Inside Fnatic HQ - Fan Q&A #1

  July 4, 2022

Inside Fnatic HQ - Fan Q&A #1

Fans are the lifeblood of any pro Esports team, and it is patently clear that Fnatic adore their followers and supporters. There’s never a shortage of interesting, insightful or just plain silly content for their loyal fanbase to read, watch and listen to.

Whether it’s a VALORANT fragging masterclass or a League of Legends title win, fans and supporters are there for it on social media or cheering on their favourite players at events. Many of which aspiring to take the Path of Champions themselves in pro gaming.

As you might imagine, the Esports organisation gets a lot of questions from supporters. We select and expand on the best ones, as well as get some industry-focused thoughts from Fnatic players, coaches, and management.

Chillblast new series: Inside Fnatic HQ

Fnatic fans and supporters

In this series we’ll go inside Fnatic HQ all over the world, and hopefully give you the answers you are looking for! If you have any questions for Fnatic that you’d like us to feature, you can head over to our contact page and ask away.

Fnatic’s focus on mental health, physical health and player wellbeing is widely documented, and highly commendable. Do you think this is an area that is still now seen as a priority in Esports?

I think more and more of our competitors are realising the importance of creating a holistic, healthy and performance-orientated environment for their players.

At Fnatic we have always believed in this approach. Perhaps we have a head start over some of our competitors in that sense, but equally we are by no means experts in a lot of the areas we are exploring ourselves so must always be seeking learnings from other sports and industries where best practice is already established and understood.

Our goal at Fnatic is to help our players become the best version of themselves and achieve long term success in their respective games. As such, our players’ physical and psychological well-being is a high priority.

VALORANT pro Esports players - Fnatic

High performance cultures require a lot of different elements to be in place, understood and lived by players and staff alike.

One of the major challenges facing any Esports organisation as we try to tackle performance in our industry is understanding which areas to prioritize and not necessarily following what works in “traditional” professional sport settings. It’s a path not particularly well trodden – so there is huge potential if your staff and players are willing to try new things and commit to a performance strategy.

Jens Hofer - Performance Advisor in Pro-Gaming

The investment and importance placed on our High Performance Unit (HPU) tells you how seriously we feel about providing best-in-class performance infrastructure for our teams. We also believe in sharing relevant findings and ideas with the wider Esports and gaming community. Performance is a journey – where every detail, big or small, matters.

Jens Hofer – Performance Advisor in Pro-Gaming

There are some in the industry that superficially compare the way Esports is heading to premiership football or NFL; that the ever-increasing pressures and responsibilities to marketing, PR, sponsors & partners may be a distraction – or even detrimental to their professional career. How does Fnatic manage this?

We feel strongly about preparing our players for the public-facing element that inevitably comes with being a Fnatic Pro Player. There are some practical steps that we take at Fnatic, such as media training and effective onboarding that includes commercial, community and marketing briefings for new players so they fully understand the environment that they are entering and what is expected of them.

Patrik Sattermon - Chief Gaming Officer at Fnatic

I agree it’s absolutely an area of rapid growth in the industry and something we put a great deal of effort into managing, especially for our younger and newer professional players.

I know our players actually really enjoy this aspect of representing the Black and Orange. It may not come naturally to some of them of course, but they know they are really well supported by our team staff and the everyone at Fnatic HQ in this area.

We encourage them to be themselves, be humble and be proud of who they represent and their individual and collective journeys. I must also say that our partners are all understanding and great at working around the schedules our players need to complete to be at the top of their game.

Patrik Sattermon – Chief Gaming Officer at Fnatic

How does Fnatic ensure the gaming comes first, above all else?

We ensure that media, commercial and marketing requirements are always represented and considered in the performance planning and scheduling for our teams. This ensures that appropriate time is allocated for their execution at the best possible moment for our athletes so their preparation for competition isn’t interrupted.

Fnatic pro gamers entering tournament

It’s important that we don’t see these pressures and requirements as the enemy. Far from it. They are fantastic opportunities for our players and organisation to gain exposure and, really importantly, connect with our amazing fanbase.

Patrik Sattermon – Chief Gaming Officer at Fnatic

When a new team member joins the Fnatic family, it must be a daunting process. How does Fnatic overcome this?

We’re talking about fostering team chemistry and cohesion here and for us this starts very early in our talent acquisition process, even before the player has signed for us. As part of our talent identification process we are assessing a multitude of data points to select “Fnatic” players. This process includes an assessment of the personality, conduct and professionalism displayed by individuals we are looking at. So, I’d like to think we would not sign a player who is not going to be able to adapt to the Fnatic team he is moving into, and the existing players will have a welcoming and supportive nature instilled in them as the Fnatic way.

Fnatic League of Legends pro Esports players in team talk

Before signing a player, it’s not unusual for us to consult existing senior players for their opinions on the suitability of candidates to join their team. This is really valuable insight for our decision making on player transfers.

Patrik Sattermon – Chief Gaming Officer at Fnatic

What does a typical onboarding of a team member look like at Fnatic – pre and post signing?

After signing our expectations of the player are made clear early on – individual development plans are agreed and the team’s goals, values and rituals are shared. Our team staff and players then manage two streams of integration:

  1. In-game strategies and technical onboarding specific to the role the new player will play in the server. Our In Game Leaders, Coaches and Analysts play key roles in this area of onboarding.
  2. Social onboarding and making the new player truly feel a part of the amazing team they have joined. This is a huge area of focus for us at Fnatic and is everyone’s responsibility.

Patrik Sattermon – Chief Gaming Officer at Fnatic

Our thanks to the Fnatic team for their help in creating this series. Special thanks to Patrik Sattermon – Chief Gaming Officer at Fnatic and Jens Hofer – Performance Advisor in Pro-Gaming

Join us next time for Inside Fnatic HQ #2! Sign up for our newsletter so you never miss a post, or follow us on socials Twitter: @chillblast


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