BitFenix, KODE5 and You

[Today, we have a special guest blogger: KODE5’s very own Lester Lau. Welcome, Lester! -Ed]

Hi guys,

First off, it’s really nice of the BitFenix guys to allow me to post on their blog – it’s great to be here. :)

So just a bit of background about me for the benefit of those out there who have never heard of me. My name is Lester Lau and I’m the Revolutionary-in-Command at KODE5. I have been a part of KODE5 since the beginning. Now in our fourth season, it’s fair to say that I’ve been involved in gaming for a little while now.

The last four seasons have been a truly eye-opening experience for me. Not only has the job allowed me to work with one of my true passions – gaming – but it has also enabled me to meet a bunch of gamers all over the world. I’ve been to several countries over the last 4 years thanks to KODE5, and many of these places I would normally never have had the chance to check out. From Seoul to Moscow, Helsinki to Beijing, I’ve had the pleasure to meet gamers from all over the world now; it’s been crazy fun.

But before I was directly involved with the gaming scene, my career was developing in the world of hardware. By nature, I’m the kind of guy that just loves gadgets and technology, and have been dabbling in it ever since my family bought our first computer (a VIC-20, for those who are wondering). I remember one experience in particular that really got me hooked on PC gaming. It had to do with my buddy Chris, who was completely into PCs long before I ever was. I was still enjoying consoles like the SNES and TurboGrafx-16 (most underrated console evar), but Chris called me over to his house to see something… special.

He had just picked up a new video card for his PC, something called a Monster 3D. He told me he paid like $350 for it, which was a ridiculous amount of money back then. He said it had an amazing 4MB of video memory, and delivered some of the best graphics available. I was skeptical… until he fired up a little game called Quake II. After I saw him fire the rail gun for the first time, I was completely hooked. That summer, I worked at a part-time job and saved just enough money to get my first gaming PC based on an Intel Celeron 300A (humming at 450Mhz, of course) and a BH6 motherboard from a little company called ABIT.

Fast forward several years later. After graduating from university and working for a year, I decided to come to Taiwan to learn Chinese. I wanted to find work while I was here to keep me going, and so I was looking through one of the local classifieds for job openings. To my surprise and utter delight, one company was looking for a PR representative, and that company was none other than ABIT.

ABIT was a really special company. I was already a fanboy of sorts, so telling people what was cool about ABIT products came pretty naturally. I would tell them how it was the first motherboard to feature jumperless overclocking, and how awesome that was. It was like free performance! I would tell them how they had a custom microprocessor on the motherboard that allowed users to overclock their system right from Windows. I would tell them how they were the first to implement heatpipe cooling directly on the motherboard. The list of innovations went on and on, and this culture of innovation made it a fun place to work. You never knew what those engineers were working on, but when it was finally revealed, it was usually pretty impressive.

During my time at ABIT, I also was fortunate enough to be involved in the creation of the ACON tournament series. ABIT was serious about supporting gaming – so much so that they were the very first hardware company to hold their own global gaming tournament! We held ACON for two years, and up until things got weird at ABIT – a few bad apples really can ruin the whole batch – it was a very enlightening experience. Not wanting to just give up on gaming entirely, a few friends and I decided to break away and create our own global gaming tournament, and from that, KODE5 was born.

So, imagine my own excitement when I heard that a few of my old colleagues from ABIT were looking to start something new. I had first heard about it around October of last year. The wanted to bring back a lot of that same ABIT-style culture of innovation and performance, and focus it on gaming gear. Knowing their past history, I thought this was a great idea, and now, just seven short months later, BitFenix is an official sponsor of KODE5.

It’s funny how things work out sometimes.

This new cooperation with BitFenix means that I’ll be once again working with some of my old ABIT colleagues. They will help support the tour, and in return, they will be able to use global KODE5 events to reach gamers all around the world. They will also be consulting with KODE5 for product development. People coming to KODE5 events will be able to see BitFenix gear in action, and also get a chance to meet some of the members of the BitFenix team and let them know directly what sorts of products they are looking for. I haven’t seen many (read: any) companies show up on the scene and immediately start sponsoring a gaming tournament, but here we are. When it comes to being about the community, these BitFenix guys are the real deal.

By leveraging their deep understanding of high-performance hardware, and tapping into KODE5’s network of gaming events and activities for feedback, I believe that BitFenix is on the road to something great. And judging by their early product ideas, I’m confident that you’ll feel the same way once the first BitFenix products start showing up.

I can hardly wait until David comes through with that autographed Colossus he promised me. :)

[You can find out more about the KODE5 Global Gaming Revolution here.]

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