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Esports Superstar and Organization Owner: Meet the New and Improved Nobru – The Esports Observer

Para ler este artigo em português, clique aqui.

This is a follow-up to an interview published on Sept. 17, 2020, “The Neymar of Free Fire and the Biggest Streamer in the World: Meet Nobru.”  

The first time The Esports Observer interviewed Bruno “Nobru” Goes in 2020, it was around noon and he arrived saying that he had just woken up after streaming until 6 a.m. Now, as the interview was scheduled at the same time, he arrived saying he attended a meeting at 9 a.m. and had not stopped until then. This is the first of many changes that could be observed in the 20-years-old esports superstar who, besides still being a Free Fire pro player, became an entrepreneur of the scene in the last few months.

Nobru now owns Fluxo, the esports organization he plays in, which won the championship  in its first participation in the Brazilian League of Free Fire (LBFF) and finished fourth in the Free Fire World Series 2021 in Singapore, organizes its own Free Fire PC emulation league CPN, and is also the creative head of gaming of the Brazilian retail giant Casas Bahia. His work as a public person, which made him transcend Free Fire and become a gaming and esports superstar, also helped him a contract with Play9 for content on YouTube.

“After this interview, I’m going straight to training,” Norbu told TEO. “My life could use a day with 48 hours instead of 24. [laughs] But I try to do everything with dedication to make everything right, always putting each thing in its time. So I have a calendar for my life with everything scheduled. Haste makes waste.”

Nobru now counts on more people working for him and helping with errands. He mentions Play9’s more than 15 workers dedicated to his content on YouTube, where his main channel currently has 12.3M followers, and his career manager Renan Philip, owner of 3C Gaming agency. Philip also spoke to TEO about the project with Nobru: “We started our work together at 3C with a well-defined vision, in which the ultimate goal is precisely his evolution as an entrepreneur and executive in his own business and career. We managed, in a very natural way, for him to start his business within the universe that embraced him, which is Free Fire.”

Philip has played a key role in this transition. “He takes care of my career and my businesses,” Nobru said, “he helps me a lot and I had this vision that I could not keep only focused on the game and keep stuck on it, I needed to expand my business using the purchasing power that I gained through my live streams. It is not cool for me just taking the money I got to keep it invested to collect interest and do nothing with that.”

In the 2020 interview with TEO, Nobru expressed the will to contribute to the community and help other players to walk the same path he walked. This sentiment was echoed again as he mentioned the CPN league that he organized with 3C Gaming, in which amateur Free Fire players can register and compete to qualify to play with the pros of the scene. Working on his own team, he uses his influence to launch new players and streamers to stardom. “It is a way of giving back,” he said.

The foundation of Fluxo followed his 2019 world championship title and choice as the best Free Fire player in the world. By then, he played at Corinthians Free Fire, which in the following year did not have a good performance and lost some players to other teams. Nobru says he also got offers to transfer to other organizations in 2021 but instead thought he could take a new step forward, inviting his friend and long-time partner in Free Fire Lucio “Cerol” Lima to start a new team.

In his opinion, “there wasn’t a team with the [local] ‘face’ of the Free Fire community. There are many very good and representative teams [such] as LOUD, but it is still a ‘gringo’ name, as paiN Gaming, Team Liquid, etc. We know that the majority of people who play Free Fire are from lower economic classes, and the game is a phenomenon in Brazil, so we didn’t think that a name in English would be the best.”

The chosen name then was “Fluxo,” the Portuguese translation of “flow.” Nobru explains why the name connects with the local community: “Fluxo can represent ‘going forward,’ like ‘follow the flow,’ this was the main meaning for Cerol. For me, who comes from a favela [name given to poorer neighborhoods in Brazil], Fluxo is related to partying, ‘today is a day of flow, day of party,’ let’s celebrate.’” Nobru also confirmed that the organization will expand into other esports and announce a Free Fire team for the PC emulation scenario, as the game is originally for mobile platforms.

Another step by Nobru toward the business side of esports was his signature as Casas Bahia Creative Head of Gaming. Although we will not be present day-to-day in the company, which is one of the biggest popular retail stores in Brazil, he celebrates being able to maintain a long-term relationship with an enterprise that is aiming to establish a connection with the gaming audience: “I want to have a connection with them to make it possible that we can sit and figure what is the purpose of us being together,” he says.

The growth of Nobru as economic power was also due in part to the contributions of Renan Philip and 3C Gaming to his career. He says when he didn’t have an experienced marketing professional by his side and his career was managed by himself and his father, he could not take advantage of his real potential: Nobru’s first advertising job was for Asus when he reached 1M viewers on his Instagram page. They ended up charging $5K BRL (roughly $1K USD), which was little compared to influencing marketing investments in Brazil (projections by Nobru are that it can reach around $20K for an Instagram story), but at the same time it amounted to was what his father would make in an entire month.

Nobru’s father, Jeferson “Jefão” Moreira, said in TEO’s September 2020 interview, that he continues to be an important presence in his son’s life. Although career management is now under Renan Philip and 3C Gaming, Moreira continues to support Nobru and is also a co-owner of Fluxo. He also gained fame within the Free Fire community and is a successful streamer with 2.35M followers on YouTube.

Regarding the agreement with Play9, a content company owned by Felipe Neto (one of the biggest YouTubers in the world with 42.3M subscribers) it was an action carried by 3C Gaming to continue expanding Nobru’s influence outside the Free Fire scene. “If Free Fire stops existing one day, there will still be Nobru,” he said. His image is already huge in Brazil, with a loyal fanbase, great engagement results in his social media, and good performance in esports. All of it while also being considered a good role model for the young.

Philip explains what launched Nobru to the phenomenon he is today: “Nobru transcends the game because it is a very true story of overcoming. He is not only admired for his achievements but for his history, and this is something that we didn’t have so clearly until today. He trailed something through esports that we normally only see being possible in soccer or music. This alone has given him enough baggage to do more than just, in addition to content, create businesses with purpose.”

Finally, Nobru explained about what has helped him reach  this point in his career beyond his talent in the game and the growth of Free Fire in Brazil: “As I originally wanted to be a soccer player, my father taught me that I needed to be an athlete inside and outside the field,” he said. “When I started playing Free Fire, I started to receive sums I have never seen in my life. So, for a boy from a poor neighborhood, surrounded by people willing to show off, drug traffic, etc, to get that money and know exactly what to do with it, is difficult. There are temptations throughout your career that may sink you, but thank God my family could prepare me for that.”

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