Say the name Gucci and you will instantly think of high-value, upmarket luxury goods ranging from clothing to hand-bags.
Well, soon that could all change after the Florence-based luxury brand label agreed a deal with one of the biggest names in organising esports tournaments, FACEIT, to begin what has been called the Gucci Gaming Academy.
The programme will seek to enhance the skills of a selected intake of gamers, giving them access to training sessions, advice, as well as giving academics the chance to learn about the physical and mental aspects they will need to deal with as a top-tier esports competitor.
A total of four current CS:GO players, who are competing in the current FACEIT Pro League (FPL) , will be their first intake of academics, with the academy seeking to expand its services to new members over the coming months.
Academics will be selected not just on their quality of esports gaming, but also a number of other factors. The selection process will therefore include face-to-face interviews with candidates to discover their own personalities, values and issues that are important to them.
Once selected, members of the academy will remain with the academy for up to a year, however if they are skilled enough to be signed by a professional team, then they will graduate from the academy earlier.
WHO Aspect Of The Agreement
One of the more interesting and important aspects of the deal is that Gucci and FACEIT will work with the WHO to find ways to support all gamers involved to improve their gameplay, but also prioritising their own health and safety, including physical and mental health and dealing with the issues that can arise from exposure in the online community, such as trolling, misinformation etc.
“We are dedicated to supporting the up-and-coming generations of players to help manage the challenges they may face as a result of participating in esports,” stated Nicolas Oudinot, the EVP of New Business and CEO of Gucci VAULT.
This is a hugely interesting move from Gucci, but one that was perhaps not unexpected. The company has already shown an interest in working within the esports industry with a couple of successful forays into esports since 2020.
It is also very much the case that with esports continuing to grow exponentially in terms of popularity and the amount of revenue the industry generates, even from subsidiary industries in terms of esports betting, esports technology, esports team apparel and similar, there is a growing number of competitors in the industry earning big money and having plenty of disposable income.
Setting up the Gucci Gaming Academy is certainly an admirable move; developing the next generation of esports talent, along with providing support, advice and more for esports professionals dealing with some of the issues that arise from the high-pressure felt in top-level esports can only be a good thing.
And certainly, it could mark the Italian label out as trendsetters in an interesting new avenue of high-end luxury companies moving into the esports industry in a number of ways.
We may not be at the “Faberge Mouse” stage just yet, but maybe that is where this intriguing partnership could head.