Zhi Ko aka NekozTek is a recognizable face for many in the online gaming space and has always had a strong passion for video games despite also leveraging his talents in other areas like digital media and Fintech entrepreneurship.
Zhi answered a few questions about his early life, growth in influence, and the gaming projects he has been able to work on since.
Hi Zhi, where did you grow up and what aspects of your early life inspired where you are today?
I grew up in South Florida, where I went to sports academy as a child for tennis. Growing up as a competitive tennis player, I was inspired to strive towards greatness. Tennis taught me to be independent, resourceful, and disciplined. These were life lessons I was able to carry on with me in adulthood.
Growing up in a boarding school type program also meant playing a lot of video games with friends. Which, in turn, became a passion of mine as I grew older. The ability to connect with friends virtually, anywhere in the world is incredible and carried with me.
How did you transition from gaming as a pastime to a tool for generating influence that you can now leverage in other areas?
As I grew older and dabbled further into the world of gaming, I realized there was such an incredible opportunity for networking. Traditionally, the average person attends an event maybe once a month. This event is coupled with getting ready, looking presentable and meeting a social standard. To me, that was simply inorganic. I realized that networking within a closed “safe” space out of judgement was an incredible opportunity and decided to further pursue its possibilities.
Now that I have a larger following, I try to provide as much content about the space as possible, as well as help, grow the ecosystem of gaming.
What inspired you to co-found Noble 5 and develop unique gaming mice?
My friends and I realized there is a giant discrepancy with top tier brands and their consumers. Only a handful of companies that develop upper-tier products used by serious gamers exist, and quite frankly, they take advantage of the marketplace. We wanted to create a high-end product that could meet the capabilities of these giant companies, while still giving back and providing the product at an actual fair price.
The average gamer is young and spending $100 on a mouse is typically impossible. Yet that should not stop someone from following their dreams to become a pro gamer. That is where Noble 5 comes in and fills that gap.
Can you tell us a bit about what Radiance Gaming is all about?
Radiance Gaming is a full-fledged esports company that owns various teams within it. These teams compete at the highest level on some of the biggest games around. Besides being an esports team, Radiance Gaming strives to give back to the community, by creating a positive and enriching ecosystem.
We play games with our fans around the world and provide charitable services through streaming and events.
How do you find time to balance and give equal attention to all the different projects you work on while still finding time for you to relax?
I love the process. My entertainment includes my work. Seeing my projects develop and grow over time is both my work and my past time. While others enjoy going out, camping etc. I enjoy seeing companies grow and being apart of them.
The best way to find time to balance all these projects is by writing down A LOT of notes and waking up early. I find myself extremely productive earlier in the day, regardless of how little sleep I might have gotten the night before. Also, writing down notes and consistently reminding myself of what I must do, it keeps my team and me accountable. This helps cut procrastination and lag in accomplishing a task.
What advice would you give someone considering following a career path like yours?
My biggest advice is to be patient and fluid. As a young entrepreneur, I always thought I had the next best thing. Refusing to take advice from others and sticking to my way. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is always room for improvement and always more to learn. Be patient, don’t rush things as businesses get expensive. Also, find yourself a mentor and ask for help, chances are he/she will see something different for your business, which could end up being the X factor you need to take your business to another level.