Recently we were able to catch up with Amir “Killabeez” Behmaram, who has been owner of the United 5 Gaming organization since 2005. We spoke with him about the current economy, state of the game, and his future plans on what seems to be the return of the legendary organization, United 5.
Amir, thanks very much for sitting down with us. Let’s get right to the point: rumors (and your website splash page) are suggesting the famous United5 brand is going to make a comeback in 2009. What can you tell us about your plans?
I guess the best way to start would be to confirm that these rumors are true. The United5 brand has been around since 2000 and with the recent changes in the gaming scene; I felt that this was a great time to bring the brand back into the limelight. I should be ready to make an official announcement within the next few weeks while I am still finalizing contracts and obligations.
Over the years U5 had some of the best gamers in America play under its flag, and an Intel sponsorship to boot. Can we expect to see more of the same heading into the future?
Throughout my managing career and owning United 5, I have been blessed with the opportunities to work with some of the greatest companies and players in gaming. Though 2008 was not a competitive year for United5, I feel that the brand, with the right divisions, could attain the same level of sponsorships and acclaim it once had. However, it will not be an easy task to re-acquire and bring in new companies to sponsor gaming organizations, especially with the recent events that have occurred in the scene.
You’ve long been respected as a top manager in North America. What is your take on the past two years? How has the CGS rise and fall effected eSports in North America? Where do we go from here?
Oh boy…the last two years have been interesting to say the least, especially for me sitting outside of the CGS and watching the events that conspired. Everyone has different opinions about the CGS and what it was able to do and not able to do, but everyone who understands its demise, understands the severity it has on everyone in North America. To me the CGS is analogous to a wildfire. It began and swept across America, taking players, organizations, and sponsors and creating an ideal platform to exponentially grow gaming to the level we all aspire it to be. This fire grew hot and fast too quick, until it was finally had to be put out, and after the smoke has departed all that is left is ash and debris of what use to be the American gaming scene.
The current economic adversity that we are enduring in the United States does not help the situation, but slowly we will get past this obstacle. With that said I feel that gaming organizations in North America are going to be very similar to the current banking sector. Many of the small organizations are going to cease to exist, the bigger organizations are going to acquire some of the smaller ones, and the mid-level organizations are going to merge with other organizations to create solidity.
I truly believe that it is up to American organizations to work even harder now than before to clean up the ash and debris that were left behind by the CGS and prove to corporate companies that the North American gaming scene is still worth investing in, because a new era is coming.
The dawn of 2009 brought a new sense of excitement to American gaming but also a newly found turbulence. It seems to many that we’re back to the ‘wild west’ days. How would a potential U5 fit into the mix?
Like I said, through the ash and debris a new American scene is growing. It is imperative now than ever that we as fellow American gamers who truly want our sport to take off, take the necessary steps to give the US the best possible chance to achieve this.
The United States has and will continue to have some of the best skilled players in gaming and though there will always be great competition among American organizations, it is our time to show all the other countries that we are the best. There is no reason that the US should not have the same corporate financial support that is given to other organizations in different countries. It’s a new era for American organizations to show all the other countries that we are Bigger, Better, and Badder!
In order to achieve this we will need strength in numbers and it will be my goal to put together some of best gamers for each of the United 5 divisions to represent the US to the highest level!
Thanks very much for your time, we appreciate it. Any final thoughts or shoutouts?
First and foremost a tremendous amount of gratitude has to be given to the fans. Though we have not been publicly active in the gaming scene over the last year, the continual support from all the people in #united5 has been extraordinary! I sincerely thank you for your support and hope that you continue to support us as we re-emerge. Not to be forgotten my staff who has stuck by my side while we get things back in working order…thank you!