First let me say that I'm simply posting this to tell my side of a story about what took place within (AFO) several month's ago. I'm sure most of you don't care, and i don't expect anyone to. This is simply posted because there has to be an accurate rebuttal to the large document report that they thought necessary to smear all across the community. In order to do this i need to provide a bit of back story. I do apologize for the length.
A brief history:
I was recruited and joined (AFO) back in 1998. I've ran divisions of (AFO) and entire teams of (AFO) in various games from the late 90's to present day.
All For One was something we all took a great deal of pride in during those days, and we developed a great team culture. Members were loyal to a fault throughout the various games and years.
(AFO) Faded from the gaming scene around 2007. Game tastes changed, people grew older, and life became more hectic. But what we created and were apart of was special. At least to it's members it was. Great friendships were made in those days and still last to this day. The original (AFO) teams remain in regular contact via face book and discord, with the exception of the Squad "(AFO)" group.
I (Minipops) began to develop an interest in gaming again after a few year hiatus. I stumbled across a game called Squad. I liked it so much that i started to ponder the idea of resurrecting my old beloved All For One. For month's and month's I thought about it. As i got more into Squad i wanted to play in a more structured environment. I enjoyed the [TGS] server and played there regularly. I befriended them and was persuaded to join...so i did. However, after a short stint with [TGS] I could not shake the desire to resurrect (AFO) again. And after a month, i respectfully turned in my [TGS] tag and left.
I approached an old "friend" from the days of playing America's Army 2.x and asked if he would be interested in helping me get (AFO) off the ground. He said yes, so we got started. I won't bore you with the details of it, but any clan leader that knows what their doing know the time effort and money you have to sink into creating a gaming "Community" is significant. Especially time investment.
I had a defined road map of what i wanted to achieve with (AFO). It was extensive and the plan wasn't going to happen over night. Quite frankly it would have taken years to achieve. A year prior to what happened, some members thought a leadership round table would be the more appropriate way to move the clan forward. Reluctantly I agreed to it to keep everyone happy. Many over sights on that decision would later become evident. The biggest being that i could no longer persue my ambitions without gathering the rest of the "round table" to vote on things. This became incredibly frustrating for me. I respected the round table, but i was being held back by it....and so was (AFO).
Leading up the the dissolving of the round table, there had been anger brewing in me over the lack of effort among the members to seed our server, which at the time was called (AFO) Combat Operations for lack of a better name at the time. I would come home from work every day and see 5 or 6 members online, yet our server was empty during prime time play hours. Day after day i was witness to this. Among that stress was the feud between my "partner" who i had offered to buy him a GTX 1070TI for delivering a website to the team. I took advantage of a sale in his area and bought it for him at the expense of $650.00 out of my pocket. He was a friend for 10 years online. I trusted that he would deliver on his word. He did not, which was boiling under the surface.
One day, I came home and sat down at my PC to find 5 round table members in discord during prime time. To make a long story as short as possible, I flipped the **** out on them. No one had any ambition, and were quite honestly too lazy and into their own things to put any work into getting (AFO) off the ground. So i decided the group I'd assembled wasn't worth the effort. I deleted the discord. Then i made a new one. The intent behind the deletion was to completely rid myself of my so-called "friend" who had robbed me of the GTX 1070Ti money.
The new discord was given out to all the previous members of the round table, excluding the "friend" and a meeting was held. I told them about my frustration with all of them and their lack of efforts. I told them i wasn't able to fulfill my vision of AFO when i am confined by a round table vote for everything. I told them they could keep their round table, but without me. But if they choose to go that route then the team name and logo's and everything that pertains to (AFO) goes with me. I asked them to just let me lead, and free me to do the things that i wanted to do, which would be for the benefit of us all in the end. Out of 6 round table members, 3 opted to stay, 2 opted to leave, and the "Friend" had been eliminated.
With me back in control of the team and it's direction, we pressed onward. Slowly and painfully at times. It is no easy task to grow a team. Our new server was called "(AFO) WWW.AFOGAMING.COM | Chicago" I had received some help in setting up hosting for our website and i figured out how to build it. So i thought why not call the server that...so we did. Seeding problems continued simply because we were unknown in the community. Not to mention that the same lack of effort was being displayed by the members. So I decided to axe the server. I said if no one will attempt to put the work in, then throwing money down the toilet for a server is pointless. So the server went good bye.
Several month's went by where we were a team without a server. We had gained a few more members and i had started to think about asking for a commitment from everyone to seed a server on a daily basis starting at "X" time each day. Not mandatory but highly encouraged. This time we came out of the gate with a name i had thought to use for the last 18 years, but never had the opportunity to. So, "(AFO) Titties & Beer | Chicago" was born. The server name seemed to be a hit as we began to seed the server very easily and daily.
I saw a free weekend approaching the community, and a 50% off sale for Squad shortly after. So I changed the server named to "(AFO) Titties & Beer | Central - Noob Friendly" to attract the new players. And that was all she wrote. The server was full every night. Seeded by 9:30am on week days. sometimes populated for as long as 72 hours straight. Titties & Beer was at it's peak, ranked 3rd on server ranks.com. I was very proud of of that. I had always made sure the server was admin'd appropriately, and admin abuse, which was very rare, was handled swiftly. (AFO) applications for membership sky rocketed during this time. At the peak of Squad (AFO) we had 65 members and initiates. A thriving discord. Good relationships among the other communities in the game. Everything was going well. A new site was under development. We had gained some members with some graphical skills, and some other members that had talents that would help us in other ways. Things were going great. We were starting to really BOOM as they say.
(AFO) uses the u.s. army ranks. We had from the beginning back in the late 90's. We have our reasons for it, which i won't get in to. Anyways, some of our longest serving and most dedicated Squad members I held in great regard. So much so that i wanted to make them feel special. I wanted to give them something that would elevate their status among the group.So i approached 7 members with the idea of a Board of Directors concept.
I asked each of them if they would accept this role. I made sure each of them understood that this role is to give them a voice on decisions I wanted to make. They were also told that they were free to bring idea's to the table individually or collectively. The one stipulation which was made clear to them was that this was to be a board. Every Board of Directors has a CEO. I am that CEO, and only with my approval will anything take place.
Any agreement or collective idea has to be finalized by my say so. And no, not because i am a power hungry greedy asshole. I told them before they accepted the role that i would have veto power to strike down anything that would negatively impact (AFO). I was clear on that point. The protection of the integrity of the teams history and reputation was my #1 priority, always. They agreed and accepted the role. I created a Board member channel in the discord where we could freely discuss any matters that needed to be tended to. Of course, it started out ok. A few topic's were dealt with and so on. But over all, the "Board Members" were silent. No talking among themselves, no idea's brought to the table, no suggestions. Basically the only thing in that channel was the sound of crickets. Sometimes when i would put a question to them, it would take days to get them to answer, if at all.This frustrated and angered me greatly, and at one point i lashed out publicly at them. Calling them "utterly worthless" at one point.
As any team leader knows, the bigger you get, the more work it becomes. The time and effort involved in managing and maintaining a gaming team is astronomical. Not only that, but it takes money. It takes massive amounts of patience and time to keep the machine organized and rolling. I made sure that (AFO) only admin'd 1 way with 1 tool which you had to be registered on, and it kept track of your activities. This was to ensure that ALL admins could be tracked and held accountable for any actions they took. Using the console in game was strictly forbidden. Maintaining the server white list and admins lists. Map Rotations, players join date and rank up intervals. Answering 15 discord DM's every morning before work, and 15 more after work. Keeping the discord organized and in control. Filling it with content. Managing 65 members and recruits. Trying to keep them happy and entertained. It is daunting, but i loved it. I did it all on my own because i loved it. It was my passion. My hobby that i loved. There became so much work to maintain the group that often days i spent the evenings doing administrative things rather than playing the game. That sometimes frustrated me, but i still loved it because it was my beloved (AFO). The reason i never delegated any of the work load to anyone, was because I didn't trust anyone else to put in the same effort as i did.I didn't want to see it fall by the way side or be done half assed by someone who didn't care as much as i did.
Some say it's because i was power hungry. But in reality, it was just simply because i didn't trust anyone to love (AFO) as much as i do, and have for so many years.
Small Explosion: (AFO) was always about friendship, unity, respect, and excellence. But it was also about equal opportunity and no age discrimination. So yes, we were open to players of all ages, as long as they were aware that they needed to possess a high degree of maturity. So we had members from 13yrs to 55yrs old, and everywhere in between. Unfortunately, sometimes these children can not keep control of themselves and their childishness can sometimes spill out. Especially when you put a few 16 and 17 year old's together in one spot.
Two of our members, which were of that age group, had been barred from all (AFO) activities for 2 weeks for immaturity and being extremely disruptive during a planning and pre-match count down. Disruptive to the point of absolute absurdity. After the event I barred them from the discord, the servers, and all contact with the team. I'm a 48 year old man and i don't appreciate kids shitting on a team event like they did.
After the 2 week ban they were allowed to return. They apologized and understood their mistakes and assured me that wouldn't happen again. I accepted that and welcomed them back. I also told them that if it happened a second time they would be tossed to the curb. They acknowledged that and we moved on.
Many month's later, we arrive at the infamous day.
Big Boom!: One of my intentions was to build a competitive 40 man team for Squad. This was a slow process that was going to take some time to organize. So, of the more serious members we had that expressed interest. I had to find ways to keep them engaged and entertained while we went through this process. One fun activity we were getting off the ground was 5 man teams doing drills in the Jensen's MOUT. In the past this was very successful and popular among the members. I believe we had 27 members involved that evening. So we had 5 teams of 5 roughly. This was a slung together event for just (AFO) and to be honest, I was just winging it. Having 25 to 30 guys in there waiting around for instruction, the usual chaos was going on. Kids being kids i guess you could say. I called for quiet as did some of the board members. When we finally got the group settled down and ready to listen, i began to lay out the program for the evening's event. As i was talking, no more than 2 sentences into it, and feeling very stressed at the time and a little annoyed, a member cooks off a grenade and interrupts the proceeding. Not just any member, but an (AFO) Board Member. Then, being that he's a 17 year old kid and playing off his other school buddy who was also 17, they laughed in discord and taunted the situation in regards to how i was going to react. They spoke as though it was all a big joke. Being under stress over the evenings event, and what we were gonna do, coupled with the stress of trying to keep that many players engaged and interested, and the fact that a board member made an utter mockery of me and the entire situation. It was more than i could take. Board members were the most trusted and longest serving members, and were supposed to be supportive and helpful, but most importantly, to set an example for the rest of the team.
Minipops Reaction: Grenade goes off and disrupts whats happening. Frustrated with the horse play, and the length of time it took to settle the group down. Coupled with the stress of the days event, plus a board member making a mockery of me and what we were trying to do. I broke mentally. I told the group that the event was cancelled and i left the server. I immediately shut down the server we were in. I then took to discord and spoke in the board room. Where i called for the board members removal from the team. This board member was one of the 2 members that were previously warned about being disruptful in the previous incident mentioned earlier.
I was so angry, so beside myself with rage, and had a suspicion that the board members wouldn't agree to let him go, that i told them, "It's him or me" and to choose. "You want to keep him then you run it"
I was so enraged with this occurrence that i couldn't stand to be around any of them. I needed to get away. To get out for awhile. To cool off and let a clearer head prevail. So i dropped from the discord for 5 days to step away and just calm down. Those 5 days were nearly all sleepless. I deleted all of them off my discord friends list (not steam) and just stepped back completely.
The Ultimatum: After 5 days, i agreed to a meeting in discord with some of the board members and apparently the "new Leadership council" which consisted of a few board members, plus a 16 year old kid who had been a member a whole 2 months. And apparently a few other newer members who had not been wearing a tag for more than 4 months total.
They had told me they wanted to resolve this. That they thought i had "Quit" and took action to restructure the leadership. Never did i type or say the words I Quit. That was their assumption. Never did i say i wouldn't be back. If i intended to disband and quit AFO, then i would have simply deleted the discord, which i had the perms to do.
Anyways, little did i know they were working on a grand smear plot, and that accepting their meeting proposal was a fish hook to get me into the discord so that they could record the conversation. This was a private conversation, or so i was lead to believe. Well it wasn't. They said they wanted me back, but as a member of their newly formed council. That we would all be equal and have to vote on everything. I asked for my role back at the top of the discord and they refused. I told them i never quit and i never said i would. They used my dropping from the discord as their justification, and much needed leverage, to take control.
Of course this made me angry, very angry, and i started to call out all of their short coming in regard to their contributions to (AFO) in comparison to what i have sacrificed both with the relationships with my family. My time and financially. None of them even compare to what i'd invested up to that point. Of course, at that point they simply said "Bye Mini" and kicked me from the discord.
In Closing: I don't respond to ultimatums. Especially when they come from people who have no right or position to give it. They had all the leverage they needed when i gave my position up in the discord. (AFO) has been the love of my life since i joined back in 1998. I had forsaken my family for it. I invested Thousands of dollars towards it. I lent $1000.00 u.s to a member to upgrade his pc, then never made more than 1 payment towards the debt. I bought the game at full price for at least 6 people. I donated $50.00 a month which is like 78 cdn funds. I spent countless hours talking to people. Forging relationships. Putting in the time and the work. It was a labour of love for me. I was never a bad leader. I put more time in and sacrificed more than anyone else. It was my baby. Why would i invest so much into something and then just quit? Truth is, these kids never asked themselves that, and honestly, they didn't care. They saw the donation money piled up (which is controlled by the main conspirator.) and the ever growing popularity of AFO from the tireless work i invested into it for a solid 15 months of grinding, and snatched it for themselves as soon as i left the discord.
Squad (AFO) has been officially disbanded by it's leader. Despite the fact they continue to use the brand. (why not, i did all that work why not claim it for themselves) They continue to use the name, the history, and all of the literature which was written by me in the discord. They are not endorsed or recognized as a (AFO) All For One group in any way shape or form by the originators of All For One. They claim to have been given the OK by the founder, but that is a fabrication. If that were the case i would let it be out of respect for the founder. They claim i was banned for life from AFO at one point in time. That is also a fabrication. I was kicked for a period of time over a hurtful comment i made towards my teammates years ago, but that has since been retracted and the leader of (AFO) apologized for kicking me and said it never should have happened. I accepted and we remain on good terms to this day. All of the old (AFO) members from 20 years ago reside in our original (AFO) face book group, and in the AFO alum discord. No player from the Squad (AFO) are members of these social media outlets. In the eyes of (AFO) they are thieves and will never be recognized as ever being a part of us.
The right thing for them to do would have been to discontinue using my teams brand and history, and create their own unique identity. If they would have done that i would have been content. But they chose not to simply because they didn't want to have to go through all the leg work to make it happen. Minipops already did all that for us.
That is the complete truth of what happened. Nothing was exaggerated. Nothing was made up. Draw your own conclusions. I apologize again for the length of this. But i felt i needed at least 1 person somewhere to know the truth, rather than their misleading book report filled with screen shots and taped conversations of private chats. I don't expect anyone to care, but at least you have the truth.
My biggest regret from all of this, is not the friendships i lost, because in the end they were as shallow as a puddle of water. No, my biggest regret is that (AFO) All For One will never see the heights which i was prepared to take it. Those dreams and ambitions will never be realized now. (AFO) was to be something to leave for the new generations. It was to be something my kids were supposed to enjoy when they were old enough, and my teammates and their children. It was something that was going to be special. Sadly, it is dead now. And what remains is an unsanctioned spoof team that is directionless and run by 16,17, and 18 year old kids.