Gfinity  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Gfinity  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network GFE Takes Rocket League by Force Thu, 03 Aug 2017 14:49:47 -0400 Lydia M

Rocket League has taken eSports by storm in the past few months, with Psyonix promising over $2.5m to Rocket League eSports, Gfinity adding it to their Elite Series, and FACEIT and NBC hosting a 2v2 Universal tournament --and we're only halfway through the year. With the influx of dedication to Rocket League eSports, organizations are taking note with familiar names like Cloud9, G2, NRG, Rogue eSports, and Renegades signing teams for the game left and right.

Gale Force Esports tops that list of teams, as they have vetted a European RLCS team since April -- and after some roster changes post-Season 3, they've been one of the teams to beat not only in their region but the world. Shortly after Northern Gaming took the crown of Season 3, GFE looked to reform anew as sights were set on the remainder of 2017 and Season 4 of RLCS.


According to Jos "ViolentPanda" van Meurs:

"My old team didn't go that well. Gale Force and I decided to build a team around me. At first Kaydop was picked up because we wanted to team together, then Turbo came up and we tried him out at DreamHack: Summer in Sweden. It's been going very well."

Photo: Gale Force Esports

"Going well" is an understatement. GFE earned second place at DreamHack: Summer, with Pierre "Turbopolsa" Silfver as a try-out, first place at the second RLCS Summer Series, then second place at the and DreamHack Atlanta back to back.

"At the start of X Games I said three teams would be good: FlipSide, NRG and EnVyUs." ViolentPanda tells us, "I thought EnVyUs would be better than NRG but we kind of let it go in the finals. We should have won but we weren't focused that much."

Forever Second Place

While it seems they've been cursed with second place finishes, you have to consider the amount of work the Europeans have put in while only having a full roster for barely one full month. Considering travel to Sweden in June for DreamHack: Summer, then a small tour in the United States to X Games in Minneapolis and Atlanta for another DreamHack championship, earning second place seems like a pretty good takeaway from the latest competition.

Language Barrier

As a European team, all three members are from differently nationalities. ViolentPanda is Dutch, Courant "Kaydop" Alexandre is French and Turbopolsa is Swedish. With three different players and three different languages, you would think the team would have difficulty with in-game communication. But ViolentPanda says they've dealt with the language barrier due to little in-game communication:

"Turbo and I are pretty good at English, but Kaydop is a bit iffy sometimes. Most of the time you can understand him, but in game it doesn't really matter because you just shout out small things."

Photo: Gale Force Esports

Developer Dedication

"Rocket League is growing enormously and we didn't expect it to get so big"

Rocket League is unique in the eSports spectrum, so Psyonix doesn't really have much to go off of when organizing Rocket League eSports. That obviously hasn't set them back with the outstanding organization for the Rocket League Championship Series, along with countless amounts of third party tournaments announced fairly regularly. Moving into Season 4, Psyonix announced a minor league series would be competing week after week along with the RLCS.

ViolentPanda does't think the new format will effect the team going into the new season:

"Rocket League is growing enormously and we didn't expect it to get so big. I don't think the different format will effect us that much because they will still have the top eight in the RLCS. In the passed the teams split up a lot because the level of play kept growing. Players that were good four months ago might not be so good now.

We're going to practice a lot and we expect to get top eight for season four. We don't focus on other teams that much, we just prepare for ourselves. Of course we want the finals but I think there will be many more tournaments to focus on other than RLCS."

Photo: Gale Force Esports


Needless to say the future is looking extremely bright for the European Rocket League team. After they recently took the top spot in Nvidia's Best Buddy Tournament, the teams' focus is now set on Season 4 of RLCS, the Universal Open, and the many other tournaments to come throughout the year. It's safe to say if they stay on this track, Gale Force will quickly become a world contender in Rocket League eSports.

[Interview]: Lightning Pandas Manager Oliver Sellors Explains Why Gfinity Has Saved European eSports Sun, 06 Jul 2014 06:49:36 -0400 John Gaudiosi

The former pro gamer and current manager of UK Call of Duty team, Lightning Pandas, knows first-hand how tough eSports can be in the United Kingdom. He had to disband Prophecy, one of the most popular eSports teams in the UK, because of lack of sponsorship. The former manager of Faze just joined up with Lightning Pandas as their manager on July 5, a deal that came out of nowhere a few months after the Call of Duty Championship in Los Angeles earlier this year. Sellors explains how Gfinity has helped European eSports in this exclusive interview.

John Gaudiosi [GS]: Why did you join Lightning Pandas?

I joined the LP because I saw the huge potential in themselves and the brand. They are already recognized globally in such a short amount of time, the diversity in the team and brand is huge, and hopefully I can deliver big things for them!


[GS]:How did you get involved in eSports?

Sellors: I used to play Call of Duty 4 and I didn’t think it was going to be that big, so I stopped playing. Maybe a year later I saw the scene was getting big like. I was working full time, so I didn’t have the time to play. So about six years ago I got into it and eSports has grown and grown.

GS: How has your background in actually playing esports helped as a manager?

Sellors: It helps because when I used to play I got to know all the big players. So when it came to actually management and pick out teams, I knew a lot of the guys. I had a good friendship with the guys, so it actually really helped coming from playing. I bet you’ll see a lot more players in the future, if they want to stay involved in gaming, they’ll slip into the management side of things once they get too old or they think they’re slowly deteriorating in skill.

GS: Can you explain to people what the manager does in eSports?

Sellors: There are different types of managers. I’m doing the business side of it. I work with the current sponsors, network for new sponsors, literally everything that helps the business run. On top of that, I’m also the pro team manager.

GS: We’re seeing in the U.S., especially around League of Legends, sponsors like Coke and American Express get involved.  What’s it like over in Europe with sponsors?

Sellors: Over in Europe it’s hot. I used to own my own team called Prophecy, which is from the UK. We were known as the biggest brand in Europe, but I had to close it because of financial reasons. Trying to get money over there is difficult, even for the biggest teams. We were what the equivalent to what Optic Gaming is in America. There’s no support in the UK and the EU mainland.  Powers like Germany and France get quite good support and their community is big. And America is steps ahead right now. 

GS: So how are organizations like Gfinity helping you out?

Sellors: If Gfinity hadn’t come around I don’t think there’d be more than one UK team at the Call of Duty Championship. We had the other events like EGL, the European Gaming League, and they were great, but they didn’t seem to really grow. They came into the market at an intermediate level and stayed that way. They had support from all the top players around Europe and it was just a shame that they didn’t evolve. But then Gfinity came on and we finally have someone on par with MLG. Gfinity really is a lifesaver for the EU right now.

GS: When it comes to eSports we saw League of Legends sell out Staples Center and DotA 2 played in a German soccer stadium. What is it like to see this merging of real sports and eSports with stadiums?

Sellors: I follow League of Legends a lot and it’s amazing the growth there. Then I saw The International game announced and it’s huge. I’ve seen gaming grow and I reckon the next thing is you’ll see stadiums filled every month. I reckon it will become the most mainstream sports on TV maybe in ten years’ time.

GS: What's a misconception about pro gamers?

Sellors: Gaming is portrayed as a lazy guy that sits in his room, but then you come to an event and most guys are just normal, healthy guys.

GS: NFL player Rodger Saffold bought Call of Duty team Rise Nation.

Sellors: I love American football as well, so the more people you get involved in eSprots, the faster it’s goingto grow. So that’s great.

Follow Lightning Pandas on Twitter @LightningPandaz

Gfinity Exec Paul Kent Explains Why They're Not Focusing On League Of Legends Sun, 16 Mar 2014 15:55:07 -0400 John Gaudiosi

Gfinity has quickly solidified itself in the European eSports landscape. The company, which focuses on Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, FIFA and StarCraft II, has been able to reach a global audience through livestreaming and  

Paul Kent, COO of Gfinity, plans to establish the UK as the go-to destination for pro player talent, new teams looking climb up the ranks will also be given the opportunity to compete for cash prizes and a chance to win the top spot in the various Cups and Championships.

The company’s Call of Duty tournaments surpassed the viewing figures of all twelve Sky Movies channels and all nine MTV channels, which prompted the studio to embark on the creation of regular HD online content for 2014. Kent discusses his own pro gaming background and explains why his company is forgoing Riot Games’ League of Legends in this exclusive interview.

Why did you decide to jump into the eSports arena?

As individuals we have been involved in the eSports arena since 1996, which began with Quakeworld. In the early days we helped lay the roots as players, and over time as tournament organizers for various companies. Now, as we start a journey at the other end of the spectrum, we hope to use those seeds that were planted all those years ago as a base to take eSports to another level.

What's your background in pro gaming?

My first experience with online gaming started in the days of 28.8k modems and NetQuake, which for everyone who has the misfortune to be as old as I am can no doubt remember the horrible Netcode that was the norm in those days. However, with the release of QuakeWorld and (John) Carmack's clever Netcode (along with its pushlatency command), competitive online gaming became a distinct possibility no matter where you lived. I quickly became hooked on QuakeWorld and played for some of the UK's biggest teams of the day (Denial & Four Kings). Over the following years I participated in many games from Painkiller to Counter-Strike. I also took an active part in running tournaments and online leagues for companies such as BarrysWorld and Multiplay. All of these experiences have led me to where I am today.

What opportunities have you seen livestreaming open up?

Livestreaming has changed the face of eSports forever. Before its introduction, watching eSports events either live or recorded took a certain level of game knowledge and really was something of a subculture in what was already a niche community. By removing all the barriers to entry, we now find people who never even knew eSports existed can at a click of a button get access to some of the greatest games, along with color casting and all the features that we have come to accept with mainstream sports. It would have been impossible for us to set the UK eSports viewing records without livestreaming.

How do you go about choosing which games to feature in your tournaments?

Choosing the right games to feature is one of the most difficult and easiest things to do for an eSports organization. The easy bit is the choosing, our philosophy has always been to include games that not only have an eSports pedigree, but also have an active eSports community. The hard part is deciding what games we should not cover. For example, although League of Legends is clearly the largest eSports title on the market at the moment and a game we featured at our first event, we have decided that for the time being we will not feature this at our events.

What are the challenges of trying to compete with the likes of League of Legends these days?

LCS is a the dominant game in eSports now and is quite unique in the way that Riot runs the entire franchise in-house with the players and teams all financed by Riot. This, of course, means that we are certainly not in competition with them as we are not a developer or a publisher. As fans of eSports, we are huge fans of the entire series and just really enjoying watching.

How have you seen eSports grow in Europe?

Exponentially! The growth in the European eSports market is frightening. The most pleasing aspect is that we are seeing different parts of Europe engaging in different eSports titles, from the traditional FPS stronghold in Scandinavia to the console powerhouses of the UK and France.

What are the challenges of dealing with different countries and different languages when it comes to eSports tournaments?

This is a very important topic inside Gfinity, where we have coined the phrase "Glo-calisation." Over the coming weeks and months, our aim is to make sure that no matter where in Europe you are, Gfinity will always feel local to you.

How do you differentiate yourself from ESL and other European leagues?

We feel that with our vast experience and knowledge of eSports that has been built up since before it was called eSports, we know what works and what doesn't work. Where we feel we are different from others is that we put the players first, second and third. No matter if you are the greatest player or the worst player, at Gfinity you are equally important to us and we make sure that the players know that. So far, it appears to be working as some of the largest teams and players in the world have stated that our first two events were the best events they have ever attended.

What do you feel differentiates the European eSports scene from that in North America and Asia?

The Asian market is almost a decade further down the line in terms of eSports development, which is down to the Netcafe social system. Millions of people have grown up playing eSports titles in Netcafes, so it has now become part of their way of life. This is similar to the Scandinavian market in Europe. In North America our partner company, MLG, is a shining beacon that is now delivering viewing figures that many a mainstream sports would love to have. And although Europe is not quite at the same level, we are catching up very quickly.


We're seeing eSports Arenas opening in the U.S. this year. What do you see in Europe when it comes to dedicated eSports spaces?

At Gfinity we already have the UK's only dedicated eSports studio and arena. Both Dreamhack in Sweden and ESL and Riot in Germany have similar offerings, so we are already seeing huge growth in this area and this is very important step forward on the road to mainstream accessibility.

What opportunities has television broadcasts opened up for Gfinity?

We have recently started putting our shows on TV with our partners Without a doubt, the most exciting aspect of this is we are now able to reach an entire new audience. Our existing audience now has a new way to interact with our product, be that on the big screen in the living room or as a recorded show before they go to bed. Giving our audience as many ways to access our content is very important to us.