Zhi Ko, known by his online nickname NekozTek, has been a rising social and gaming influencer leveraging platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram to spread positivity and disseminate information to a broad audience.
Zhi was kind enough to take some time to answer our questions about his experience and opinions.
Greetings Zhi, can you tell us a bit about yourself and where you grew up?
I grew up in South Florida, specifically in Boca Raton, Florida. From the age of 7, I committed to IMG Tennis Academy and competed in tennis. I went to the University of Miami and graduated with a bachelor’s in civil engineering. Today, I work as an investor in the fintech sector, where I primarily focus on the realms of gaming and cryptocurrencies. I also have a passion for creating content and teaching others about the world of gaming. My brand NekozTek does exactly this, as I produce content educating my audience in technology and gaming related news.
When did you start gaming and what are some of your favourite video games of all time?
I started gaming at 7 years old during my free time. When I started living in a sports academy, gaming became a big past time for my friends and me, and that is where I developed my passion for it. Some of my favourite games are League of Legends, Ragnarok Online, Runescape, Kingdom Hearts and Warcraft 3.
What inspired you to start becoming a gaming influencer and using platforms like Tik Tok, Twitter and Instagram?
Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I travelled quite a bit. Gaming was a way for me to take my mind off the stress of competitive tennis. It was also a way for me to connect with my friends remotely, despite being away from home for months. This drove my passion for gaming, as I realized how important it was to stay connected with my friends during tough times.
I decided to become a gaming influencer, to help spread the positivity’s of gaming through education of the space. Teaching subjects about how gaming can help with mental illness and depression. As well as teaching subjects on how to become a professional gamer and make gaming into a career.
Your coverage of the GTA Alien War certainly helped increase your popularity, with mainstream coverage in publications like Forbes and Screen Rant, how did this attention feel?
This attention felt great as it showed how incredible the gaming space can be. Kids coming together and having fun virtually, in my opinion, is the same as kids coming together and having fun in the real world. These articles motivated me to keep producing content so that in the future, more people will not take gaming more seriously, and it will become more acceptable for adults even.
Can you tell us the story behind your work with Noble 5 and Radiance Gaming?
Noble 5 is a company my friends and I decided to create. We realized a big discrepancy in the space, with big company’s price gouging their customers, just because the competition is slim in gaming. The average gamer does not have a lot of money, and gamers trying to become professionals, are not able to afford the necessary tools it takes to level the playing field and compete at a high level. That is where Noble 5 comes in. We are a peripheral gaming company that provides high-end peripherals that can meet the highest industry standards at a fair price. Our goal is to provide high-end peripherals for every aspiring gamer that simply cannot afford ridiculous prices.
Radiance gaming is an esports team I recently joined. Radiance is led by Hai, an ex-professional gamer who played for some of the biggest teams in the world, including Cloud 9. He used to compete in League of Legends and was best known for his mid lane skills. Radiance, as a brand, owns several teams that compete in top games around the world. Besides the teams, Radiance sets out to portray a positive image in gaming by connecting with fans daily, education and charity work. Radiance’s goals were a natural fit for my own, which is why I decided to join them.
What is your opinion on the way gaming companies are responding to the resurgent Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd protests?
I loved the way gaming companies came together with the community to show their respects towards George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. The overwhelming positivity around the industry is a milestone in the overall maturity of the space. I am truly glad that gamers were receptive of downtime that gaming companies implemented during these hard times.