Adam Daar, Professional Hearthstone Player
Adam is a 20-year-old psychology student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He started playing Hearthstone competitively about 1 year ago and reaches legend every season. RadamD joined Kyoto Esports in April 2017 as a professional Hearthstone player. He attended the American Spring Playoffs at the end of May and lost to DiegoDias to end up finishing Top 8 in the Continent of North America.
Shawn McCarter, Professional Hearthstone Player
Casual is a 21-year-old who picked up hearthstone in his spare time. Recently obtained a BoS in psychology at the College of Charleston. He’s been playing Hearthstone for almost 2 years now. He set a goal for himself that he would give his all at this hearthstone thing 3 months ago, and has taken the steps needed to go that direction by qualifying for spring prelims and dedicating his time to becoming the best he can at the game. Casual considers himself a Freeze Mage expert and laughs every time a naysayer thinks the deck is dead. Casual finished Top 64 at this year's American Spring Playoffs and plans on going to Dreamhack Atlanta and Summer Playoffs.
Ammar Nanjiani, Professional Hearthstone Player
Guiyze is a college student at UT Austin. He started playing Hearthstone the week it came out simply because it worked on touch screen devices, and he hasn’t stopped playing since. He started playing competitively in 2016, and his favorite deck of all time is Patron Warrior, but he can competently play any deck. He consistently hits legend and is giving all of his effort to qualify for Summer Playoffs. Outside of Hearthstone, Guiyze enjoys programming and looking at memes.
Ty Weiser-Podlech, Professional Hearthstone Player
Caravaggio is a sophomore at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. After starting to play hearthstone at the beginning of open beta, and reaching legend for a couple years while playing mostly casually, he started playing more competitively after qualifying for summer preliminaries in 2016. He prefers playing midrange decks but isn’t too attached to any class or archetype.
Eddie Lui, Professional Hearthstone Player
Eddie is currently studying his 4th year of Business Degree at Simon Fraser University, Canada. He started playing Hearthstone during the Beta and left the game after playing a few month. He has just started playing Hearthstone competitive 5 months ago and qualified for the Americans Spring Playoffs immediately. Currently, Eddie favorite deck is Quest Rogue and enjoy laddering with it despite the high amount of aggressive decks on the ladder. Eddie finished Top 32 at this year's American Spring Playoffs and plans on going to Dreamhack Atlanta and Summer Playoffs.
Peter Knudtsen, Professional Hearthstone Plaer
Moosey joined the Kyoto Esports team in May 2017. He is a student and head of the Esports Association at Stony Brook University. He is a competitive player, caster, streamer and esports enthusiast. Moosey loves to play wacky decks in between winning tournaments and hitting top legend ranks. Moosey is currently ranked 47th in the United States and will be competing in Summer Preliminaries with the Top 64 players in America.
Jason Yoon, Professional Super Smash Bros. Melee Player
Known for his extremely stylish playstyle as well as popularity in the smash community, professional Super Smash Bros. Melee (SSBM) player “Bizzarro Flame” is ready to bring his Ganondorf for a final run in his SSBM career. Although he retired back in early 2016 in order to focus on his career as an attorney, Bizzarro Flame has achieved career success as a young attorney and now is dedicated to spending a substantial amount of time training and competing in SSBM. Thankful to the Super Smash Bros. community as well as the eSports community as a whole for supporting him, Bizzarro Flame is fully ready to entertain as well as offer his time and perhaps his legal background in improving the competitive scene and contributing to Kyoto eSports. When he is not competing or working full time as an attorney, Bizzarro Flame is often streaming on Twitch, creating content on YouTube, or playing Overwatch/SSBM with his fiancé.
Austin Self, Professional Super Smash Bros. Melee Player
Long-time top Super Smash Bros. Melee player "Redd" joined Kyoto in May of 2017. An old-school player who began tournaments in 2005, he has watched the community grow and is ready to take his gameplay to the next level. Active in his local region of Maryland/Virginia, you can find Redd streaming consistently on Twitch, where he enjoys speed running and older games. Redd is currently globally ranked at #59.
Aaron Espinoza, Professional Super Smash Bros. Melee Player
Aaron “ALP” Espinoza is an up and coming Smash Bros Melee player from deep South Texas. ALP started playing competitive Melee in June of 2014. Despite not being able to travel often, ALP has been able to secure rank 5th in Texas and has taken down notable players along the way such as Uncle Mojo, Jake13, Aza, and Rael. Now that ALP has joined Kyoto eSports he will be able to travel around Texas more often and make strides towards becoming the best Texas has to offer.
Oliver Kanami Denk, CEO, Owner, and Founder of Kyoto eSports
Oliver "Kanami" Denk, is the CEO and Founder of Kyoto eSports. He started the company in December of 2015 with the sole purpose of helping a friend cope with a loss. The first tournament he hosted amounted to having over 50 people and thus Kyoto eSports was born. Kanami hosted more tournaments after the success of the first one and Activision Blizzard soon took notice with a partnership being formed between Kyoto and Activision Blizzard. This allowed Kyoto eSports to host HCT tournaments which give Hearthstone players points to qualify for larger tournaments. Kanami and Kyoto eSports soon started expanding to other games as well like SSBM and Overwatch, but the company and Kanami still hold true to their roots, being the #1 Hearthstone Tournament Hoster in the Americas server and making video gamers happy everywhere. He has also started sponsoring teams, content creators, and casters for these said games. As of right now, Kanami's main focus is giving players everywhere the opportunity to be great. He hopes that kyotoesports.net will allow Hearthstone players to have fun and maybe one day become a part of the family at Kyoto eSports.
Ethan Mills, Streamer / Professional Hearthstone Player
SaucyMailman is a multi-legend Hearthstone player and Twitch affiliate that joined the Kyoto Esports team in May of 2017. He got into competitive gaming playing Magic the Gathering and decided to make the move to Hearthstone after many years of playing the trading card game. His sense of humor and light-hearted personality can become addictive and make people want to come back to hang out with everyone in his streams. While staying competitive, he is known for playing entertaining and “meme” decks on camera, which his viewers enjoy and have a lot of fun with. His main focus is on Hearthstone but Saucy also frequently will stream single-player survival horror games and story-driven narrative games as well as the occasional match of Heroes of the Storm. Since April of 2016 SaucyMailman has been working hard to create a fun and entertaining spot in the world of twitch. If you enjoy a humorous and educational stream that will make you both laugh and become a better gamer then check him out and become a part of the “Cult of Saucy”.
Matthew Simoneau, Moderator
While Rogue seems like the average gamer, he is not. Rogue joined the Kyoto Staff in the Summer of 2016 and became the Head of Kyoto’s Moderation Department through 6 months of pure dedication. He has hired over 10 moderators in his time here. Rogue’s dedication has helped push Kyoto to host 5 HCT Tournaments a week. While he takes on more of an administrative role these days, he still helps out with moderation here and there. In his free time, Rogue enjoys playing strategy games and of course, Hearthstone. He plans on going into business and computer engineering during his time at college.
Ryan Birchfield, Assistant Head of Moderation
Gideon Jura joined the Kyoto Esports community in November of 2016 and became an official staff member in early January 2017. He started out with competitive gaming with Chess and quickly moved on to Magic: The Gathering. Gideon became very invested in Hearthstone during the Midrange Shaman Epidemic of 2016. He is a 3-sport varsity player, and a star student as well. He will be graduating High School in 2018 and most likely will be studying IT or Computer Engineering.
Jitiwas Choedchai, Moderator
ArmNa joined the staff team in early 2017. He is a native gamer in the country of Thailand. He has played Hearthstone for 2 years as well. ArmNa is also a multiple time winner in different Kyoto eSports tournaments and looks to expand his Hearthstone knowledge. He is a dedicated moderator that enjoys his time at Kyoto. He is now in the third position in our Moderation department and spends over 30 hours a week working to make our tournaments enjoyable for players.
Ramiro Oñate, Head of Moderation Department
Rama is a casual player who loves gaming in his free time. His favorite games are Hearthstone, League of Legends and MapleStory. He's joined the Kyoto team and believe it has a huge potential to grow and improve. He is a Spanish native speaker but has studied English since he was young. He is constantly helping out in a wide variety of tasks and one of his most important tasks in Kyoto is to post in the Twitter main account of Kyoto. One of his biggest dreams is to be able to spread the word for Kyoto in his country and make it a well known eSports organization there.
Stewart Lyons, Moderator
Being a member of Kyoto since April 2017, Stewart is a semi-competitive Hearthstone player hoping to make a name for himself very soon. He has played Hearthstone since beta and loves the control warrior archetype. Stewart plays a great supportive position at Kyoto and while he has only been here for a month, he tries his hardest to work a full time job and moderate Kyoto Tournaments at night. As Stewart finds more free time, he might work harder on becoming a professional Hearthstone career and potentially joining the ranks of the Kyoto Hearthstone Players.
Calvin Lai, Head of Casting Department
An aspiring caster by night and a salesman by day, Calvin has been playing card games all his life. Beginning with Pokemon from the age of 6, he’s played Yugioh, Magic the Gathering, and Force of Will competitively. Having been a part of the community for so long, but the realities of life-limiting going to local and regional tournaments, Hearthstone has been a natural transition for Calvin. He is looking forward to building a presence in the community and eventually building a channel on Twitch. Calvin currently is the Head of our Casting Department.
Nathaniel Wright, Caster
Nathaniel is a Semi-competitive player who loves competing and watching open cups and other Hearthstone tournaments. He joined the Kyoto staff in April 2017 seeing Kyoto as a place with lots of opportunity and good ideas. When he is not playing Hearthstone Nathaniel likes singing and playing Super Smash Bros. He is set to graduate in 2019 and is a top student hoping to major in Economics and Musical Theater
Austin Weaver, Hearthstone Caster
Panda just graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, attaining his masters of divinity, moving to Dallas after Graduation. During his last semester, he started to pursue competitive Hearthstone, hitting legend every month since December and placing well in tournaments such as SXSW, Pax South and winning a tavern hero in Austin. He recently joined the casting team for Kyoto and remains a reserve player for the professional team. Other than Hearthstone, Panda enjoys other esports and games, ultimate frisbee, and streaming.
Benjamin Kelly, Caster
Ben is an avid gamer who closely follows the competing esports scene. He hopes to one day be able to compete in esports competitions but currently studies Computer Science. A member of Kyoto eSports since February 2017, Ben helped developed the streaming sector of Kyoto, and recently has given over leadership of the casting department to focus on his studies until the summer.
Aaron Frost, Journalist
Aaron Frost has been writing for two years and has been up and coming ever since! Starting his Esports career at the young age of 12, Aaron wrote small articles on sites such as Reddit and wikis. Aaron’s Esports career only took off when he got offered a chance to work for a small team known as Beacon Esports. Here, Aaron made his mark. Writing over 50 articles that were widely established in the community and informed the masses about information big and small! Eventually, Aaron moved on from this position and joined GosuGamers writing many articles in which capsulated his skills on a global level. Ever since then, Aaron has been moving across the scene helping wherever he can!
Sam Carpenter, Journalist
Born and raised in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Sam is currently attending high school. He first joined Kyoto as a journalist after participating in a few tournaments and seeing that they were hiring and has worked from then on from sponsorships to our Patreon page. Despite having never reached Rank 15, he loves playing Hearthstone and is always cooking up some sort of meme deck. In his spare time, Sam reads, practices the piano, plays video games, has his own radio show, and is currently in the process of creating his own game. After graduation, he plans to major in business and minor in computer science, hopefully at MIT.
Mel de Guzman, Journalist
Mel is a telecom professional and amateur musician. He joined Kyoto eSports in May 2017 as a journalist. He started playing Hearthstone in Open Beta and stopped pre-Naxxramas but has just recently returned in January 2017. He enjoys watching and writing about professional and high-level e-sports matches. The articles he writes about e-sports matches are detailed summaries. Apart from that, he also enjoys writing about fun and budget decks that work well for beginners in a lower bracket. He also likes to join tournaments to test out his homebrew decks and writes an assessment report if the deck is viable in tournament play or ladder play. He also plays Dota 2 and CS:GO in his free time. Mel usually plays the hard support/farming support role in Dota 2 while in CS:GO he usually plays a utility scout/rush player.
Joseph Campagnuolo, Graphic Designer
Twisted is a sophomore at Blue Valley North in Overland Park, Kansas. Since learning the ropes of graphic design a few years ago he has been attached to the art ever since. He has skills in Photoshop and Illustrator and loves doing it. In addition, he loves playing Hearthstone and has been playing since release. He has never seemed to be able to reach legend but maybe one day, he will be able to.
Peter Decker, Graphic Designer
PGDiv is new to the eSports industry, however he is experienced in video and photo editing. He has utilized these talents to support Kyoto eSports with promotional videos. PGDiv plans on going to Radford University next year to further his studies and learn more about cinematography. Maybe one day he will be filming movies to the likes of Christopher Nolan or Quentin Tarantino. PGDiv also has a close bond with Kanami due to his long history with Kanami and the fact that they attended the same high school.