It is hard not to feel inspired after speaking to Javier Collazo, also known as Monsterdface. A self-made entrepreneur with multiple businesses, Collazo has become a well-known and sought-after esports commentator. It all started with an online video game.
However, before Collazo got to where he is today, he spent his early twenties juggling multiple responsibilities. At 11 a.m., Collazo would get out of school. Then he’d go to his part-time job as a recess aid teacher, and then finally, when the day was over, he’d get time to focus on gaming. “It was school, it was work, and then after all of that, it was ‘I’m going to go live, get a couple of hours in, and build this gaming community,’” explains Collazo.
Then, Collazo decided to take a chance on himself. He left his part-time job to grow his online community on Twitch.
A Texas transplant, Collazo originally hails from New York City. After living in Florida for several years, Collazo found comfort in the suburban lifestyle you can achieve in Texas. If you read about Collazo’s businesses, you’re safe to assume that he’s always working. “There is quite literally always something that I could be doing,” confesses Collazo. However, he prefers to get up early, check things off his to-do list, and ideally clock out at five in the afternoon.
With that said, it wouldn’t be right not to mention Collazo’s deep-rooted love for his work. You could call him a “workaholic,” but Collazo prefers to call it a “lifestyle.”
During his off-time, Collazo says he’s focused on bettering himself by watching tutorials, sharpening his gaming skills, or learning new software. “If I’m not doing that, then I’m probably sketching or watching some sort of anime or manga,” he says. As an ex-graffiti artist, Collazo never wants not to be creative. He somehow figured out a way to monetize his artwork, as well.
What you say is what you say, and there’s no taking it back
“I launched my first business when I was maybe 18 or 19. I created my first LLC, Six Degrees of Art,” says Collazo. Back then, Collazo remembers selling his first portrait for fifty dollars. At the time, that was a lot of money for him. Even though art is not his main focus today, he plans to sell some of the graffiti he created as NFTs, which his fans are excited to pick up one day.
Collazo loves that his community spans a variety of interests. “The art scene is its own scene, and then you have gaming, and I have this entrepreneurial following, so I’m building a cult following since everything is so niche,” says Collazo.
People like what Collazo has to offer. That is crystal clear. Collazo realizes that everyone is just looking for inspiration to pursue their own passion. “If you want to do it, just do it. I’m going to show you by doing. I pick something up, and I pursue that until I find my own version of success,” he says.
This recipe for success is what has made Collazo an expert in his field. He gets paid and sponsored to do what he does every day. Whether that’s broadcasting or producing gaming tournaments through his company, PracticeServer. Collazo’s latest venture is a company that provides a solution for people looking to break into the production space. “If you want to throw a tournament or an event, you need someone who specializes in a space that understands how to gather people, how to make sure folks have a great user experience, and also how do you package this all up and deliver the vision,” says Collazo.
I launched my first business when I was maybe 18 or 19.
PracticeServer’s success was not linear. Collazo explains there were learning curves when he and his friends started this company. “You have to scale quickly if you want to keep up with the demand,” he says. “We kind of lost tons of money because we invested in redundant areas. We eventually outgrew or figured out how to do things better,” says Collazo.
It’s safe to say that they figured things out.
Having tried various avenues in gaming, Collazo maintains that his favorite arena to spend his time on is live production. Collazo gets a euphoric thrill when he knows he’s about to put something together that is extremely intricate. “When you do that flawlessly, it just feels really good. There are so many moving parts. It’s an underappreciated art,” says Collazo.
Collazo explains that the high-stakes environment involved in broadcasting is what he loves most about his job. “What you say is what you say, and there’s no taking it back,” he says. It’s the same thrill that Collazo was chasing back as a graffiti artist in the Bronx.
As an influencer, Collazo knows his power in the gaming industry. If he’s looking for fresh talent and new content creators, he’s keen on nurturing his organic relationships. As a CEO, Collazo is eager to learn every aspect of the gaming industry. He wants to work with people who are just as determined as he is. “I look for people who are hungry for opportunity. How serious are you about self-development?” asks Collazo. If you’re able to check off these boxes and be quick on your feet, the odds are that Collazo will want to work with you.
Collazo’s desire to help others is innate. When taking part in podcasts or being interviewed by his peers, Collazo doesn’t shy away from talking about money. He’s open about how much he gets paid so that other people in the space know how much they’re worth. Collazo realized his own value early on in his career and didn’t want newcomers to be taken advantage of.
If you want to do it, just do it. I’m going to show you by doing.
Collazo has a unique ability to be the most confident person in the room and somehow project a level of humility that one could easily be envious of. “I genuinely appreciate this position that I’ve found myself in, and you never know how you’re going to affect someone’s life or someone’s day,” he explains. Due to this, he keeps his DMs open to maintain communication with people who need advice or support.
You’d have to be blind not to recognize the change in diversity that Fortnite brought along with its arrival. When it comes to variety, Collazo calls the game an industry leader. “Not many other games have as many types of characters that you have inside of Fortnite,” he says. The game has LGBTQ representation and racial diversity, all things that make Collazo feel like he landed in a suitable space. “I have intentionally positioned myself as a voice, a talent, and as a forward-facing figure for this community,” he says.
“I think this game has years and years of lifespan on it,” says Collazo. Funnily enough, that’s what the gaming world sees in Collazo, as well.