Ian Sansavera - Director of 1UP Studios

For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Ian Sansavera — newly appointed Director of 1UP Studios.

A lot of people have been fans of competitive gaming and esports their whole lives… but my esports journey started just a few years ago in December of 2015. At the time, I was a video editor at Quest Nutrition (a former sponsor of Team Liquid) and my first esports project was the Piglet Christmas Surprise video. I conceptualized, shot and edited that piece, not knowing a single thing about who Piglet was, or what esports even meant to the community at large. The day that video was released, I was completely blown away by the community reaction and how much people cared about this industry. Needless to say, I was hooked instantly.

In the following months I got to work on a few more Team Liquid videos through Quest, and every time I got the same excited feeling when it was released. I remember contacting Damian to see if he could put me in touch with someone at Riot so I could further explore my career in esports, but instead of passing me to Riot he offered me a job at Team Liquid instead. In May of 2016, I left Quest Nutrition to join 1UP Studios as Director of Post Production — still with little knowledge of the esports industry. It was a major change for me, but Team Liquid and the esports community was so inviting and exciting that I couldn’t pass on the opportunity… (side note, not only did I help edit the ‘Smoothie Challenge’ announcement video, but it’s also my voice as the announcer)

At the time, Damian and I were working out of a very small studio apartment in Los Angeles, living amongst various Team Liquid players and creating as much content as possible. All I knew how to do was edit video, and Damian was absolutely instrumental in teaching me the ins and outs of the industry and games we were creating content about. As the years went by, our team started to grow. We gained recognition for our content, and I began to really understand esports.

In my time at 1UP, I got to be a part of many amazing projects. We did featurettes for the MLG Columbus Major and FaceIt London Major; 2 commercials with Samsung at E3 2017 that required an overnight edit to go on stream the next day; an episode of ‘Gamer Gods’ featuring our CS:GO team that aired on Fuse TV; the Xfinity ‘Life Of A Genius” series featuring Evil Geniuses’ Dota 2 team; and many many more. A LOT of long, sleepless nights fueled by Monster Energy and creativity. I’ve been able to travel the world, work with amazing people, and I can’t put into words how blessed and fortunate I am to have my passion for video production bring me to where I am today.

Fast forward to today, as I sit here writing this post, I’m still blown away by what we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time. Working with Damian has given me a whole new perspective on film making and storytelling and without him, I think I’d still be completely lost. I’m confident that everything he has taught me will bleed over into the new direction for 1UP Studios, and I will still work closely with him on a daily basis because his knowledge of esports and Team Liquid is simply amazing.

In my new role, I will be getting out of the editing bay and opening up more of my time and creative energy to the rest of the 1UP Studios team. We have a very talented roster here, and my job will be to understand everyone’s strengths and put them to the best uses possible for our content. I am extremely excited to inject my own flair and creativity into everything we do at 1UP Studios. I am extremely excited to continue striving for greatness and innovating esports content week after week. I am extremely excited for the future of Team Liquid. I am extremely excited to work with more brands, more teams, and more people who inspire me in esports. I am extremely excited to continue developing video production talent within the realm of esports and beyond. I am extremely excited, period.

Thank you to all who believed in me over the years, and a special thank you to those who didn’t. Failure and adversity are what breeds continued growth and success in every aspect of life, and without my failures, I’d have no success stories to share.

Ian Sansavera