Hi! I’m Mikhail Klimentov.
For over three years, I was an editor at The Washington Post’s video game and esports vertical, Launcher. But in early 2023, The Post announced it was shuttering the site.
Now, I’ve joined forces with Jacob Wolf, another journalist, to bring our newsletters to Patreon.
Here’s why I think you should give ReaderGrev a shot:
At The Washington Post, my writing ranged from longform investigative stories to searching reviews to front page news. Here’s a sampling:
Over a dozen workers at TSM and Blitz told me about the "culture of fear" fostered by CEO Andy Dinh, and a resulting exodus of talent. Some workers appear to have been misclassified as contractors, not employees, based on interviews and docs I reviewed. “Nobody wanted to be in a one-on-one meeting with Andy because you had no witnesses,” one employee told me. This story took about 5 months and probably upwards of 50 calls and interviews to pull together.
We all use phones on the toilet. Just don’t sit more than 10 minutes. This was a quick, fun, reported piece that arose out of a personal observation: I’ve been playing a lot of “Marvel Snap” on the toilet. It landed me a short spot on TV to discuss the story’s findings.
Game reviews help answer the weighty question of how to spend your time on Earth. It's too bad the whole system around how they’re written is designed to make that harder. I wrote about the ways in which the video game review process is broken — and why that’s bad for readers, writers and games.
In 2022, the Ukrainian esports organization NAVI said it would relocate or let go of employees who live in and pay taxes to the Russian Federation. I broke that news.
I’ve also published independently, exposing the internal communications of a company acquired by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, and breaking the news that professional League of Legends players were planning to vote to stage a walkout — marking a historic first stab at collective action in esports.
I’d like to continue producing that kind of work. Please consider supporting me on Patreon.
My logo, wordmark, and colorful header images are all designed by Sonny Ross. You can find their work here.