September 23rd, 2020
When the pandemic gives you lemons, you make the PUBG Pro Sessions!
Riga, Latvia, April 2020: the team in Goexanimo, like many companies, businesses, and people around the world are facing a generational challenge - the Covid 19 pandemic.
They've had to close their esports gaming lounge in Riga’s Old Town: for so long the jewel of Goexanimo’s crown - and near and dear to the entire team’s heart. Likewise, arena, studio, and any type of “in-person” esports event are completely out of the question, as the world enters lockdown. Everything that Goexanimo and its loyal team had built was now under threat. But as history has shown us: from adversity comes creativity!
No longer able to meet in their offices, stranded and separated by the lockdown - the team would meet daily on Slack, Discord, and Google Hangouts. This was no small feat! Their founder and leader, Jānis Dzērve was visiting Tenerife when the lockdown hit - and now found himself conducting the company from a table in the backyard of a villa! Likewise, other department heads would join meetings on laptops from their kitchens, home offices, and living rooms - with dogs, babies, children, and other family members interrupting regularly!
It was from this chaotic yet productive scenario that one of Goexnaimo's most ambitious and successful projects would be born!
“How can we make watching PUBG esports as fun as actually playing PUBG with your friends?”
During one of their regular creative brainstorm sessions, the question was posed: “How can we make watching PUBG esports as fun as actually playing PUBG with your friends?” - it was at this moment that the PUBG Pro Sessions were born!
The concept was rather simple: create a ‘fun’ esports event by getting a bunch of professional PUBG friends to play together - and capture every angle for a live stream audience! Throw in a prize pool, make sure it’s an officially licensed PUBG event, run it in-between pro events on the PUBG calendar, and let the competitive nature players take over.
The final piece of the creative puzzle was to include a true “wow factor” for the event. And this was achieved with the inclusion of DanucD as the special guest star! Recognized throughout the PUBG and Twitch gaming communities as one of the most exciting, talented, and entertaining streamers (who also happened to be Latvian, like Goexanimo): it was a match made in heaven! Thankfully DanucD and her representatives were approving of the concept.
Next up, over the course of a couple of weeks, Jānis and the team begin to put together a short and (hopefully) sweet pitch deck of around 10 slides. All that’s left for them to do next is the daunting task of pitching PUBG with the idea! Sounds simple enough: and as fate would have it - it was! PUBG loved the “fresh and fun” approach that Goexanimo was bringing to a pro event.
PUBG, in their wisdom, greenlit the project, and the PUBG Pro Sessions has gone from concept to reality in under a month! Precisely the type of quick turnaround and good fortune that a small company, hard hit by the pandemic, needed.
In a simple yet effective move by the team’s leaders, most of the staff are retained and repurposed for assisting with “online-only” projects: “Keeping the Goexanimo family whole, whilst simultaneously delivering world-class esports events was always a top priority for us” - says Jānis Dzērve, Goexanimo’s founder.
“Keeping the Goexanimo family whole, whilst simultaneously delivering world-class esports events was always a top priority for us”
In August and September 2020, the PUBG Pro Sessions finally took place. Supported by PUBG on social media, and with in-game messages, prizes, and swag for viewers and contestants alike, the project accrued over 500k views across all platforms and was well received.
The creative, production, studio, and talent team in Goexanimo put on a flawless performance: made all the more epic by the support of DanucD “banana army” (how her fans refer to themselves).
No fewer than 16 pro teams participated in the 4-week event, including TSM, FaZe, NAVI, and Team Liquid. Audiences were treated to a combination of traditional and fun PUBG esport scenarios: one moment, in particular, captured both the hilarious and pro-nature of the event - when WookieBookie accidentally slaughtered DanucD and her squad of defenders during a special “VIP Round”.
All in all the project was a success. The team in Goexanimo had conceived a concept from thin air: with nothing more than their minds and laptops, working from home - whilst the traditional business they had built was being torn down around by the pandemic, and forces beyond their control.
As Jānis explains: “This was our first project working directly with a triple-A studio, and it showed both our own team internally, and the wider world, what Goexanimo is capable of: a truly proud moment.”