Go on, admit it. Ruddy Esports either fooled you, annoyed you or made you laugh with that tweet doing the rounds tonight. Was it PR genius, or taking things too far? Esports News UK editor Dom Sacco shares his views.
Ruddy Esports are the most unusual thing to come out of UK League of Legends esports in years, and the most unique org operating at this level bar none.
Their raw, rough and real nature has amassed a bit of a cult following.
Their content is unlike anything I’ve seen in this space, whether it’s rapping about League of Legends and making diss tracks in Sainsbury’s car parks, interviewing Chovy about all kinds of nonsense at MSI (and annoying the LoL subreddit mods in the process) or now making a fake video about their co-owner Regan shouting at their LoL players after they went 0-2 in the NLC EMEA Regional League this week.
They later followed this up with a tweet saying it was all a joke:
At the time of writing, the original tweet has almost a million impressions, 700+ retweets, 3,500+ likes and 400+ bookmarks. It’s only been live for two hours.
I won’t name names, as there are too many to mention and it’d be unfair for me to single out individuals, but let’s just say they duped many in the scene, including a few higher profile individuals.
Now, I’m not blaming those individuals for being tricked. If you don’t know Ruddy and their playful, IDGAF attitude, you’re not to know. But people are getting to know them. And Ruddy are reminding us we don’t need to take things so seriously all the time.
Right now, Ruddy are poking the bear, prodding the scene and seeing what they get away with. Carry on, and with a few tweaks, I think they could go from an underground cult following to something bigger in League.
There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Or so the saying goes. But was the clip taking things too far? Did it cross a line? For me, no, but I can see how some were upset with it.
You might say, yeah but Dom, they ‘only’ have however many followers on Twitter or YouTube. Again, I don’t think this matters too much if they’re producing content that’s getting hits. Those other things will come in time.
DonJake and Regan are entertainers. They can act. They can make music. They can make stand-up-like jokes. This sets them apart from other traditional esports management out there. DonJake has been a caster, he’s running a team, and I’ve said this before, I’d love to see him stream more regularly.
One thing I admire about Ruddy is their ability to farm views without resorting to actual drama.
At any point I can think of a bunch of things in this industry that are doing the rounds in the usual drama circles: Twitch, Kick, Adin Ross, Nickmercs, Faze Clan. They might be getting negative coverage (and I’m not advocating any nasty things some of them may have said), but their brands continue to grow in terms of awareness in the process.
Gross Gore managed to successfully ride the PR drama storm for years, before getting cancelled.
Ruddy are getting coverage without the usual drama.
Also, esports in the lower tiers is not just about winning. I’ve written about this years ago (‘In an esports industry obsessed with winning, MnM have shown us something more‘). Sure, winning is great, but where are you going beyond EMEA Masters anyway?
Ruddy know all this, and they’re using a not-great start to the 2023 NLC Season to their advantage.
Name me another team in the NLC that’s got the kind of views like this from a single tweet. Barrage (later Resolve) comes to mind with a clever bit of marketing they did around a roster announcement a few years ago, but it wasn’t on the same level as tonight’s tweet.
I’m not saying let’s create more drama, by the way. I’m glad the scene has professionalised over the years. But at the same time, stale and boring isn’t great either.
I’m a big fan of punk rock – the music, the ethics, the attitude. And for me, Ruddy are the most punk rock thing UK esports has produced. They keep me on edge, and I can never predict what they’re going to do next. But secretly, I like that.
All Ruddy need now is a sponsor that likes this kind of humour and they’ll be onwards and upwards. Ruddy up, as they say.
Dom is an award-winning writer and finalist of the Esports Journalist of the Year 2023 award. He graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Federation up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and offer esports consultancy and freelance services. Note: Dom still produces the British Esports newsletter on a freelance basis, so our coverage of British Esports is always kept simple – usually just covering the occasional press release – because of this conflict of interest.