Māori professional gamer hopes to attract rangatahi Māori to the e-sport

By Waimanea Nuri

By Waimanea Nuri, Te Rito journalism cadet. 

Drekani, also known as Bulldawg, is one of the most well-known Māori professional gamers in Aotearoa. 

Professional gamers compete in tournaments while receiving compensation from sponsors, and Drekani's ultimate objective is to work in the industry fulltime.

As a support player for the League of Legends Dire Wolves squad, he says that what started out as a simple game turned into his ideal profession.

“I am a helping hand for everyone in the team and my favourite characters are the beefy boys like Nautilus, Alistar, Thresh and Leona. They take damage, get knocked down and walk back into the game.”

‘Become the greatest version’

He says his whānau is the embodiment of his dreams and that his new tāmoko has motivated him to maintain a connection to his Māoritanga while working to establish himself in the gaming business.

With the success of his team, Dire Wolves (one of Asia's most successful esports brands, headquartered in Auckland), he wants to encourage young Māori people to become the greatest version of themselves.

“I was bronze when I initially started playing and the following season I received Gold, and then Diamond. I was stuck there for a while before realising, ‘I might be able to become pro’, when I truly wanted to try and see how high I could reach”.

“Don't half-ass it, pour everything into it and make your dreams come true, ”he says.