Hastr0 explains why he's stepping down as Team Envy CEO - Dexerto

Hastr0 explains why he’s stepping down as Team Envy CEO

Published: 9/Jul/2020 22:42 Updated: 15/Jul/2020 9:41

by Alan Bernal


Team Envy founder Mike ‘Hastr0’ Rufail is stepping down from the lead position in his organization, and is making way for a new face to fill the spot of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

In a video Hastr0 shared via Twitter on July 9, the now-former CEO assured fans and friends alike that this was not only a positive change for the company but a welcomed change for himself as it will mean more time getting back to ground floor of esports.


“I’m not really going anywhere,” He said. “I’m actually going to be seen more and I get to go back doing what I used to do. Really just being there for my teams, my players and really being able to talk to you guys (the fans).”

He will now be Envy’s Chief Gaming Officer, alongside his standing position as a board member of the team he molded for the past decade.


Filling in the spot as CEO will be Adam Rymer who is transitioning from the entertainment space to become the lead for one of the biggest esports companies in the world.

“Gaming is the fastest-growing sport and most exciting area in all of media and entertainment right now,” Rymer said. “As a lifelong fan, harnessing that potential to drive forward an organization as highly regarded as Envy and working side-by-side with some of the top industry leaders is a huge honor, and a challenge I’m looking forward to taking on.”

This is a natural progression for Envy. The team has already solidified their position as one of the most recognized names in a wide range of esports including Call of Duty, Rocket League, Overwatch (as the Dallas Fuel), CS:GO, and more.

Team Envy
Adam Rymer joins Team Envy as CEO starting July 13.

Adding someone with Rymer’s background would bolster their presence in those sectors while taking care of the operating standpoint as Hastr0 continues the competitive aspect as CGO.

“Adding Adam to our leadership team will help accelerate the steps we are taking to grow and reach Envy Gaming’s potential as an organization that delivers world-class entertainment, events, fan experiences, content and more,” Hastr0 said. “With Adam onboard, I can dedicate myself to my first passion: developing players and fielding competitive esports teams that maintain and build on our organization’s winning tradition.”

As for Hastr0, he still expects to be pretty busy taking care of Envy and its teams/players, but he’s looking forward to spending more time with family and loved ones.


Twitch staff accused of tricking streamer into promoting brands

Published: 7/Oct/2020 21:28 Updated: 7/Oct/2020 21:34

by Alan Bernal


Twitch streamers are speaking out against the broadcasting platform for attempting to promote brands within individual chats. Content creators are slamming the practice, especially since they have no control of removing the adverts from their channel.

One longtime YouTuber and Twitch streamer who goes by ‘The Black Hokage’ noticed a staffer had dropped a message in his Chat. The purpose of the text, sent by ‘newcryka,’ was to have the streamer acknowledge the listed brand with 400 Bits attached to the post.


He immediately took issue with the move: “Yo, are you promoting something?… You got a Twitch staff symbol next to your name, are you promoting sh*t in my Chat?”

After posting the interaction on Twitter, more streamers slammed the apparent unsolicited advertisement from the streaming platform.


“Creators beware! Twitch staff is now going around donating spare change in an attempt to trick you into shouting out brands without proper compensation. Don’t fall for it,” The Black Hokage said.

Twitch partner and viral streamer ‘negaoryx’ responded: “Which is great, because we can’t moderate anything said by Twitch staff in chat, so we can’t even purge it… great…”

There is a function that lets people ‘/Clear’ their channels messaging log, which lets “broadcasters and chat moderators to completely wipe the previous chat history.” This feature doesn’t apply to messages from Twitch staff accounts.


However the means, content creators and the wider Twitch community got an indication that the streaming platform could experience more intrusive marketing campaigns.

Some believe that The Black Hokage’s clip could have been a Twitch advertisement staff member testing out a new form of social engagement tactics meant for branding – and the thought isn’t unfounded.

In early August, an outside company released how its latest marketing scheme made use of Twitch’s donation alerts to get a branded sound bite played on a streamer’s channel. Their video showed multiple instances of a Twitch account surprising streamers by donating $5 to get a brand’s name and current offerings played on their page.


The idea was immediately chastised for its way of engaging in promotion and sponsorship for a company without consulting or locking a paid deal with the individual streamer. However, despite inevitable backlash, advertisers are still trying out new methods of outreach.

The Amazon-owned streaming site has been incorporating more ways to engage audiences with branding promotions and advertisements.

Amazon solutions for ads have directly integrated Twitch channels and streamers in the past.

“Twitch video and display media, as well as new Twitch audiences, are now available for inclusion in Amazon Advertising campaigns, and Amazon audiences are available for inclusion in Twitch campaigns,” Amazon wrote. “We’re delighted to share that we are combining Twitch’s hard-to-reach and highly engaged audiences with Amazon Advertising’s integrated full-funnel advertising offering.

Days after Amazon announced it had added Twitch to its Amazon Advertising portfolio, the streaming site announced it was testing out mid-roll ads for channels. This too was vehemently criticized by everyone from Twitch streamers to viewers, and the idea was later abandoned.

Twitch has been experimenting with new ad campaigns that have drawn ire from viewers and streamers.

A feature that hasn’t gone back to the drawing board has been the picture-in-picture mode for ads that minimizes and mutes the main stream while playing a fullscreened promotion. This too was received with angst from viewers.

Twitch’s latest attempt at finding a more engaging way to introduce ads to its reported 17.5 million daily users has, again, created ire from its partnered content creators.

As Amazon and Twitch continue to create advertising solutions for its highly-valuable and impressionable audiences, the platform’s streamers will be on the lookout for more marketing tactics that look to benefit off of their communities.