Victrix Pro interview – Ozhan Maker – Ready PlayerOne

Based out of San Diego, California. Victrix is trying to revolutionise what players expect from their gaming peripherals. Victrix believes their line of Headset, Fight Sticks and AMP’s will be an experience like no other.

Victrix holds two partnerships with esports sides, Team Kaliber in late 2017 and Red Reserve in 2018. We spoke to Ozhan Maker, General Manager at Victrix about their products, partnerships and what the future might hold for the company.

Esports Insider: Could you start by introducing yourself and telling us a little about what got you into esports?

Ozhan "OZ" Maker
Ozhan Maker, General Manager at Victrix

Ozhan Maker: Hi, my name is Ozhan “Oz” Maker, my Gamertag is “PlayerOne” and I run an esports hardware brand called Victrix. I’ve been in video game hardware product development for 18 years cutting my teeth in large and mid-size gaming companies and now managing this boutique esports hardware outfit. I’ve always been a gamer and passionate about racing games; qualified for PlayStation’s GT Academy regional finals once when I lived in Hong Kong as an expat but in recent years I’m playing CoD mostly because my wife is into it.

ESI: The market for headsets and fight sticks in gaming and esports is a busy one, how do Victrix stand out in these markets?

Ozhan: By developing beautifully designed products made using premium materials and held to the highest manufacturing standards. Everything we release under Victrix is developed to spec, brings high-end tech innovation and pushes the known benchmarks in gaming peripherals. We will stand out against competition because it will be a disadvantage to play against our fight stick due to its blistering speed or main stages will not be quiet enough for pros without our active noise cancelling tech.

“I’m sure we’ll help challenge other companies to step up their game as well but by the time they reach where we are today in terms of offering we’d have moved on to a new tier”

I’m sure we’ll help challenge other companies to step up their game as well but by the time they reach where we are today in terms of offering we’d have moved on to a new tier. Also, our colour is purple and to our knowledge, we’re the only gaming hardware who adopted this colour so, in a sea of blue & green and orange stuff, our accent colour gets noticed. Our exact ultraviolet hue is the Pantone colour of the year in 2018; we picked it three years ago; we’re quite proud of this colour that we’re also known for.

Victrix Pro FIght Stick

ESI: Speaking of headsets, recent reports have claimed Fortnite has seen a huge increase in sales of headsets due to its massive success, is this something you have noticed at Victrix?

Ozhan: We, of course, notice the positive effect of Fortnite and we’re glad this phenomenon is happening as we launch our first headset. Communication is key in this game, our customers have been telling us how clear they sound in the game to their friends. It’s due to our mic filter design we borrowed from a military tech. It was originally designed to make a helicopter pilot intelligible in a 120dB loud environment; it’s overkill for gamers but it gets the job done.

ESI: So far you’ve signed deals with Red Reserve and Team Kaliber, how have these partnerships worked out and do you see more such deals in the future, especially with the Fighting Stick launching?

Ozhan: Red Reserve is a fantastic esports organisation, very professional and successful in CoD and CS:GO among other genres. Our first deal was with Team Kaliber, at the time coming out with their first win in CWL back in December 2017. Since then they won two more major titles becoming this season’s most successful CoD esports team. Both TK and Red feature team houses and employ substantial influencers who help us tell our story to the gaming community in their own way which is very authentic.

We’re also proud sponsors of the longest running tournament series, Capcom Pro Tour. Victrix is the official audio partner of the tour and our headsets are used in the main stages and open bracket in all events. This relationship is very important for our upcoming fight stick, the Pro FS and introduces our brand to the FGC community. We just came back from EVO for example where we were showing off our upcoming stick and it was a big hit within the community. We are talking to more organisations and event organizers and will have more sponsorship announcements next tournament season.

ESI: What are Victrix plans for the future, can we expect to see new products or developments?

Ozhan: We will indeed release more products in our year two onwards. Especially in audio we are expanding our offering as well as looking at other categories. If there is a significant improvement we can make or meaningful innovation we can bring in a product category, you will see us working on those products categories. We will have some announcements on this topic at TwitchCon this year. (Oct 26)

ESI: Do you have any final words to share with our readers?

Ozhan: Our products are not for everyone. We are not trying to please everyone by making mass market items. We develop these products for particular use cases and for specific type players and do not cut any corners while making them, therefore, they are costly. They are worth it though, Victrix will be the last headset or fight stick or amp you’ll need.