His journey, his role, his vision of the esport scene… He agreed to answer our questions and to share his experience.
To follow the different teams from Servette FC :
KYKLOS: Hello Nicolas, to begin, can you introduce yourself and tell us about your career?
NICOLAS: My career is a bit special. I am basically a video game salesman in specialized stores. But I’m in the esport for 18 years now! (So since the beginning of esport in France). I made my first competition at 16, on Counter Strike. And around 22 years-old, I branched out on another Valve’s game to be part of semi-professional competitions.
Then, I left for Haute-Savoie (France) and with three friends we created an association called “Inovacio”, which was intended to launch players on LoL (League of Legends). Our goal was to allow young players to compete without costing them too much money. Subsequently, we left the association with other people and I ended up in Geneva at Esport Servette Club.
K: Do you think that there is a difference in perception between esport in France and in Switzerland?
N: Yes, clearly. I think that today in Switzerland, esport is perceived as it was two years ago in France. Nevertheless, things may move faster, because today players can say they are real professionals. Two years ago, it was something badly seen by most people. But the structures are concerned about it and lots of esport clubs are being created via traditional sports clubs.
K: So you’re the general manager of the esport branch, could you tell us a little bit more about your job?
N: Yes, absolutely. I am the general manager and not the coach. My role is to manage our different teams and put the players in the best possible arrangements. My mission is to reduce and manage the costs as much as possible. I also have a small commercial role to make the team more famous, check if we communicate well on our different social media…
And I also do a lot for the Overwatch section. We recruited our two “line-up” on the game: one composed by French and Swiss players, and another international made up with German players.
K: Servette is basically a football and rugby club. How did they come up with esport?
N: I was not there at the birth of the project, unfortunately. The project was offered to Servette Football Club which found it interesting, so they decided to integrate it a few years ago.
K: In France, many teams or esport clubs are financed with streaming or related activities. Are your players under contract and full time?
N: Our players are of course under contract but they all have additional activities because it is not possible to live currently from esport in Switzerland!
K: And do you think a coach is compulsory for a team? Or can players be able to be self-reliant?
N: It depends on the game. On a team-play game such as Overwatch, it is imperative to have a coach to analyze the parts to find areas for improvement. It’s a real role of analyst that is needed to allow players to get better.
In a game like Hearthstone, we do not have a coach for our players. The game is very slow, they have the opportunity to analyze the situation directly during the match and it is much easier for them to self-manage.
K: Finally, what are your ambitions for the months/years to come?
N: First, more podiums on the European scene. On Rocket League it’s pretty good because one of our team evolves at the European level and is the first on the group stage of the Rocket League Rival Series (a competition which is just below the RLCS which is the world competition) over 8 teams.
On Overwatch, our international team will start in April the Open Division Season 2, hoping that it achieves the same rank as last season.
And finally, we want to show that despite the fact that Switzerland is a small country, there are ambitions and skills. We have a lot of talents and we want to let it know!
K: Thanks to you for your time! We wish you the best!