Panayam kay Ken, Pot, at Spraky: Axie University Co-Founders

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Sa isang bayan sa Nueva Ecija, maraming mga Pilipino ang kumita ng sapat sa kanilang pangangailangan dahil sa paglalaro ng NFT game na Axie Infinity. Bumisita si Leah Callon-Butler, columnist sa crypto news site na Coindesk at director ng Emfarsis, kasama si Nathan Smale, principal consultant ng Emfarsis, sa Cabanatuan upang makita ang mga Pilipinong nagbago ang buhay ng dahil sa “Play-to-Earn.”

Dito sa pang-limang parte ng “Play-to-Earn Profiles, aking ininterview sina Ken Grancho, John Emmanuel Dela Peña (Pot), at John Carlos (Spraky), na siyang mga nagbuo ng Axie University (AxU), na bahagi na ngayon ng Yield Guild Games. Layunin nina Ken, Pot, at Spraky na makapagbigay ng 100 to 200 na Axie Scholarships sa taong ito.

SIlang tatlo ay nainterview din sa documentary na pinamagatang: “Play-to-Earn: NFT Gaming in the Philippines” na produced ng Yield Guild Games kasama ang Delphi Digital at dinirek ng Emfarsis.

Ito ang kanilang Kwentong #SalamatAxie at #PlayToEarn.

Tagalog: Panayam sa Axie University Co-Founders

Ang mga founders ng Axie University na sina Ken Garancho, John Emmanuel Dela Peña (Pot), at John Carlos (Spraky) ay layuning makapagbigay ng Axie scholarship sa pamamagitan ng Yield Guild Games sa 100 to 200 ngayong taon na ito. Plano ng mga founders na mag provide ng support, education, at training sa mga scholars nito para sa mahusay na paglalaro ng play-to-earn game na Axie Infinity.

Dahil sa Axie Infinity maraming tagumpay ang nakamit na nina Ken, Pot, at Spraky. Sa maikling panahon lamang nabago ang buhay nila at ng kanilang pamilya. At dahil na din dito gusto na din nilang mai-share pa ito sa mas maraming tao. 

Sa interview na ito ay ipapasilip namin sa inyo kung paano nabago ang buhay ng AxU founders at ng ilan sa kanilang mga scholars.

Paano niyo na-discover ang Axie Infinity at sinong nag-introduce nito sa inyo?

Ken, John (Pot) at John Carlos (Spraky) ng Axie University

Ayon kay Ken at Pot, na-introduce sa kanila ang Axie Infinity ng isa pa nilang kaibigan. Nag post si Ken sa Facebook ng interest niya sa game na ito. Nang makita naman kaagad ni Spraky ang post na ito ni Ken agad niyang kinontak si Ken para i-share ang excitement niya, kakabili lang din kasi ni Spraky ng una niyang Axie team.

Paano nagsimula ang Axie University o AxU?

Tinulungan ni Spraky na makabili sina Ken at Pot ng sari-sarili nilang Axie team. Pagkatapos lamang ng ilang araw nakita nilang tatlo ang potential ng game at dito nila napag desisyunan na magkaroon ng Axie University. Layunin nito na palaganapin ang paglalaro ng Axie sa kanilang komunidad.

“Nakita namin ang potential ng game para magdagdag ng kabuhayan sa mga tao na nawalan ng trabaho lalo na ngayong pandemic, lalong-lalo na sa mga gamers na katulad namin. Ang opportunity ng play-to-game na ito ay revolutionary talaga.

Kaming tatlo, bata pa lang naglalaro na kami ng iba’t-ibang games sa computer wala naman kaming kinikita. Pero itong Axie Infinity lahat ng mapanalunan namin sa game may katumbas na pera na pwede naming ipambayad ng bills namin, ipambili ng groceries at marami pa,” dagdag ni Ken.

Paano kayo natutong maglaro ng Axie Infinity?

“Nag uusap-usap kaming tatlo ng gameplay namin, nag she-share kami ng personal game strategy, pag may bago kaming natutunan shini-share namin sa isa’t-isa. Nanonood din kami ng mga video tutorials ni Kookoo TV Crypto sa Youtube. 

Pero the best pa din talaga na matuto ka sa sarili mong gameplay, lahat ng Axies ay unique at may kanya-kanyang card combos. Aralin mo mabuti ang team mo at magkaroon ka ng sarili mong strategy sa paglalaro nito,” ayon kay Spraky. 

Ano ang plano nyo sa Axu?

Ang AxU at ang YGG ay nagtutulungan para makapagbigay ng scholarships sa mas marami pa nating mga kababayan hindi lamang dito sa Cabanatuan City kundi pati na din sa iba pang probinsya sa Pilipinas.  Sa kasalukuyan meron na kaming 100 scholars. 

Naghahanda kami na makapagbigay pa ng 100 scholarships sa mga susunod na buwan. Ito ay para makatulong sa mga taong nawalan ng trabaho ngayong pandemic para tulungan silang kahit papaano ay makadagdag ng pantustos sa araw-araw. Sa paglalaro nito maraming buhay na ang binago ng Axie Infinity.

Anong mga katangian ang hinahanap nyo sa isang scholars?

“Nung nagsisimula pa lamang kami, naghahanap talaga kami nung gamers na. Yung sanay ng maglaro. Kasi alam na nila kaagad kung paano nagwo-work ang online games tapos syempre interested din sila kumita habang naglalaro. Pero ngayon ang hinahanap na lang namin ay yung motivated at commited na gamers.  Yung ang pangarap ay kumita para sa kanilang pamilya, yung mga taong willing mag grind sa game,” dagdag pa ni Spraky.

Paano nakakatulong ang paglalaro ng Axie sa buhay nyo at sa buhay ng mga scholars nyo?

Naikwento ni Ken ang experience ng kanyang Uncle simula ng mabigyan nila ito ng scholarship. Nabayaran nito lahat ng kanyang utang, nabili na din niya ang kanyang anak ng bagong cellphone, at nagkaroon din ito ng puhunan sa maliit na business. Tumatanaw ng malaking utang ng loob ang kanyang Uncle sa kanya, paliwanag naman si Ken sa Uncle nya na lahat ng magagandang bagay na nangyayari sa kanila dahil sa Axie ay dahil na din sa pagpu-pursigi nitong matutunan at maging committed na pag husayan ang paglalaro sa game. 

Nang dahil din sa Axie, natulungan ni Ken ang kanyang asawa sa pag-tatayo nito ng maliit na business.

Si Spraky naman ay actively na nagbibigay ng scholarships sa kanyang mga dating ka-opisina, pati narin ang mga security guards at cleaning staff. Layunin ni Spraky na ang perang kinikita ng mga ito sa paglalaro ay makatulong ng malaki para maiangat pa nila ang kanilang buhay lalong-lalo na ngayong pandemya.

Si Pot ay natanggal sa trabaho dahil sa pandemic. Ang pagdating ng Axie sa buhay nya ay itinuturing niyang blessings. Ito ngayon ang kanilang pangunahing pangkabuhayan. Dahil din sa paglalaro ng Axie ay na-introduce na din  sya sa cryptocurrency ngayon ay active na din sya sa pagte-trade ng mga ito. 

Patuloy nilang dini-discover ang mundo ng cryptocurrency at ng mga paraan kung paano ito makakatulong hindi lamang sa kanila kundi pati na din sa iba pang mga tao. 

Binago ng Axie ang buhay ng mga founders ng AxU. Nag iba na ang pananaw nila sa paghawak ng pera kung dati ay iniintay lamang nila ang kanilang sahod para lang ipambayad ng bills at bumili ng mga bagay na hindi naman talaga nila kailangan ngayon ay pinag-iisipan na nilang mabuti kung saan pupunta ang kanilang mga kinikita. Natuto na din sila ng iba’t-ibang cryptocurrency at ngayon ay pinag-aaralan na din nila kung paano sila kikita sa Non-Fungible Token o NFT.  Pinapalaki nila ang kanilang puhunan sa pagre-invest sa iba pang mga play-to-earn games

“Marami sa mga scholars namin ang tawag sa amin ay ‘boss’ o di kaya ‘sir’.  Malaki daw ang utang ng loob nila sa amin dahil sa pagpapakilala sa kanila ng Axie Infinity, ang sabi naman namin lahat naman ng kinikita nila ay dahil na din sa tyaga at sipag nila na matutunan ang game para kumita ng malaking SLP kami sa AxU ay nagsisilbing tulay lamang,” paliwanag ni Ken.

English: How did the AxU co-founders learn about ‘Axie Infinity’ and who introduced them to the game?

In one rural area in the Philippines, an entire community has earned a living from playing the blockchain game called Axie Infinity. Leah Callon-Butler, columnist for major crypto news publication Coindesk and director of consultancy firm Emfarsis, together with Emfarsis’ principal consultant Nathan Smale travelled to Cabanatuan to meet the very people whose lives have changed because of “Play-to-Earn.”

In the fifth article in our “Play-to-Earn Profiles” series, I interviewed Ken Garancho, John Emmanuel Dela Peña (Pot), and John Carlos (Spraky), the three founders of Axie University (AxU) which is now part of Yield Guild Games. They plan to offer 100 – 200 Axie scholarships this year.They also appeared in the documentary: Play-to-Earn: NFT Gaming in the Philippines” produced by Yield Guild Games in collaboration with Delphi Digital and directed by Emfarsis. 

What are the three entrepreneurs up to these days? This is their #PlayToEarn and #ThanksAxie story.

Axie University (AxU) co-founders (L-R), Ken Garancho, John Emmanuel Dela Peña (Pot), and John Carlos (Spraky), aim to help onboard 100-200 Yield Guild Games (YGG) Axie scholars this year. They plan to provide support, education, and training to all scholars to equip them in playing the play-to-earn Axie Infinity. 

The founders experienced tremendous success when they discovered Axie Infinity. In a short time, their lives changed for the best. Now, they want to share this success with as many people they know.

This interview took a peek of the founders’ lives before and after they discovered the play-to-earn game, Axie Infinity.

How did the AxU co-founders learn about ‘Axie Infinity’ and who introduced them to the game?

The game Axie Infinity was first introduced to Ken and Pot by a colleague. Ken posted on Facebook about his interest in buying an Axie team. When Spraky saw his post, he immediately called Ken to share the excitement of the game. At that time, Spraky had already bought his team.

How did the Axie University or AxU start?

Spraky helped Ken and Pot buy their first Axie team. After playing for a few days, the three saw the game’s potential and immediately decided to start up Axie University (AxU).  Its primary goal is to breed Axie and sell them to their friends, find people who are interested in playing the game and become part of their Axie scholarship program.

“We saw the big potential of Axie Infinity to provide a livelihood to people, especially for gamers like us. This opportunity of a play-to-earn business model is something revolutionary. It’s something that has never happened to non-professional players like us.  The three of us have played games since we were young, we play like 5-6 hours daily, and we never earned any single penny. Now in this game, all your efforts are being rewarded, and all your rewards in the game can be converted to real-life money that helps us pay our bills, buy groceries, and so much more,” added Ken.

How did you learn to play the game?

“We always come together to talk about the game, we talk about our challenges, and we share game strategies and tactics to improve our gameplays. Kookoo TV’s Youtube tutorials are very helpful. His live streams on Facebook are handy too.

Although I must say that Axie is best learned from your gameplay.  All Axies are unique and have a different set of card combos. Learn your cards, build your strategy around it, and you’ll maximize your wins daily. More wins mean more SLP. More SLP means more money,” Spraky further explains.

What are your plans for Axie University?

AxU and YGG have been partners in giving scholarship programs not only here in Cabanatuan City but other provinces in the Philippines. Collectively are managing almost 100 scholars. 

We are gearing to onboard another 100 scholars in the next few months. This is to help more people, especially those who have lost their jobs in the pandemic, to help bring food to the table. We saw how much Axie Infinity helped change the lives of many people who are now playing the game.

What are the qualities you are looking for in scholarship applicants?

“When we were starting up, initially, we were looking for seasoned online gamers. Those who are already accustomed to playing. Because they have an idea of how online games work and are interested in earning while playing.  But now we are looking for motivated and committed gamers. Those who share our dreams of bringing economic growth to their family. Those who are willing to grind,” Spraky explained further.

How does playing Axie Infinity change your lives and the lives of your scholars?

Ken retold a story of his uncle, who was one of the first batch of their scholars. His uncle credits all the good things to Ken, his gratitude overflowing to the point Ken would explain to him that it’s not him, but his efforts, his commitment to learn and play Axie Infinity are what made his life better. His Uncle paid off all his debts, bought his son a new cellphone, and had managed to fund a small business.

Spraky has been actively providing Axie scholarships to his ex-officemates, including the security guards and the cleaning staff.  His goal is to help them raise their standard of living by giving them more opportunities to earn more for their families.

Pot was laid off last year because of the pandemic. Almost 700 in his department lost their jobs.  Axie came in just right in time.  The money he earns from Axie Infinity pays off the bills and provides for their daily needs. The rest of his earnings are reinvested in other cryptocurrencies. 

The co-founders’ life has changed for the better. Their perspective of handling money was different these days. They revealed that before, they always look forward to their payday to pay bills and shop for unnecessary stuff. But ever since playing Axie, learning how to trade cryptocurrency, and discovering Non-Fungible Token or NFTs, they have managed to grow their money by reinvesting in other play-to-earn games.  

“Some of our scholars in our community endlessly said their thanks and started calling us ‘boss’ or  ‘sir.’  They credited that their improved lifestyle has changed exponentially because of us.  But we are quick to correct them that it is mostly because of their hard work and motivation that put them where they are now. We are just serving as a bridge,” Ken explained.

This article is published on BitPinas: Panayam kay Ken, Pot, at Spraky: Axie University Co-Founders

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Joy Gurtiza

Joy Gurtiza is a cryptocurrency enthusiast, mommy blogger, and food photographer. She's fascinated with genuine, heartwarming, and inspiring human stories. Excited with the metaverse, she plans to pioneer a full-service fast-food chain exclusive for people with cats! Follow her on Twitter @joybitesme.