Liam “CazuaLL” Biggs is the CEO of UK-based esports organisation CAZ eSports. He founded the organisation in 2014 and has seen it grow exponentially since then.
Personally he’s well known for technology reviews on his YouTube channel, CazuaLLUK. He has been involved in esports before with seven years of experience in Call of Duty.
With the organisation rebranding recently, we caught up with Liam to discuss how CAZ eSports has grown, and what the future holds for the organisation.
Esports Insider: Can you give us a small breakdown of your experiences and why you started CAZ eSports?
Liam Biggs: CAZ eSports was originally an off-brand of my YouTube channel. It started with a very similar logo to keep branding intertwined so we could cross over as and when we needed to.
The original idea came as I was always involved with esports in the past, from both a managerial and playing perspective. My experience is in mostly console rather than PC, but when you start in esports, you focus on PC. Ben Bagg came in and knew my background from YouTube and we created something great. He had knowledge in PC esports from past organisations. Ortiginally it was more an experiment to see how we’d get on, and over time our organisation has become quite well established in the UK scene. There have been some times when we’ve considered throwing the towel in, but we’ve kept on going.
Esports Insider: You’ve grown from a small start-up to signing deals with large sponsors with the likes of Logitech, Scuff and Hype Energy. How has this growth helped you expand your organisation?
Liam: We’re not paid a huge amount of money from these sponsors, but we get a good amount that keeps us ticking over. As you can imagine, from my YouTube Channel I have a good relationship with many of these technology companies. I won’t say I run the esports organisation like a complete business as other people do, for me it’s just a nice thing on the side. But bringing those sorts of names on board brings in more income and more exposure which is generally good for the team.
Esports Insider: CAZ eSports has just undergone a rebrand to a new, more modern looking design. What was the idea behind this change?
Liam:. I think with digital media these days we just needed a refresh. This was especially the case after the events of last year with the team and a bit of turmoil, with some bad blood unintentionally occurring.
For me it’s more that we’re refreshing and showing people that we are here doing stuff. This gives our fans confidence that we’re here to stay and bringing new things to the forefront.
Esports Insider: With your new rebrand you’ve left the UK in CS:GO and gone to Iceland to pick up a squad. What was the thinking behind moving to a new territory?
Liam: I mostly keep to the business side of the organisation, but for team personnel I just see what’s put in front of me. I’m not a native to the PC esports scene, so I put a lot of trust in the rest of the management team that I have around me.
The ‘WarMonkeys’ team seems to have been one which is thought of quite highly, as they have enjoyed some good results and exposure too. I thought it would be nice to get out of the UK scene for a while, to try something different for the business model and see how it works. One thing I’ve noticed already is that the feedback we’ve received from our Icelandic players is better than what we’ve received from the UK teams we’ve had. A lot of the UK players were “Take, Take, Take”, never offering too much back to the organisation. Our new Icelandic CS:GO team have offered more feedback in just a couple weeks than a lot of our UK players have in the past three years.
I don’t want to slate anyone, but in general amongst the UK teams we’ve had there were only one or two in each team who wanted to get involved. The rest were just making up the numbers. That’s what I’m most excited about with this new pick-up, it’s a different kind of spin on the CS scene.
Esports Insider: What are your thoughts on the current state of the UK esports scene?
Liam: Starting with the UK CS scene, it’s getting better. We have the [Multiplay] UK Masters which brings in stability for players to earn regular money. There is also [Former COO] Ben Bagg’s new tournament organisation UKGT.
I think it’s in a better place than it has been previously. With the investment that UK CS has been receiving recently, the commitment and professionalism that the players show doesn’t match up. They need to give something back so that companies can see it’s worthwhile, and stick around for the long haul. It’s incredible to see what esports has grown into in the past couple of years. Of course, it’s computer games at the end of the day and so the legitimacy of whether it’s a sport or not will always be in question. Still, you can’t deny the numbers that esports is seeing.
Esports Insider: For the rest of the year, and longer term, how do you see CAZ eSports expanding?
Liam: Obviously I want the organisation to grow and I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it could.
I’m hoping to get back into UK CS, but with our previous team leaving when they did it means we’ll have to wait a little while. That said, looking back at the expenditure that we made in UK CS, it was a bit hit and miss. If we do go back I want it to be a worthwhile venture; I want to be working with players who’ll give back and want to work more as a unit, not just each be the very best individually.
I also plan to have us get into other games but it’d need to be financially viable for the organisation as well. I’d love to be in four or five games, but that doesn’t mean it’d be the best idea for the organisation as a whole. If the right opportunity arises, in another title or in the console scene then we’ll go for it. For now though we’re focusing on our new CS:GO team and our Hearthstone player.
After an up and down 2016, we’re wanting to get back on the map, get things rolling and have the organisation progress in a little bit of a different way.
(Shortly after this interview, CAZ eSports signed a SMITE roster).