac Dudzik specialised in Marketing and Finance, and after finding success approached his childhood friend Chris Turzinski with a quest. The quest was to create a supplement beverage designed for gamers like themselves.
“We’ve always loved gaming, and I’ve always been interested and passionate about supplements. So the opportunity to be able to do both together made so much sense. When I brought it to Chris, he agreed and was like ‘we’ve got to run on this’… so we did.”
A health and performance conscious formula from the start
Dudzik, a strong believer in the power of supplements, said the focus right from the beginning was to create a health and performance conscious formula. “The way we spoke about it was if in the future esports makes it into the Olympics, Rogue Energy would be the drink that athletes would be turning to,” said Dudzik.
The Rogue Energy Hydration product line for example offers B-Vitamins, Electrolytes and is both gluten-free and 100% Vegan, whilst containing no sugar, caffeine or calories.
“When we designed our product ranges, we were very conscious of having a lot of antioxidants. Everything that we put into it was dosed to proper levels,” said Dudzik.
The growing esports and gaming market has seen smaller companies enter the space with some offering much lighter formulas with less attention on dosage of ingredients. In some cases “it’s essentially just flavoured caffeine water,” said Dudzik, who was concerned about the health concerns of knock-off energy drinks for younger consumers in particular.
“Unfortunately, a younger or unsavvy audience might not think to look at the nutrition panel and see the ingredients, and they might not know the science behind it or know the dosing. So sadly consumers pretty frequently can be duped.”
The health benefits remain the priority for Rogue Energy, who consider themselves a supplement brand and not a food and beverage company. “They might sound the same thing but it’s a little bit different,” said Dudzik.
“We’re focused on the formula first, coming from that aspect of people taking pre-workout supplements, protein shakes or vitamins. I just want the formula to work as a health supplement first every time we release a new product, and so far we have. Fortunately, it just so happens we’re also pretty good at making delicious flavours and stuff that mixes well.”
Making the World’s Most Delicious Gaming Drink
On the Rogue Energy website the contents of their formula is well-advertised, as is the wide selection of flavours.
Rogue Energy launched in 2017 with Pink Lemonade and Berry Pomegranate as their first flavours, but since then they’ve added a whole host of others, from Mango Pineapple Energy to Cookies ‘N Cream Shake.
“Picking the flavours is always the funnest part, and Chris and I are responsible for that,” said Dudzik. “At any given moment in time, we are working and developing probably between five to ten flavours that are always actively being tweaked.”
Do the creators have a personal preference? “Personally Blue Raspberry has been my favourite and it’s also one of our most popular flavours from a sales perspective,” said Dudzik.
“Chris (Turzinski) is a sucker for the non-caffeinated hydration lines, so he’ll guzzle the Dragon Fruit Mango or the Fruit Punch.”
Flavours are rotated dependent on the time of year, and Rogue Energy ensures flavours are unique to each product line as well.
At time of writing there are eleven flavours, but Dudzik casually mentioned even more are close to release.
“We have three completed flavours that are signed off on, absolutely delicious and and we’re really excited to launch. We’ll be announcing the next flavour in the coming weeks,” said Duzik.
“The information I can give you right now that we haven’t announced anywhere is that the next flavour launch will be in the energy product line, which is kind of our flagship. Then we’ll be adding a new flavour to Hydration, and then we’re coming back to Energy. They’re all completed and we can’t wait.”
A bright future
Rogue Energy is run by a team of six, who work both on-site and remotely, with the team set to move into a brand new headquarters at the end of June. Earlier this month, Rogue Energy also announced its partnership with Esports.gg as a way to support the competitive esports scene.
“I love that esports is entering mainstream and news outlets like Esports.GG are covering and focusing on it,” said Dudzik. “Myself and Chris (Turzinski) love the competitive side of it. Coming from traditional sports, it’s amazing to see traditional sports athletes get involved in their spare time or try to compete.”
“We’re entering the zeitgeist of esports and the sky’s the limit,” said Dudzik.
We’d like to thank Zac Dudzik for the interview, and also make our readers aware that you can use the discount code esports to get a 30% discount on all four of Rogue Energy’s product lines. Simply visit the website!