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From Bahrain to WTLC: my journey to bringing NBA video gaming to my home country

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I share with you my experience on how I started as a basketball writer and ended up as an Youtuber.

via basketball_bh

Writing about basketball and particularly about the Oklahoma City Thunder is my passion since the first day I became a Thunder fan. I live in Bahrain, and initially, I unleashed this passion through launching my own blog where I would simply write about basketball. I knew that I was entering an industry filled with tons of blogs who are specialized in writing about basketball, but I believed that being probably the first if not the only middle-eastern person to write about basketball, these traits would help my blog succeed. Unfortunately, my blog did not have the success I envisioned.

After saying goodbye to my blog, I found a connecting flight to WTLC airport, where I was welcomed and got the opportunity to write about my favorite team as well as improve my self as a writer begin to secure my writing aspirations. Along with WTLC, I would like also to thank NewsOK, who gave me the opportunity to write about myself as a global Thunder fan.

Days, months, and years passed, I kept writing for WTLC and believed I might actually had the opportunity to fly to the United States and pursue a degree in journalism. That plan also did not play out, but instead I got a scholarship from the ministry of Kingdom of Bahrain, meaning I would have to complete my education in my country. However, my passion remained alive, and I still believed that I could have a career in some way related to basketball.

I consider myself an expert in NBA2K game, as I've been playing it since NBA2K10, and I noticed that there is no single middle-eastern YouTuber who produces content about the game in Arabic. Shifting away from writing about basketball specifically, I focused on executing this opportunity in the world of YouTube carefully.

I decided to operate on YouTube under the name of Ali2K, and I wanted to cover this game extensively from all aspects. I started preparing a lot of videos about the game, and after having a bunch of videos ready I created an account of my channel on social media platforms and worked on having a proper channel banner and logo. I ran my channel in February 2016, kept uploading videos twice a week, and I gained 1,300 subscribers on my channel in a duration of 2-3 months. I actually feel the doors of success started getting unlocked, and based on that, I would love to share my experience with you!

Every year there is an international one-day convention known as "Animania" that takes place in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The convention contains a cosplay competition, a variety of gaming tournaments run by popular companies with massive prizes, and exclusive showcasing of several games. Besides that, popular gaming companies such as 2K, EA sports, Ubisoft, and other companies as well as sponsors gather up in Animania.

This year, I got the opportunity to be an organizer in Animania. I had the idea of running an NBA2K16 tournament in the convention. Obviously I needed sponsors and some people to take the responsibility of running a tournament in the convention, so I contacted @Basketball_bh on Instagram, which is an account specialized in covering basketball both in Bahrain and across the gulf. These people are also known for running basketball events successfully in my country, and beside that, they have a huge fan base. They were impressed by my idea and agreed to run an NBA2K16 tournament in the convention, and in return they sponsored my channel and invited me as a guest of honor. I contributed in the tournament as an organizer in the convention, tournament, and a guest of honor. With the help of the organizing committee, the tournament was successful; we had proper gifts for the winners and proper sponsors as well.

This had led to assistant marketing manager of Viva entertainment (distributor of 2K games in the middle-east) to recognize me and the tournament's success. He was appreciative and impressed  when I told him about my channel and myself. He took down all my information so that he can provide me with the upcoming NBA2K games and its collectors for free to review them on my own channel. In addition to that, I will also be provided with other games developed by 2Ksports for further review on my channel. Moreover, I will be attending events related to NBA2K and basketball in general across the middle-east to cover them. Not only that, me and the team known as Basketball_Bh will get the license to run an official NBA2K tournaments and basketball events completely supported and sponsored by 2K sports themselves and many more!

In conclusion, I hope the doors of success will remain opened in my future so that I could grow even much more on YouTube and serve the NBA2K community in my region. Many thanks to WTLC for giving me the opportunity to share my experience with you readers, and I'd appreciate it if you could support me through subscribing to my channel and following these accounts on Instagram although you might not understand the language.

YouTube: Ali2K

Twitter: @AliAlShowaikh

Instagram: @_Ali2K@Basketball_bh