advertisement
advertisement

How Josh Fabian convinced pro gamers to teach newbs on Metafy

Having struggled financially himself as a gamer, Fabian saw an opportunity to offer pros a key revenue stream.

How Josh Fabian convinced pro gamers to teach newbs on Metafy
[Illustration: Dalbert V. Vilarino]

This story is part of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business 2022. Explore the full list of innovators who broke through this year—and had an impact on the world around us.

advertisement

When former pro-gamer Josh Fabian set out to create Metafy, a service that connects average video game players with professionals for live coaching, he asked himself an essential question: Who should his customers be, the students or the coaches?

Fabian knew that other game-coaching services had chosen to prioritize students; they make money from fees that coaches pay per session, which can reach up to 20%. “But when you make that decision . . . when a coach is a product on the shelf, they don’t make a living,” he says. Having struggled financially himself as a gamer—he became a top-20 player of Clash Royale in 2016 but still didn’t make anything close to his former salary as a lead designer at Groupon—Fabian saw an opportunity for Metafy to offer pros another key revenue stream.

The two-year-old service doesn’t charge fees to coaches and instead passes a 5% transaction cost onto students. Fabian says that more than 1,000 coaches have joined the service in response to this policy. Most have earned an average of $4,000, though Metafy projects that as many as six coaches will each take in $100,000 this year.

advertisement
advertisement

Fabian is now focused on expanding. Earlier this year, he acquired GamerzClass, which hosts prerecorded gaming tutorials, à la MasterClass, via a monthly subscription. At the same time, his development team is working on an e-sports tournament platform, which could host everything from small leagues to global competitions. Fabian ultimately wants to integrate these entities into a single platform where novice gamers can play in leagues with their coaches, brush up on skills with GamerzClass, and just keep on improving, whatever their end goal.

He cites the 76-year-old who has been using Metafy to be coached on League of Legends. After a few sessions, Fabian reached out to find out why. The man told Fabian he’d recently had a hip replacement and couldn’t visit his grandchildren, so he’d taken up gaming with them: “He was getting better [at League of Legends] so he could keep up with them.”

advertisement
advertisement

About the author

Mark Wilson is the Global Design Editor at Fast Company. He has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years

More