Interview with Tracker Network CEO Matthew Hawkins
We already talked about the best Valorant companion apps out there. The likes of Valorant Tracker and Valorantics are topping the charts. Today, though, we’re proud to present an interview with Tracker Network CEO Matthew Hawkins.
Tracker Network offers a wide set of software solutions for competitive gamers, tracking over 100 million players across the globe. With support for games like Fortnite, Valorant, Rainbow Six, and many more, Tracker Network is deservingly the leading name in the niche.
Before we start the interview off, we’d like to thank Mr. Hawkins for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. We sincerely hope his tracking apps will continue to grow and reward all the hard work Matt and his team have been putting in!
1. Companion apps for competitive games are your niche, that’s obvious at first glance. What made you jump into the companion app ecosystem – was it the sheer passion for competitive multiplayer gaming, a relatively small number of quality competitors, a combination of both, or something else?
The unique opportunity to create specialized features that can benefit gamers as they play in real-time made me want to jump into the app ecosystem. Immediately, that was super cool and I was really motivated to find the best technology that worked. The other half was the data. The data we can get from the Overwolf platform is often data you can’t get anywhere else (like from the game dev API). I think these are huge draws for developers.
2. Which tracker was the most difficult one to develop? Which one gave you the most headaches; which one are you most proud of?
The Rocket League app was our hardest one due to it being our first one. This was a long time ago, and the Overwolf platform was buggy and sluggish, unlike the robust platform that it is today with all those tools and features. Between our own lack of experience with the platform and Overwolf’s own growing pains, our first app took the longest of any of our apps and had to be re-written several times.
The Rainbow 6 app is the one I am the proudest of. We came up with a very simple idea that we felt would benefit gamers and it just took off. It’s up to 750k installs now. We’ve iterated on it a few times, and it’s just always been a fun app to iterate on and get immediate user feedback on. Overwolf has helped us along the way with more events and marketing support. It was a team effort and a joy to be a part of.
3. Was it difficult to get around the fact Valorant’s API wasn’t available at the time you released Valorant Tracker?
Not really. Overwolf was quick to get some events out, and we just focused on making the best app with what was available. After some mockups, we found something we were confident would be a great app. Of course, if we had an official API back then it would have been nice, but I don’t think our app would have been radically different. I’m very proud of what we released and the growth it’s had so far!
4. Now that the first set of APIs for Valorant is out, what sort of new features can we expect from your tracker?
That’s what we’re spending the most time on right now. We’re going through the process of downloading every match ever played and aggregating that data. We plan to support very in-depth stats for players. All your stats from every weapon, map, and agent, and then as well as historical trends, match details, etc. We’re still in the building phase for that, it’s a lot of work.
5. Will Overwolf remain a prerequisite for seamless player tracking in live matches now that the API is out?
Yes. The API doesn’t have any live information so far, but even if it did, the Overwolf platform isn’t simply just a way to get data – it’s an entire platform for hosting apps in-game. Things like analytics, monetization, and app distribution, all come for free with Overwolf so we will continue to utilize their platform for our in-game apps.
6. Lastly – what was your favorite pastime during the lockdown?
The lockdown has a lot of people at home gaming, as such, we saw a tremendous amount of growth across the board. It’s been a good thing for us, but we’ve worked harder than ever to be able to support the needs of the network of sites. We’ve had to scale all of our backend systems and hardware to support the needs of our users. Furthermore, games keep coming out. Valorant, Hyper Scape, and many more have continued to come out, so we’re busy busy busy. We feel blessed to have these benefits during such a hard time. I hope that in this difficult time for many, some of the work we’re doing is bringing a little bit of joy to people.