Here on Boards we often highlight the shiny things like cosplay and fanart but today I wanted to give a shoutout to one of the most underappreciated folks in the League community: Zachary "Moobeat" Day, the founder and editor of LoL news site Surrender@20.
Read on to learn more about Surrender@20's origin story, Moobeat's day-to-day life, and his advice for anyone else working on passion projects (League-related or otherwise)!
[Surrender at 20](http://www.surrenderat20.net)
**How'd you get into League of Legends?**
I stopped playing World of Warcraft after several years and was looking for something to fill the gap. Played a lot of Warcraft III customs in that time and, having quite a bit of experience with Aeon of Strife and Defense of the Ancients, figured I'd give this new-fangled League of Legends a try after running into it on a forum somewhere. Joined up around the time Kog'Maw was new, got into it pretty fast and rallied my other friends to start playing. It quickly became "the game" in my circle of friends, and I sincerely regret not buying Rusty Blitzcrank when I had the chance.
**What made you decide to start with Surrender@20? When did you decide to go all-in and make it your full-time gig?**
Funny enough, Surrender at 20 started in spirit with a dorky Facebook group. A bunch of my friends had gotten into League and I'd constantly ramble on with "Did you see this skin that came out?", "Did you hear about the new champion?" -- that sort of stuff. Coming from years of WoW and all the big community sites, I really felt the lack of a centralized "news" site that wasn't just a team site with a Red Tracker.
After quitting my crappy retail job, I had a lot of free time on my hands, so I started a little blog to cover whatever I could find out about LoL and keep it in one place to point my dumb friends to. The first post was on Feb 25th, 2011 and was about the new teaser for [Piltover Customs Blitzcrank](http://www.surrenderat20.net/2011/02/possible-blitzcrank-legendary-skin-inc.html). I started recapping the patch previews, posting red posts, trying to find the new skins in each patch, and things just took off from there.
I went full time with Surrender at 20 in early 2013. Traffic was going pretty good, people were really starting to pick up the site, and I certainly was feeling the pressure of keeping up with the site and my school work. Had a few health problems very early that semester that eventually led to me dropping my classes. That ended up being a big opportunity to double down on the site and really push forward. Thanks to fans of the site, I also had the opportunity to attend PAX East 2013.
That PAX was my first trip out of quiet southern Indiana, and it really supercharged my motivation for the site. Everything was just completely different from what I expected; fans from all around came up to me and told me how much they liked S@20 and everything I put together. I caught the chance to talk with oodles of Rioters who -- much to my surprise -- actually had visited S@20 and were very open and supportive. Talking to Ezreal about design, BelligerentSwan asking about my favorite sound effects, Krylhos poking me with ideas on what would eventually become these boards, gushing to IronStylus about Leona and ohmikegoodness on animation, dancing with Morello and Romulus at the pub crawl, FeralPony punching me in the face, all that good stuff.
**What does a typical day in the life of Moobeat look like?**
This sounds so boring typed out. Usually I hit the hay pretty early in the morning and wake up around noon EST to keep up with Riot's PST schedule. Assuming I'm not stirred from my slumber to some sort of surprise crazy reveal that I'm rushing to cover, I usually hit up the Boards and Reddit to find any sort of red posts, then spend a bit catching up in the comment sections and social media answering questions and stuff like that. The PBE typically updates 5 days a week so a few hours of that takes up the majority of the day, followed by jumping in all the discussion on whatever was in it -- be that reiterating official context or gunning through my own assumptions.
Once that is wrapped, I'll dork around with whatever until the things calm down and hitting up another pass on the Boards, Reddit, and social media for more red post collection stuff. After all the posts are done for the day, I usually round out the night by losing a few ranked games before crawling into bed around 6 or 7 am.
**Tell me a bit about your team. Who else powers the Surrender@20 machine?**
While I'm pushing through all the articles, my girlfriend Aznbeat puts in a lot of hours helping me with PBE stuff; ranging from screenshot lackey to keeping the WIP on track. The fabulous Glyceroll weighs in on all things eSports, and Uli from Skin Spotlights, is an all-around brainiac responsible for a lot of the tools and programs I use to speed things up on the site. Fr0styNinja is the man behind the curtain when it comes to the site's design. Woops is sort of just here.
**Who else in the community inspires you?**
I'm always impressed by those streaming/videos people who put themselves out there and try their damnedest carve out their own chunk of such a huge community. By name, people like Blakinola really impress me. That guy has really made a name for himself and never gives up that push to make it better. Most humble dude in the world, by the way -- at PAX I watched him stop every 5 feet to take a picture and wax League with any fan who comes up to him. Great dude.
**Do you have any advice for anyone looking to start their own League passion project?**
I think a lot of folks make the mistake of jumping right in and expecting to pull in the big traffic right away. If you are really serious and really passionate about what you are doing, you've got to stick with it. It's going to be hard, and it's going to be competitive, but you have to chin up and push through. I started from a dorky little purple blog with an MS Paint header that I really didn't even expect my friends to visit. It took about two years of pouring time and effort into the site for S@20 to really start take off. There were a lot of times I figured I'd shrug it off, or thought it was time to throw away the dream, but I'm so glad I stuck with it. Other people will lock on to your enthusiasm and will appreciate that honest work.
I also think you have got to make something that ~you~ would like to have as a player or fan of the game. I've always tried to keep Surrender@20 the type of site that I would visit frequently: no shortcuts, in depth coverage, no annoying-as-hell full page takeover ad that I've got to dumpster if I want to just see content.