Review of Surviving Esports: The Zyori Story by Andrew Campbell

I learned a lot about Esports while I was reading this book. Most of what I know about this side of video games comes from the Fighting Game Community. So, reading about what the Dota 2 and League of Legends scene is like was something I was looking forward to.

In this book, Andrew talks about trying to break into esports commentary, his attempts to create his own business, and how he gained the experience he needed to get to where he is now. All of these go together to talk about building his brand. I think there are a lot of things that you can take away from his story to help you along the way.

There is quite a bit that you can take away from this book. While it is just looking at a slice of the esports market, the advice in this book translates to many other things. Let’s talk more about what is in Andrew’s book.

Setting Goals

Throughout the book, Andrew discusses setting a goal and working to achieve it. At times, it reads like he gives up too early. However, it could just be my reading of it and how YouTube and Twitch were back then. It could be that the ideas and projects Andrew was trying to do weren’t what people wanted back then.

What you can take from these different stories is how to network. Friends that you make in one community can cross over at some point. Writing that feels a little wrong. I should say that experiences from one project can help you in another. It’s also good to meet other people because it enables you to grow as a person.

One thing that I found interesting is how Andrew seemed to take what he did online seriously from the start. He looked at it as building a business and creating a brand. It is a big difference from how others started, where they saw it as a hobby first.

Andrew also does some self-reflection while talking about these online projects. He says he wasn’t the best at communicating his idea to the others working with him. They would see it as a fun hobby, while he saw it as a job. Andrew wouldn’t tell them his frustrations and would just let his frustration build up. This was a theme that ran through the book up to the end.

It seems like he is better at this now. I also think he knows his value, which was an issue with the next thing I want to discuss.


Much of the book covers Andrew’s time working for Beyond the Summit (BTS). While he was there, BTS was a start-up. This was still at a time when covering Esports was starting to emerge. There weren’t a lot of companies doing it, and BTS was one of the first that had some staying power. At least, that is what I got from reading this.

I want to caution people that this is just one side of the story. While Andrew writes diplomatically about his time, and it seems like he isn’t as upset about the pay structure now, it was one of the reasons that he left BTS.

I wasn’t able to find the BTS side of the story. I don’t think this is a huge issue, but I did want to try to include it here. The story that we get comes across as unfair to Andrew and the other people working at BTS.

I can’t blame Andrew for the way that he handled things. Both sides could have done a better job. It is still an incomplete story, but it does show a lot of personal growth from Andrew. He also talks about how other people helped him understand what was going on and what to do as he moved on from BTS.

Both sides of this seem to be doing well now. From what Andrew says, he has moved on from it and applied what he had learned at BTS to build on his success.  

Other Stories

There are a few other projects that Andrew brings up that I think are interesting. He moved from live streaming to podcasting and also did some edited videos. These felt more like a means to an end or projects he tried to see if they would work.

Andrew seems to have tried a bunch of things to see if he liked it or if it would be profitable. It is an interesting way to do something. He did a lot of cool stuff over the years, and there were a few projects that I think would have been fun to see continue.

He also brings up an incident where he did something stupid. He left his live stream going by accident and did some embarrassing stuff. I didn’t think this was all that important, but Andrew includes it as a teachable moment to some extent.

He brings up how he learned from it and how his reaction to it changed over time. It bothered him initially, but then it seemed like he would get in on the joke when it popped up. BTS banned talk of it when he was working with them, and I agree that this was a stupid idea. It’s interesting to see how you can move past something like this.

Final Thoughts

This was a fascinating book! I didn’t know much about Esports when I started reading this, and I feel like I learned a lot from it. I like how Andrew includes a lot of detail in this about why he was doing things and why he took specific actions.

Andrew includes a lot of the lessons that he has learned over the years. It feels like he has grown as a person from the start of his journey to where he is now. It is a great story to read and try to take some information from. If you don’t know much about Esports or creating a brand on the internet, this book is a nice place to start.

Published by Paul Werkema

Hi! I'm here to share my hobbies with all of you. I love video games and books, so I write about the books that cover video games or are novels about video games.

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