Kudo is currently known best from his popular YouTube videos about the histories of failed League of Legends teams. This persona was heavily influenced by Alan Ignacio’s lifelong gaming career.
Ignacio first started gaming as a toddler. His first memories playing video games were of Crazy Taxi on the Sega Dreamcast. He would play for hours until his brother kicked him off or his parents made him go to bed.
Throughout his life, he has always played games with competitive modes such as Counter Strike: Source, Unreal Tournament 2004 and the Command and Conquer series.
He first played league of Legends in January 2013, during the preseason of Season 3. “I loved the game from the beginning and continued playing it on a daily basis until senior year of high school,” Kudo said.
During High School, Ignacio tried to always play two-four games per day. “I was very competitively driven to be the best I can be, and I was happy with my peak,” Kudo said. Currently, he is only able to play a few ranked games during the weekends before he becomes too busy with academics.
His days are packed with a 16-unit schedule and commitments to Spartan Starleague, SJSU’s premier esports club, his channel and being a member of the Spartan Marching Band.
“The idea of doing the YouTube channel started spring semester last year ,” Kudo said. “On a daily basis, I’d put on some video essay or education video and binge watch all these channels such as Wendover Productions, Vox and Summoning Salt.”
When he realized nobody had done this type of content for esports and specifically the League of Legends scene, he decided to try it out with the audio and video editing, script-writing and research skills he had at the time. These skills led to a very high production value for his videos, which was one of many reasons they were so successful.
His first video was about a team he remembered from Season 3 of League of Legends— Team Vulcun. “I posted my first video on Independence Day and the rest is history,” Kudo said.” The video titled “The Rise and Fall of Team Vulcan (Part 1)” currently has 111,000 views on YouTube.
The channel’s initial purpose was to create video essays about esports. At the time, he was interested in Overwatch and wanted to produce content about the esports scene or self-improvement. After realizing how saturated self-help competitive videos are in general, he decided to shift focus to historical content and felt League of Legends was the best game for which to do that.
Kudo feels the League of Legends esports scene is very dynamic, with ever-changing professional scenes and metas that are very different than they were three years ago.
“However, nobody has documented these lost teams and their stories,” Kudo said. “That’s where I come in.”
The process to make his videos is no simple task. He spends hours doing research to accurately describe the storylines of the teams and answer critical questions about who they are, how they won, how they fell and what lessons can be learned from their failure as a team.
“Not only do I need to answer these, but I must write the script in a way that can be easily described to a casual audience,” Kudo said. Research takes a long time, and scripts take up to a week to write, proofread and fact check. Video and Audio editing are also lengthy to make sure the video is up to his standards in terms of quality.
“I pride myself in doing all the work myself without the need to pay someone or delegate this process to others,” Kudo said.
Being a successful YouTuber, Kudo has had the opportunity to meet and talk to a number of fascinating individuals.
He met Zachary “Mancloud” Hoschar, the former star mid laner from Team Vulcan. Kudo said they had a great interview. They exchanged details on what happened to Team Vulcan when they were eliminated from the League championship Series. Mancloud offered insight on the team atmosphere and some of the widely-criticized decisions made, such as benching Bloodwater and swapping Xmithie and Zuna.
Mancloud also shared his thoughts on the team and his career overall, mentioning he is trying to get back into the LCS. Kudo said not only did he get to talk to Mancloud, but he also spoke to Mancloud’s girlfriend Ana Xjor. She recounted stories from the Vulcan days as well as of Mancloud’s attempts to return to LCS stardome.
“The one think I am a huge fan of is their ducks,” Kudo said. “They own four ducks, and on the weekend, Ana would live stream them and their shenanigans.”
Kudo is currently working on finishing his extensive series on former LCS team LMQ and their rise and fall in North America. His most popular video is on the all-female Team Siren and recently started a series of videos on the beginning of the League of Legends World Championship.
Coaching Career and Collegiate Aspirations
Kudo also served as the League of Legends coach at San Jose State for its first tournament in the Fall 2017 semester. The roster included top-10 challenger player Joey “Jòéy” Haslemann and former Team Impulse support Kenneth “ExecutionerKen” Tang.
Coaching the SJSU League team was a way for him to gain insight on how coaches and analysts think. He thought coaching was a cool opportunity to dive into the thought process of how LCS games are won and lost.
Because coaching was just one way for him to learn about team failure and success, he does not know if he will coach any time in the future.
“I love his ambition,” Spartan Starleague officer Josh Cruz said. ”He can do a lot to make things happen with esports at SJSU.”
Cruz is at the forefront of the movement to gain university-wide recognition for SJSU’s esports programs. Kudo has been working with him to talk to potential partners and create strategies going forward. The two are currently working on a plan to get SJSU’s esports recognized as a club sport, which would be a large first step toward recognition.
Lessons Learned and Looking Forward
“I learned that every single person inside this industry has a story that’s worth being told,” Kudo said. “Because my subject matter deals with the coming of age of the esports industry, a lot of growing pains occurred but were never talked about. I hope my channel is an outlet for these people to tell their stories.”
Kudo intends to go full-time inside the esports industry. “Where I end up I have no idea, but my goal is to either be a journalist or an analyst for a professional team,” Kudo said.