We had the good fortune of connecting with Calvin Lofton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Calvin, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
With my Production company (VGBootCamp) it all started with community. The Smash Bros. scene was tiny and my brother Matthew and I wanted to provide a service to help grow it. We had a shaky start, but when our Twitch and YouTube Channels blew up at the end of 2013 we were able to go full time and turn it into a real company.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
VGBootCamp is an esports production and media company. We focus on the Smash Bros. game series. From 2009 to 2013 my brother Matthew and I were pouring our savings into this company to travel across North America to provide Smash Tournaments with live-streams to help grow the audience and scene. Most of the time we did this for free or at cost. Smash was very small at that point. most “big” events had 100 – 300 people and we usually maxed out at 100 or 200 live viewers on the live-stream. We believed the scene would turn into something big so we kept pushing forward despite us constantly running in the red. in 2013 we had our big break and our channels exploded. We saw tremendous growth until the end of 2016 and are still growing steadily to this day. Big Smash Tournaments now have 1000s of entrants and is the biggest esport in the world when it comes to in-person attendees. There are about 250,000 active players. We also started the first-ever Smash weekly in 2012. This is where you hold an in-person tournament during a weekday that starts after work hours. It usually goes from 7:30 pm – 12am. That weekly (Smash @ Xanadu) exploded in popularity and inspired 1000s of others to start their own weeklies across the world. Now (Pre-Covid), there are 100s of weeklies every day that get 50 – 150 entrants which helps support the local smash scene and brings new talent to light.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If Covid wasn’t a thing I’d probably bring them to DC for a good night out. We could go get Korean BBQ and then go to a club to have a good time dancing. There are also a lot of good hiking spots in Maryland that are amazing during spring and summer. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The Smash Community. Although we got to where we got to through hard work and making good decisions, there was a huge community effort involved in making this happen. Everyone did their part.
Other: youtube.com/gimr <- my personal yt