i am moobeat, creator and contributor for the LoL fansite Surrender at 20. AMA!
Hello everybody. I'm Moobeat, I'm 29 years old, and I created and continue to produce daily content for Surrender at 20, a League of Legends news site focusing on PBE coverage, keeping a pulse on the latest news, and coalescing information into easy to digest collections. I started Surrender at 20 stared back in February 2011 and, with a bit of luck and hard work, managed to grow up right along side the game and sprout into what it is today. Surrender at 20 is based out of my living room in Southern Indiana and it is the lone source of source of income for me and my fiancee.
Before we kick off, I'd like shine the spotline on the other folks who keep the WIPSHIP afloat. S@20's crew is very small. Every post on the site gets worked on by me and/or Aznbeat, with Frostyninja tagging in for the occasional assist and Uli looming in shadows.
Quick introductions for the crew:
-Aznbeat is my fiancee and she's been right by my side through this whole S@20 business - from cracking up at bugged PBE textures to stressing out over not being able to keep up with the news machine. While she's played less than a dozen ~actual~ games of League of Legends, lately Aznbeat has been doing a lot of heavy lifting on the site - even soloing the recent PBE cycle while I was out of commission - you may even have seen her on the daily PBE reddit shares trying to take in feedback, fix typos, and all that. She propped up our family when I wanted to take a chance see where the site could go and she's shouldered a ridiculous work schedule to keep it a float. Not hard to say S@20 wouldn't be here without her support and encouragement, through the trial and error of me being my own boss, countless missed social events, and even profanity at the sight of a late night unannounced PBE update.
-FrostyNinja handles the actual site, everything from the layout to backgrounds, etc. Here also tends to be stuck fixing whatever madness I unleash. I break a lot of things with the site. FrostyNinja makes sure I don't burn the whole damn site down with my .jpg names. Years ago when the site was super small, he sent me a rogue email volunteering to give the site a make over - I sense he was not impressed with my default purple blogger template. Even if he wasn't still here helping automate posts, bringing little jokes and easter eggs alive, or working the layout, his enthusiasm for my little blog snowballed S@20 into what it is and where it is today.
-Uli runs the SkinSpotlights channel and is the resident programmer and brain. He's developed a lot of datamining and PBE tools, along with his own creator suite and various other projects.While his channel and S@20 are separate, we have mutually beneficial relationship despite Uli being British and the constant confusion about what a "biscuit" is. Be it marking off the "days since last pbe leak" calendar or just tilting because the latest deploy mercilessly crippled all of the tools, Uli taught me how to PBE and I can't imagine how things would turn out if he never replied to my dopey youtube messages.
There are, of course, many other members of the S@20 family from over the years. Life moves fast, I'll always appreciate the effort they put into running projects from (our quite dated now) S@20 tournament, forging an esports section for the site, and wrangling in the comments. I'd be a stooge to not also mention the S@20 community folks who contribute their time to helping us hunt down missing changes on twitter, keep things under control in our community discord, or simply shitpost the comment section.
It's been a few years since the last one but this is my second AMA here on the subreddit - a lot has changed since 2012! I'll be here for a few hours to answer questions on LoL, my job creating and maintaining an independent fan site, life, video games, concerns of the heart, and whatever else you might be interested in.
edit: wrapping up as it is getting late in my timezone ! tried my best to reply (lots of repeats too)! thanks for questions and have a good night.
How do you still stay so motivated 6 years on?
I mean.. 6 years feels like a long time to do any one thing in life. And yet, rather than flame out over time, I feel like you guys have actually gotten stronger and better as time goes on. At some point does it transition from being a beloved hobby to "just a job"?
Sidenote, I've played lots of games over the years with their own share of fan/info sites, but S@20 has always just been on another level. What you do is so fast and so efficient. I'm not joking that sometimes at work, rather than ask another team questions about content that is live, we say, "Just check S@20, it's faster". And it almost always is. :P You guys also do a fantastic job of maintaining an even-handed, informative tone in everything that's reported. I wish there was a real world news website as good as S@20 I could go to... :/
Honestly dude, bloody good job.
it told me i am not allowed to answer this question.
So eyewitness reports have come in stating your beard is sentient and is the real mastermind behind it all. What do you have to say about that?
No questions, but...
Wanted to say thanks for all you've done for the community!
That fact that people within Riot appreciate the website, is a strong enough reason to stay motivated. Nice work.
Grain of salt: I don't work in our brand (e.g. marketing) team or in business dev, so this isn't my direct area of expertise.
I've been at the company long enough to feel like the official stance would be something along the lines of Riot not wanting to throw our weight around and "barge in" onto things that are community efforts and owned by our players. By us backing anything, it creates questions of fairness ("why back X and not Y") and unfortunately for Moobeat would also mean that he'd be open to attacks from Riot detractors that now start to question FF@20's impartiality. Even if Riot really was 100% uninvolved other than financial backing, there'd never be a way to prove that to the community's full satisfaction. Riot has its own places for "official" things, and there's no reason we need to crowd out all the amazing things that our players have created over the years.
Rioters are gamers ourselves and can appreciate things like FF@20 as individuals and support them on our own. For example, I had no idea until this thread that Moobeat had a Patreon. Will happily become a patron when I get back home later. :)
blink twice if you need help
I've never actually applied or taken any serious steps in that direction. I'd love to be able to do what I do now in an official capacity.
It's weird for me to think about life without the site or working somewhere else after so many years and how much of our life it has become. The site has always been my baby, I think for a long time I was really stuck in what ifs and work mode to consider what I'd do on down the road or without it.
birds deliver them when families sign up
I enjoyed the novelty of a musclebound teemo so I requested a few different artists to draw me something like that to use instead of a picture of my ugly mug.
I enjoyed it so much that I just kept getting commissions or requests in that vain. this was the first one I used from uguubear. then i switched to more of an office and suit look. we then got a group avatar picture when few more folks were around a few years ago and i switched to a bearded suit man with a teemo hat. (by nips)
I know a fair amount of us support him on Patreon.
S@20 is my full time job, keeps me pretty busy. I worked in retail and dishrooms before that.
For future projects, I'd love to find something like a podcast to be a part of regularly. I play around with the idea of dipping my toes into creative content (streams, videos, whatever). Cutting my teeth on that stuff in front of a larger than no one audience with how the site has become makes me nervous.
Streams - soon! (ps I don't know if riot soons or moobeat soons are worse at this point.)
i hope you will understanding not wanting to talk numbers but me and aznbeat do work full time on S@20 and we live in rural indiana. what is a lot to us might not be a lot to you, things like situation, expenses (hospital and school bills yeah!), and all that factor in.
our month to month is decent aside from quarterly drops, hiccups, and that sort of thing. monetarily things were better before Aznbeat joined fulltime (two jobs > one) but I was really tapping myself out and couldn't continue that way.
1) nope, couldn't even imagine. site is way bigger than i would have ever though it would be.
2) mostly being the sort of person who seeks out this kind of information in other games but couldn't find a good home when LoL was small.
3) I'd like to do more creative content, i don't know how that will translate to the site though.
4) A lot of people have asked me this question and I figure i'll answer it here - I wish i had a bigger ass personally, mine is so boney that i feel like it would be much more comfortable to have a plump rump.
How did you come up with your avatar?
families deliver them when birds sign up
They should start a patreon then.
tru i am an ass woman
Tits or Ass?
who is your favorite surrender@20 goon and why is it Alvis?
Why did you decide to stay independent from riot and not start working there? I'm sure they'd take you
Noooo s@20 is fantastic and iconic
Where do babies come from?
S@20 has a patreon.
Do you work with anything else other than S@20?
Any future projects you're currently working on?
Streams when :(
I know this is prob a stupid question and all, but would Riot consider funding ff@20? For their hard work and bringing the fresh and fast news to the community even doe it started out to be just a blog and that alot of otther people are doing it too, but if i had to be honest ff@20 just does it better in every way and if someone else gets info for the specifics like numbers like some youtubers do its prob for ff@20.
Patreon employees have to make a living too
edit: sorry i meant NOT
i guess they appreciate the website more than their own Kappa
4th answer was... well... unexpected.
Just visting the site is enough for me. Any interactions in comments and social media, you'd be surprised how far the likes and all that go to getting much exposure and leading people to content.
I always recommend trying to be positive with that stuff even if being cortical or concerned - internet is much nicer w.o name calling, insults, and all that!
On the other end, I also have a support page and patreon - although nothing super unique to offer those folks in return. Looking for ideas !
do u make a lot of money i always wondered about that
I blinked twice, don't even know why
Dangerous question to ask a fiance.
now that teams can surrender at 15, you should change the website name to that on april fools!
But anyway, my questions:
Did you imagine Surrender@20 being as popular as it is now when you first started it?
What made you start this?
Do you have any plans on expanding the content of your site?
I gotta ask.... Tits or Ass?
Outside of LoL, what games are you particularly fond of atm? And on that note, what's your all-time favorite game?
Yeh same here, this guy is a legend
legacy at this point. Do wish I had picked a different name now though!
these overlap a bit but my two biggest motivators have always been based around interacting with community.
1) Interacting and answering questions ~ I obsess on the small stuff a lot, little details, tweaks, etc. Before LoL, I was always I always trolled my favorite gamesites looking for news on latest updates and such. I asked a lot of questions and always wanted to know a bit more than what was available. In the past and still today, I throw a lot of my free time into answering player's questions (what about this change? what happened to x? wtf is this about????), reading comments/tweets/reddit messages, and all of that. I like to think of it as if someone has a question they can maybe get an answer (even if it is just some guy and not a rioter or official).
I don't think I am able to do that as well as I wish I could these days but I always think about it when I get frustrated or beat myself up.
2) Going to events and talking with folks. First PAX I went too really touched me and I can't imagine S@20 continuing in the same capacity if I didn't go. The internet can be weird when it comes to compliments and what not. You can see the numbers come to the site, read the comments, etc but it never felt real until I was sittinghalf ways across the country to see people I didn't know end up tracking me down and thanking me for the site and community and talking to reds.
I always feel like these two things are sort of ironic given that I'm generally a timid, quiet person and loathe public speaking.
ASS is the answer
What keeps your motivated and who is your favourite Riot employee?
Been playing through a few older Final Fantasy titles this year - pretty far through 4 at the moment and 9 is likely up next.
Pyre just came out so haven't played much of it yet but that is next on my list.
Always a broad question since favorite can mean so many things - best looking, great story, favorite at the time, most emotional, etc.
-- I always blurt out a combination of Final Fantasy 7, Breath of Fire III, and Front Mission 3 as my three favorite games when I was younger. These were three of my first RPGs after getting a PSOne (shoutout to renting shining the holy ark on saturn and phantasy star on sega) and I compare most games I play to their game systems and what not. Playing through FF7 and BoF 3 again atm (vita is underrated)
-- World of Warcraft has always been a big one for me. I've played WoW on and off since vanilla with IRL friends and with Aznbeat. It's one of those games that brought my circle of friends closer together and leads to a lot of great times. I've meet up with many folks I played with over the years, many that I still play with or visit today. over the years i went from the dedicated raider to casual LFRer but I always still find myself enjoying exploring the world and figuring out the latest mechanics as much as I did all those years ago.
for the PBE content, it can be nerve wracking to know that ~my work~ is sometimes the first time people see ~someone else's work~. the super high engagement communities like reddit really chew on the daily balance changes and previews and that leaves a lot to balance between the speed of the post and the content.
Worst days are when I noticed a missing balance change well after the fact (either from context, not figuring it out until later, or w.e) and all the discussion and commentary on social media or reddit is mostly about that change, how X could be done instead, how Y doesn't need changes, etc.
How does it feel to be basically the best way of getting new info out to a majority of the league community?
nah, not really. i'll pass along a message if i find something that seems leaky (urgot model, ww texture) just to give a heads up ABC is going to show up in post, it looks like XYZ, and here is my context or something for reference but just a request hasn't stopped me from just publishing if it is there and obvious.
What are the different ways we can support your work?
Because you need help?
Hi Mooboat, long time stalker and big fan! Was Nacho Jeff delicious? Also, over all the time you've been running S@20, what got you most excited to post about when you first found it on PBE?
Where do birds come from?
Hey Moo! I don't have any questions right now but I want to thank you once again for everything you've done for the past couple years. I appreciate your hard work!
That is a good way for people to support others without getting their companies involved, moobeat and the rest of us that use s@20 thank you.
I'm 100% on tits side
It's pretty simple but I'd like to see another "Ionian X" skin. I love the type of armor on Irelia and Ioniana Master Yi (one of my favorite skins over time) and have always wanted to see more skins of Ionian champions in that style of gear.
some variant of UW or UWR control. my primary modern deck is nahiri jeskai atm but i usually play more on control side.
I have a lot of fond memories playing competitively around the time of Alara/Zendikar so playing both sides of BBE/Broodmate/Pulse/Thirnax,etc Jund vs the Elspeth/JTMS/Gideon/Spreading Seas UW match up cemented me as UWx.
Riot, plz see this
he deserve something in league for him, like seriously, ward skin or something!
srsly tho papaya is my waifu even if he doesn't know it yet
Do Rioters ever come to you to talk about upcoming spoilers in the PBE they want you to not datamine/publish?
Why not change the name to surrender at 15?
1) I used to play an undead warlock in World of Warcraft named "deadbeat". When I made a tauren (cow people) druid, I wasn't feeling very creative and just swapped dead or moo and named him Moobeat.
2) Going to South Korea for worlds.
3) Was looking for something to scratch and itch for me and friends after quitting WoW for a bit and coming from a history of WC3 customs players. We chose LoL because it was free and looked interesting, where as dota on wc3 was aging , hon had a cost, etc.
No this is one of those things where new players will ask someone "why 20 when you can sure at 15?" And the answer will give them a glimpse at the deep cultural history that surrounds the LoL community
You're on the wrong side fam
How do you still stay so motivated 6 years on?
I ask myself this everyday in regards to playing league for 7 years.
he's really good at putting it down.
If I had to guess, probably add S@20 to the exceptions list(whitelist?) on your ad blocker.
Your dad signed her up as sort of a practical joke.
a question that scientists still cant solve
Aznbeat prefers booty confirmed
What's your favorite Magic the Gathering Deck?
wait wait... people are allowed to have more than one website?
Was trying to hitting on griff but I'm too baad on this kind of things
Where do families come from?
Yo! First off, thanks for doing what you do moobeat, we all appreciate it so much. Now, on the my question.
What has been your favorite part of running S@20 for all these years? Any cool experiences/stories you'd like to share?
when you think of "llamas with hat" what kind of hat do you picture? i pictured a bowler
Don't think so. That name is awesome.
i dont date yasuo mains unless youre a hot spicy grill
Who are your team's favourite Shoutcasters and wh?
It's like $ 120 a month or something for a pretty unimpressive package and speeds around here. Our area is Spectrum service but Google came in recently so hoping to switch to that.
Ward skin is a great idea, would sell really well.
Is there a story behind the name MooBeat? Like what was the reasoning you chose that as your name? What was the craziest moment on Surrender for you? How did you discover League?
"Oh my, Alvis, you make my kokoro go doki doki"
Aznbeat best Beat.
You misspelled Marcongo
oh god this is spongebob's mailman scene all over again.
Do you have any ideas for skins you'd like to see put in the game?
we have corns and fields.
I like to hike and walk although so in real talk, I enjoy the IN and KY area for that (sans humidity). I live along Ohio river.
Or a new item that noone will use looking at you Ohmwrecker
Well considering the WIP Theory, they must be one and the same...
hands down the SR map update was my favorite thing to actually get on the PBE and explore..... and the practice tool. rammus bless the practice tool.
Not sure, I just like to talk and had fun doing them here or there in the past.
TITS is the answer
Hmmm someone's afraid from his girlllllllllllllll