AfterDark Esports began as a small organization that hosted LAN events and focused on expanding the community and working with amateur players. The Owner, Leo “Cohiva” Mejias, started with a small team and big dreams.
In January 2020, the world changed as we know it. Everything was flipped upside down and no one could leave their house. When the pandemic started, all esports events were cancelled and the community scrambled to look for things to do. This is when the Florida Mutineers sat down with AfterDark Esports and decided to put together an event that everyone could be a part of--The Kraken Bounty Tournaments.
In March 2020, Alonso Benavente, Events Manager of the Misfits and Florida Mutineers, joined a Discord call with the AFD owner and Head of Business, Alex “Elite” Lopez, to explain the game-plan. It started with two Tournaments under the Florida Mutineers name presented by Scuf Gaming and powered by AfterDark Esports. The first tournament was definitely a test run. AFD had just begun to do productions and running sign ups on a new website. Cohiva hired more staff to control sign ups, live chat, casters, referees and Admins. They made their very first ruleset and production plans, meaning the team worked many days and nights to get everything organized. While the first event ran smoothly, there were a few bumps in the road, but nothing AFD could not handle.
Alex, who ran the production of this magnitude, handled it like a pro! Kassra “Kazzra” Faramarzifar had done graphics for himself and his own organization, Nightshade, and now created scorecards and other designs for the events. Jonathan “Fleur” Izziary had done behind-the-scenes designs and created teasers for the advertising and events. Gina Minguez had handled social media marketing and managed roster changes and inquiries that came in before and during the events and even made rulesets and production plans with the AFD team.
Tournaments one and two were streamed on YouTube and brought in more viewers and maxed out with teams on the first try! They even had to make a waiting list due to the surplus of teams trying to join!
After the first two Tournaments were over and had a surprisingly outstanding outcome, Alonso sat back down with Cohiva and Alex to discuss the possibility of creating more Kraken Bounty Tournaments. By the end of that call, they had decided to do FOUR MORE! At this point, the Kraken Bounties were a fan favorite in the community. The AFD team received several more viewers and views than ever before.
Overall, the Florida Mutineers Kraken Bounty Tournaments, presented by Scuf Gaming, powered by AfterDark Esports, was an impressive production. The teamwork presented by every party included was an inspiring and impressive feat. Organizations and teams that were well-known in the Call of Duty community had begun reaching out to AFD about producing more streams and events. The AFD team has many big things coming to the community and hopes to see all of its new fans, followers and supporters there!
Winners for each event:
2nd-- FaZe Academy
5th-- CGCarnage Gaming
Q&A from some of the main people from the Kraken Bounty Tournaments:
Q: What made you take the risk working with AFD seeing as how it was their first production of that kind?
A: “Cohiva and AFD are well respected among the Florida cod community so that tied with the fact that his team was confident in pulling this broadcast off we decided to take a leap of faith. I'm glad we did.” -Alonso Benavente
Q: What made your team wish to make more Kraken Tournaments after the first 2?
A: “I think consistency helps us bring attention to these events and build trust with the players and viewers. We had a couple of tournaments where notable names and teams registered to play and that may have had an impact on our viewership, but overall it’s important to provide a competitive ecosystem for these apiring pros. It’s more of a long term success plan I believe. I just hope these teams leave and remember us for giving them a platform to play on.” -Alonso Benavente
“We felt like we were the best team for the task and were willing to make it a top priority.” -Cohiva
Q: What can we expect from the Misfits gaming group?
A: “We strive to be the best org in the south eastern, US and pave the way for esports in our region. Also wins. We hate to lose.” -Alonso Benavente
Q: Did you find quick success when you first started esports?
A: “I found every event to be a success, whether it was perfectly executed or maybe not so much, as long as we left learning something new and finding ways to improve every event afterwards.” -Alonso Benavente
“No. I lost a lot of money, initially, but kept trying and eventually got the AFD name out into the community more and more.” -Cohiva
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, org owners, and/or players in the esports community?
A: “The answer varies. For aspiring pros, grind your game and learn other valuable skills such as content creation. Many orgs value content creators just as much. For the aspiring entrepreneurs and owners, limit your gaming time.” -Alonso Benavente
“Go big or go home.” -Cohiva
Q: What was your favorite part of the Kraken Bounty Tournaments?
A: “My favorite part of the KB’s was seeing all the teams sign up to compete. I felt that semi-pro cod teams were hungry for competition during quarantine and I'm glad we were able to help provide that.” -Alonso Benavente
“Being able to get the brand into the community more and creating a platform for amateur players to showcase their skills to bigger and better orgs.” -Cohiva
“Running a high quality production. I had only ever done smaller-scale events.” -Alex Lopez
“Talking to all the teams that had questions. Some people were very interesting to talk to. “ -Gina Minguez
“When we showcased all the players no one knew because it’s something new on stream--something fresh.” -Kassra Faramarzifar