Current League of Legends DGC champions GooN Squad have had quite the start to their 2017 season, having departed from Ventus Gaming just a month after achieving their first DGC win and having undergone no small amount of roster changes since branching off on their own.
Last week, however, it was announced that the top performing side (who not only finished at the top of the DGL Premier Division for Leg One but also picked up the title of Emerald Showdown Champion) have joined budding Esports organisation VexxedPhoenix.
Telkom Gaming sat down with GooN Squad captain Brandon “brafester” Fester for a brief look into his experiences thus far as well as a deeper look into what Esports organisations bring to the table in terms of player and team support.
Telkom Gaming (TG): With the end of the leg comes a new transfer period and, for your team, a new organisation. Can you tell us a bit more about the GooN Squad joining VexxedPhoenix as an organisation?
Brandon “brafester” Fester: If I’m going, to be honest, it was a difficult choice to make. Coming off the back of quite difficult experience with an MGO we didn’t want to jump into anything too quickly and despite a number of contacts, I was sceptical and cautious about a lot of things. However, their management and ownership board won me over with their honesty, directness, and a solid vision. I asked a lot of them, not from them, and they were happy to comply with my requests, within reason.
TG: Having been crowned the DGC champions under the Ventus banner, and then going on to play leg one as a solo team, would you say it is easier to manage a team while playing in an MGO or as an individual entity?
Fester: I think it’s a difficult question for me to answer. I’ve spent most of my career playing for an organisation, one organisation, and there were a lot of ups and downs. More downs the further you go on the timeline. At the end of the day it’s probably easier to manage a team as an individual entity, but you’re not going to go as far as you could go with an honest organisation. That’s the trade-off.
TG: Do you feel that the benefits of joining an organisation outway those of staying as an individual team?
Fester: Yes. Simply put, there are a lot more opportunities when you’re a part of an organisation and at the end of the day, both parties benefit a great deal if there is an equal amount of effort being put in by both sides.
TG: Talk us through some of the opportunities that being a part of an MGO afford teams that perhaps they could not access as an individual team.
Fester: Easier access to sponsorship deals, MSSA affiliation (if they’re registered), another family, mentorship programmes, easier brand-building opportunities, more following and fanbase. Also, there’s something that I think can be overlooked, a higher authority. It’s easy to become complacent, lazy and misguided if you’re the highest in command. Instead, with an organisation, I can focus purely on the team and our results and I know the awesome management team at VxP will have my back. If teams can find that in an MGO, it’s going to be a tremendous weight lifted off their shoulders.
TG: What advice could you give to teams that are not currently represented by an MGO or organisation in terms of joining/attracting an organisation?
Fester: It’s sort of like a job opportunity. Both sides need to be able to benefit, so you really need to sell yourself as to what you can offer. Even then, “We won DGC” alone is not enough. Organisations and sponsorships are looking ahead at what’s to come, not back at what’s been done. Focus on building relationships and networking within your communities, because at the end of the day that viewer count and the amount of people that you reach is what they are looking for. Also, like a job, apply apply apply. Make it known that you are looking for an organisation or sponsorship and approach them directly. The worse that they can say is no, and even then you could find out why it’s a no and work on that.
Telkom Gaming contacted Nastasja “UntoldSecrets123” Bezuidenhout, one of the owners of the VexxedPhoenix clan, for her thoughts on the acquisition of GooN Squad as well as how to further grow brand awareness within Esports:
TG: First off, can you tell us a little more about the organisations itself? (When it was founded, why and its goals/motivations)
Bezuidenhout: VexxedPhoenix started off as a small group of friends, about a year and a half ago, with the motivation of much larger clans (such as Cloud9 and TSM), and had the expectation and aim to reach that level of excellence, just on a much more amiable level.
TG: What are your thoughts on the latest addition to the organisation, the GooN Squad?
Bezuidenhout: Ecstatic. It’s a great stepping stone for us as a clan, and it’s amazing to welcome such a team into our family.
TG: What impact do you feel their joining will have on the rest of your teams (with the side being the top performing team in the League of Legends DGL)?
Bezuidenhout: It will give the other teams the motivation to play a lot more professionally and ambitiously. It also gives them additional knowledge to the game League of Legends and as well as the field of E-sports; as an individual player.
TG: What advice could you give teams/players that are looking to be noticed by an MGO?
Bezuidenhout: Advertise your team/yourself well, in the terms of your gameplay and your attitude towards the field, every positive point, from teamwork to even the friendship you have within a team. As VexxedPhoenix, we didn’t just get attracted to GooN Squad’s skills in the game and field, but mainly to their ambition and passion in the field and in their career in E-Sports. One might also not want to let the little things get in the way, and to become a lot more ambitious and hopeful, instead of shy and withdrawn. Ambition is the key to becoming successful.
TG: Anything further you would like to add?
Bezuidenhout: We’re excited to further our career in E-Sports as a South African clan, and good luck to all Teams / Players in their careers. Happy Gaming.
Did you know that you can play League of Legends in the DGL just like the VxP GooN Squad? The DGL is South Africa’s largest online gaming league and is open to everybody.
Join the DGL for free and you could win cash and prizes playing League of Legends.