Today, my time as an esports journalist comes to an end.

When I started as a journalist eight years ago, I never imagined how much my life would change because of esports. It has allowed me to travel across the globe and meet fascinating people from all walks of life, all united by gaming. Esports gave me friendships that will last a lifetime and it gave me the opportunity to grow into a journalist, a person, I’m proud to be.

But I’m someone who needs to keep exploring.

I launched Em Dash last year as an effort to push myself to the absolute limit. I wanted to see if the challenge would offer a new perspective, a new angle to channel my passion for esports through. Although I was proud to see that it would indeed be possible to make a living from running my own site, as my content received a lot of support, I also quickly realized that running my own site was not the challenge I sought.

For the first time, I looked at opportunities elsewhere and felt the urge to take them. I’ve come to understand that, in order to keep growing, I have to take a daunting leap outside of esports.

I realize that this is an unexpected announcement, but I made the decision to move on from esports months ago after countless sleepless nights and emotional conversations. In the end, I simply wanted to phase out at my own pace.

To my fellow esports journalists, whether you are old, new, or even aspiring to be one: I’m rooting for you. Never forget that the article comes before the journalist. When journalism becomes a popularity contest, the truth loses. Journalism isn’t just a job. It’s a duty. I know many of you feel the same way and I hope you don’t lose sight of that.

To everyone else, from the hundreds of people I’ve interviewed to my colleagues, from those of you who took the time to read or watch my content to the thousands of passionate people that work behind the scenes: thank you. Esports was my life, and you made it possible.

Esports is something special. Please take care of it. I’ll be cheering from the sideline.

— Tom