Watch Video11 min
Gaming

G2 Esports CEO ocelote shows us that he's more than just a boss

G2 founder Carlos 'ocelote' Rodríguez Santiago is one of the most outspoken CEOs in esports. In this episode of Unfold, we dig into the man behind one of the most famous organisations in the world.
Written by Miri Teixeira
5 min readPublished on
G2 Esports are one of the most successful esports teams around, sporting 40 million fans worldwide and claiming victory over 100 times in multiple national and international competitions. But perhaps as well known as the team itself is CEO and co-founder Carlos 'ocelote' Rodríguez Santiago.
In the latest episode of Unfold, we take a look at the ethos of ocelote, one of esports' most outspoken and vibrant characters, exploring his methods for creating what he says is a "team of winners".
Starting out as a World of Warcraft player, ocelote made the move over to League of Legends during the game's beta stages. After a few seasons playing for SK Gaming, he co-founded Gamers2, who the competitive scene now know as G2 Esports, and history was made.
Carlos 'ocelote' Rodríguez Santiago at the G2 Esports office in Berlin, Germany on October 6, 2021.
Carlos 'ocelote' Rodríguez Santiago is the CEO and co-founder of G2 Esports
Driven by a desire to win above all else, ocelote has instilled his values in every player that's passed through his team. Known by the wider gaming community for being an outspoken presence on social media and during play, he's known by his team as something of a motivational visionary. Members of G2 are hardly allowed to settle for second best, as ocelote's expectations continue to increase with the players' own skill level.
"I have no other intention in life than to have fun while winning," he remarks. "I'm dead serious. If I'm alive, you're f***ed."

A strong foundation

Aside from the competitiveness that permeates every moment of his time as CEO, ocelote defines the three core tenements of G2 Esports as "Ambition, Fun and Empathy – three foundations he believes "requires anybody to put in 100 percent."
Complacency isn't an option for the G2 founder: "Every time I'm satisfied or proud, the other part of my brain is like, 'you're an idiot'." High expectations are a well known trait of his, but he holds himself to the same standards as his players, who can see how earnestly he believes them to be winners.
It's important to believe you're number one, while also believing you could be so much better
Carlos 'ocelote' Rodríguez Santiago
The mindset he tries to instill is a simple one, but takes guts to maintain. "It's important to believe you're number one, while also believing you could be so much better," ocelote says. "I don't allow mediocrity." The focus is purely on winning. This approach may sound ruthless, but has arguably driven G2 Esports to be the competitive behemoth they are today.
Another defining characteristic of ocelote's leadership style is the level to which he's involved in his team's progression and development. He oversees most choices personally, keeping up with every team in group chats and attempting to tap into the personal motivation of each player. Not only this, but ocelote is always deeply involved with marketing, branding, PR, social media and any content released by the G2 team. One thing is certain – ocelote is relentlessly busy because he truly believes his team deserves the best.
Carlos 'ocelote' Rodríguez Santiago directs his team at the G2 Esports office in Berlin, Germany on October 6, 2021.
Ocelote plays an active part in encouraging, training, and promoting G2

Winners and learners

G2 is everything to ocelote, who spends every minute he can training or interacting with his team. "I'm never 100 percent CEO," he says. "A percentage is their boss, a percentage is a mentor, a percentage is their friend… I'm their biggest hater and their biggest lover."
His honesty may make him appear difficult to outsiders, but ocelote's team say they appreciate his authenticity. From his point of view, the more direct he is, the more people can learn and improve. When pressed, he states clearly: "If I have to choose between the success of G2 and our personal relationship, I'll pick the success of G2."
In every discussion with team members, ocelote ensures they are all on the same page, even if that means some harsh truths. From expletive-filled chats to hands-on team building, there's no denying that he knows how to get the best out of his teams, given G2's track record. A belief runs through the team that they never lose: only win or learn.
So what happens if G2 doesn't manage to win? True to character, ocelote is clear on that as well. "We deal with our own misery with comedy," he says. "If you expect us to say, 'yeah the opponent played better, we played worse'... bro, if you want boring teams, there are plenty of those out there." He encourages his players to express their disappointment, anger or frustration organically, allowing them to swear or trash talk to their heart's content. "If you want to do that, it won't be me who gets angry," he says.

Here to entertain

A huge part of G2's philosophy also comes from being a source of entertainment. Ocelote says that he's there to make you laugh and his social media presence tallies up with this aim. One of the clips included in this episode of Unfold is his infamous 'Samurai Workout With Carlos' video, in which he fills the role of a hyperactive '80s fitness instructor teaching fans how to celebrate properly at G2 events.
The spread of the G2 brand comes as a result of this, with the aim being to get into other entertainment spaces, such as music, movies and fashion. The team are currently trying to make a song, for example, and ocelote believes in hiring multiple experts to create it, but always having the last word. Not only does he want G2 to dominate in the esports arena, but he wants their logo recognisable to anyone who happens across it in a less predictable place.
There are few who take their positions as seriously and yet as lightheartedly as ocelote. His years with G2 have allowed his personality to shape the team and for him to become a legend among his peers. At the end of it all, though, as he remarks during this week's video, "It's a f***ing video game, chill out."