Gordon Li is the Co-Founder & CTO of Shotcall a marketplace and platform for fans to play games with their favorite people.
You call yourself a lifelong gamer, what games most impacted you growing up?
Maplestory had a huge impact on my life. I made so many friends online and it was the first community I fell in love with. When I was 12 I wanted a new computer so I asked my dad for one. Being an engineer himself, he saw this as a learning opportunity for me and challenged me to build my own. I was overwhelmed, but my guildmates on Maplestory came together to help a random 12 year old kid they met online build his first PC. It was then that I fell in love with not only technology, but also the gaming community.
Throughout my childhood, I have fond memories of waking up early and playing the Pokemon series while at the same time watching the show. The Pokemon game series entranced me as I felt like I was living a new life and I was enthralled by the fantasy world.
Another game that had a major impact on me is League of Legends. I still play to this day and it really opened my eyes to Esports and the competitive aspect of gaming.
Prior to launching Shotcall you had a successful career as a Software developer and machine learning engineer. When did you first realize you wanted to become an entrepreneur?
I think I always loved the idea of working on my own passion and a lot of that actually spawned from video games. Growing up, I was obsessed with a plethora of RPGs such as Maplestory, Pokemon, Dragon Nest, Kingdom Hearts and the Final Fantasy series. The basis behind all those games was that you could decide your own path and your own adventure. I applied that to my life and realized that my true passion was working on something myself.
Could you share the genesis story behind Shotcall?
As you’ve probably seen by now, I played countless video games growing up. However, the one thing that remained constant throughout all the games I played was the content. Whether I was watching OpTic gaming or FaZe Clan Call of Duty montages, learning from League of Legends coaches on YouTube or watching my favorite Fortnite streamers, I was always consuming content.
Being a massive fan myself, I realized that there was a huge market from the fan side. I watch my favorite content creators because I enjoy their personalities, but also because we have a shared love for a common game. As Twitch started growing, I constantly saw in chats that the viewers wanted more engagement. Who wouldn’t want a chance to play Fortnite with Ninja?
Streamers began running subscriber or viewer games and we took this opportunity to really help a community that we (Thomas, Riley and myself) all grew up in.
Could you share the concept behind the Shotcall community management platform and how it gets viewers off the sidelines and in the game?
Our mission at Shotcall is to bring viewers into the game with creators. We believe that this is the next step in revolutionizing engagement. With Shotcall, creators can schedule events that their viewers can register for. After that, we exchange information between the creators and participants so everyone is able to get into a game of choice and play together.
Can you provide some details on how creators can monetize interactions?
On Shotcall, creators have the option to set an entrance fee on their events. We understand that there is high demand for creators’ time, so we wanted to give them the opportunity to capitalize on that. Creators can also lock their sessions or offer additional perks to subscribers to incentivize viewers to support more monetarily.
We are currently testing our own subscription service as well which will truly allow creators to monetize viewer engagement on Shotcall.
What are some traits or habits that differentiate the most successful creators on the platform?
Successful creators on Shotcall are those who are already very engaged with their viewers. We love seeing our creators talk to their viewers through chat, hold weekly events and more. Shotcall serves as a platform to bring those events to a new level.
What are some of the tools that are offered on the Shotcall platform?
Shotcall has a wide array of features that are all catered towards one thing – community engagement. We allow creators to set up on demand sessions, start queues where viewers can line up to play or host tournaments in several different formats.
Creators can also set up their own booking options for viewers to go and book one on one sessions with them for a more intimate experience.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about Shotcall?
One thing that Shotcall truly embraces is the concept that “everyone is a gamer.” What motivates us is seeing the shared love for gaming from the whole world. Mainstream celebrities, professional athletes, popular musicians and more all play video games now. We love the cultural shift that has taken place and we hope to really show the world the power of content creation and gaming.
Thank you for the great interview, readers who wish to learn more should visit Shotcall.