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清华神童学霸不走寻常路,创业推动竞技麻将发展

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水木智娱创始人兼CEO徐华欧

水木智娱创始人兼CEO徐华欧

小说一样的人生

15岁被保送清华大学,毕业后去西部支教,靠打麻将成为世界冠军,辞掉了名企高管工作,选择在并不热门的“智力运动”领域开始创业。这些不走寻常路的标签,都来自于爱“搞事情”的水木智娱创始人兼CEO徐华欧。

“选择麻将这项竞技运动开始创业,是因为麻将更接近人生,入局斗牌必先炼品。”徐华欧介绍,“水木智娱”是一家运营麻将等竞技棋牌项目的智力体育公司,拥有国际智力运动联盟(IMSA)、国际麻将联盟(MIL)、世界牌类游戏联盟(FCG)等国际顶级组织的授权。2017年年初,“水木智娱”获得千万元级别Pre-A轮融资,估值1.5亿元。

从零到一

徐华欧从小就喜欢棋牌,象棋、围棋都曾取得过不错的成绩。随着联众“四国军棋”横空出世,他更加沉迷棋牌。

2001年,15岁的徐华欧在“四国军棋”全国比赛中夺得了河北省冠军。大学期间,徐华欧建立了四国军棋协会,组织了高校对抗赛和联众平台上的一些比赛。打比赛的过程中,他发现,“麻将跟象棋、围棋完全不一样,象棋、围棋这些就是凭技术,你不用考虑其他问题,单线思维。麻将则有很多可能性,可能运气好牌好,也可能运气不好,在牌面乱七八糟的情况下,如何保持平和的心态,让自己去做到最优。这就跟人生很接近”。

“在麻将中练就的心态,成为我以后的生活处世之本,对我改变特别大”

水木智娱创始人兼CEO徐华欧

水木智娱创始人兼CEO徐华欧

作为别人眼中的“神童”,还不到16岁的徐华欧被免试保送到了清华大学。因为太过顺利,毕业后,他没有像其他同学一样读研、工作,而是选择去西部山区支教半年。“因为一个人一直处在很顺利的状态,觉得自己非常优秀,就会不太尊重别人。很多时候也会更强调自己的意见,感觉别人都不如自己。”徐华欧知道那种状态很不好,他想到基层去寻找人生定位。

通过跟淳朴的老乡朝夕相处,徐华欧的心态发生变化, “现如今,我们企业文化的第一条就是尊重。每一个人都有自己的人生价值观、目标,也都有自己行之有效的一套解决问题的方法,你需要尊重每一个人的观念,而不是去试图强行改变”。

支教,让徐华欧开始“接地气”。回京后,他应聘入职“四国军棋”的老东家联众国际,从最基础的职位开始干起,工资只有2000多元。用户访问、网站调研、运营江湖论坛、游戏大厅、策划游戏项目,他都做过。正是这段经历,让他了解了从前端到后端各个业务板块。

很快,徐华欧就被提升为部门经理。2012年,他带领团队就开拓了AI在棋牌中的全面应用,主办了第一届WPT中国站比赛,并创新地引入O2O方式运营联众扑克世界产品,一年营业额就达到到一个多亿。

“我能带大团队,知道一个项目怎么从零开始做,一个产品怎么挣钱。”徐华欧开始琢磨自己创业。

推动娱乐棋牌竞技体育化,培养参与人群尤其是年轻一代的竞技精神,是徐华欧一直以来的追求。现如今,很多年轻人严重缺乏竞技精神,在竞技游戏过程中不是投降、挂机,就是吵架。“如果在打麻将的过程中,不把它当休闲娱乐、赌博,而是追求每一张牌我选择最优,学会接受一些运气带来的波动,让心态平和,不是很好的培养竞技精神的一种方式吗?”

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“我希望在下一代,麻将可以像足球一样都成为正式的运动。通过我们这一代人的努力让它走向台前,让家长不再担心孩子会沉迷,而是觉得学习竞技麻将、竞技桥牌对孩子的思维、抗压能力、人生观的形成有帮助。”徐华欧如是说。

让竞技麻将与象棋、围棋并肩

2014年,徐华欧从联众辞职。当年3月创办水木智娱,刚开始只是做AI技术服务,团队只有他和好友清华博士张章飞两个人,虽然赚钱,但是市场有限,“只是生意而不是事业”。积累了一定的起步资金,他就决定组建团队、调整方向。

水木智娱创始人兼CEO徐华欧

水木智娱创始人兼CEO徐华欧

“我认为现在所有的一切都来自团队,团队的创始人和合伙人在创业中占的分量至少有60%,在我的团队中至少占到90%,他们是最让我自豪的。”徐华欧说。核心创始团队成员一部分是在水木社区麻将版活跃的清华、北大校友,另一部分就是联众多年的同事,其中有多位博士和麻将世界冠军。

“投资人曾感叹我们这个团队太恐怖了,身后背的全是光环。”徐华欧坦言,大家都非常热爱棋牌,有相同的梦想,相互之间也非常信任,在大的决策上大家从来没有出现过矛盾。“公司困难时,大家会主动停掉自己的工资,我们就是坚强到这个程度。”徐华欧骄傲地说。有了坚不可摧的团队,徐华欧得以集中精力去解决智力竞赛行业的痛点。

2015年起,他带领团队致力于竞技麻将项目的推动。麻将想要成为智力运动,必须去掉运气的成分,徐华欧经过不断尝试,引入了桥牌中早已广泛应用的“复式”赛制。让选手去体验,反馈是否高效、公平。多次调整后,他们发明了一款模具,解决了公平的问题。

之后,就是要解决客户的黏性问题。通过此前在联众时办线下赛事的经验,徐华欧发现精品赛事品牌值得信任,举办赛事是发展棋牌会员制最可行的一种商业模式。据他介绍,最早一批网游的点卡和10多年前的联众大厅都是通过实物卡来售卖会员,传统的体育俱乐部、乐视体育,以及智力体育方面,也都采用会员制。其他都好复制,只有赛事品牌不可复制,就像NBA,它的品牌就是他的价值。“竞技棋牌的深度爱好者通过成为会员才能参加比赛,所以对会员的黏性非常大”。

为了打造国际性的赛事品牌,徐华欧带领水木智娱助推国际麻将联盟(MIL)于2015年7月在瑞士洛桑正式注册。2017年4月,MIL正式成为国际智力联盟(IMSA)的成员,也标志着竞技麻将,成为继象棋、围棋、桥牌、国际象棋、国际跳棋之后的第六项国际智力运动项目。

打造竞技体育新生态

在中国,棋牌赛事不仅是体育竞技,还是理想的社交场所。事实上,牌桌已经成为科技、创投圈的“第二个办公桌”。无论是找项目、谈合作,或是创投峰会如“投资界百人论坛”,都把智力体育当作载体。

智力体育行业中,象棋、围棋这些纯粹竞技项目受众群体都不是很大,麻将本身就是大众体育,是当前商业投入和传播度产出转化比率最高的棋牌赛事,自带热度和传播属性,徐华欧所做的就是最大程度去深挖它的竞技性和商业价值。

目前麻将在国内较大众化,水木智娱数据显示在中国有超过4亿的麻将玩家。徐华欧坚信,棋牌市场未来就是“竞技”。棋牌具备体育全球化发展特性,竞技棋牌更具有全球发展机会。

徐华欧介绍,水木智娱的麻将产品包括赛事IP授权、线下赛务服务、直播服务等。在获得国际麻将联盟的授权以后,水木智娱已经成功承办了世界麻将运动会、全球麻将冠军联赛和世界四川麻将大奖赛等多项赛事,在乐视体育、搜狐视频、斗鱼、章鱼等多家平台直播。水木智竞馆已经与阿里棋牌、联众国际、在线途游、玩呗娱乐等多家知名棋牌厂商达成共识,在赛事举办、视频直播、节目发行、品牌授权等方面展开深入合作。水木智娱还打造了国内首个专业智力运动场馆——水木智竞馆,承载着多项顶级赛事的直播和节目制作的任务,也与各大视频、直播平台及媒体建立了长期合作关系。

受到“黑网吧”向“高级网咖”转型升级的成功案例启发,徐华欧希望水木智娱通过独有的IP和赛事能力,打造出一个集竞技场馆、专业培训、赛事支持、IP孵化、明星基地、视频直播、节目发行、高端沙龙等功能为一身的智力体育基地,推动“棋牌室”向“智竞馆”转型,打造“第二代棋牌室”。

徐华欧认为,“内容+场馆”是体育的最具核心竞争力的生态的模式,可以把用户都聚集在体系中。未来,水木智娱除了继续围绕顶级棋牌赛事IP带来的赛事赞助、冠名费、转播权等收入外,还将通过承办更多赛事、全面推广智竞馆等方式,在智力运动领域建立更高的门槛,成为全球智力运动最好的开拓者。(谢宛霏)

(责编:樊璐璐)

(文章出自中国青年报,如有侵权,联系我们)

付费点登载此文出于传递更多信息之目的,并不意味着赞同其观点或证实其描述,互联网棋牌有风险,投资需谨慎!

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