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Community Highlights: Meet Rickie Holmes of House Goldfyre Gaming

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rickie Holmes. 

Rickie, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was born and raised in the Lakeshore-Collinwood area. I attended mainly Catholic schools but in the middle of my Junior year, I transferred from Villa Angela- St. Joesph High School to Euclid High School. During those days I had a hard time making friends so I escaped to the realm of video games. Catholic school isn’t cheap, my family struggled so they I can have a above average education and a stable platform of life that most black boys didn’t have. After high school I knew I wanted to build my own business but didn’t know what to do, so I focused on the talents I have such as cooking and baking. Soon I went to Tri-C focusing on business and finance, while working 3rd shifts at a Circle K. I applied to many of the restaurants and food spots all around my area to get experience working in a kitchen and applied to culinary school. Of course, that didn’t work out for me, but that doesn’t mean I gave up. After working in convenience stores, I’ve worked at various metal foundries making good money for someone my age at the time while in community college for business, so I’ve learned about investing, money and business management through YouTube and school. During the virus pandemic, my hours were cut, leading to more free time for me to play video games just for fun. Soon my workplace closed, and I was one of many others who found themselves gaining unemployment checks. I honestly hate getting money and not exactly earning it so I decided to increase my investment portfolio and do research into modern-day esports, along with studying marketing, graphic design, and negotiation skills. I saw that there wasn’t much of an esports market in Northeast Ohio/Cleveland, but in Ohio as a whole, there was. When I began working at Jakprints around Summer 2021, I’ve learned about screen printing clothing and merchandising, along with e-commerce and drop shipping. In February 2021, I’ve founded House Goldfyre with my nephew, him and his friends became my first players. My recruiting focus is toward middle school and high school students; there was more scholarships towards esports so I thought I could hop on that trend, develop players for college esports and build a relationship with the various colleges that offer these gaming opportunities. A year and some months later we’ve grown to over 20 players ranging to 14-22 years old, we’ve lost some along the way, but we’re always open for them to return and for others to join.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Not at all! You would think having a group of gamers playing video games competitively is easy, but nope it’s not! I’d had to find players that share my interests and are at my standards. I have also had to invest in building a PC and had to buy equipment for various players. Time management has also been a struggle if you don’t know how exactly to manage your time while having a job and building a business at the same time. Every week I take time to search for various online tournaments or matches for our players to join, remind players to train, and send me footage of them playing to post on our various social media profiles that I myself am in charge of. I’ve also had to deal with players who we’re not taking this seriously and had to ask them to leave because I felt that was disrespectful to players who are doing their part to improve our organization and getting us closer to becoming a successful esports/gaming organization. Honestly, as a team owner and player, I don’t have time to play competitively.

We’ve been impressed with House Goldfyre Gaming, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are a gaming organization that focuses on competitive esports and video game content creation; soon we are also going into clothing. We play various games on just about all systems, PC, Xbox, even Virtual Reality. I’d like to think that we are different from the various small amateur gaming collectives that are in Ohio, but I personally have not learned of any organization around my side of town, so with that, I believe that we may be the first or at least still going. Because of my knowledge of stock portfolio investing, I’ve started a portfolio for the organization to invest a part of our income from tournaments, affiliate/partnership deals, and some of player’s income from streaming. Now our focus is on building our players social media numbers which in turn will build the organization’s social media numbers bit by bit. Players have been live streaming on twitch when they can. Promoting our team in the outside world and on their social media accounts. Personally, I believe our theme stands out; our logo, art, graphics, and the way our organization is structured with various titles, are inspired by Game of Thrones, gothic style, other medieval period terms. You could also say that we’re an ‘alternative’ gaming lifestyle brand. I’m proud of my organization being a black-owned esports team which still being diverse with players of different cultures, races, beliefs, gender, and sexual orientation. Avalon is open to all who are ambitious!

So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
They can contact me through email, but I’m mainly on Instagram and Facebook. I’ve just started back up my LinkedIn. Our Linktree has all of our social media, but you’ll see majority of our gameplay and activity on our Instagram @housegoldfyre_esports. Keep an eye out for our YouTube and TikTok coming soon! We’re also planning on expanding to other games, so we’ll need new players to our rosters so if you’re reading this, please share with a teen who you think plays “too much” video games; they can make a career out of it or a huge stepping stone to various careers in media, branding, computer science, graphic arts, or even education!

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Image Credits

Lysse Mack

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