An interview with Fabio Floris about how EFG’s digital platform is transforming esports competitions worldwide.
What lessons can esports take from traditional sports? Why is the social aspect of competitive gaming important? And how is ESL FACEIT Group (EFG) transforming the Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) esports scene through its tournament platform? In an interview with esports.gg, Fabio Floris, the president of digital platforms at EFG, provided insights about all of this and more.
EFG's Fabio Floris on traditional sports and esports
Having been with FACEIT Group since its inception, Floris has been using his experience in traditional sports to elevate the esports space. In the interview esports.gg, he noted that his non-gaming background, in particular, lets him inject lessons from traditional sports into competitive gaming.
"We tend to call esports everything that is the media aspect of things," Floris said. "Like the professional layer, the prize money, the media rights." In terms of sports, he noted how football, basketball, and collegiate teams value teamwork and playing at one's best because of being closer to their teammates.
"But we're in gaming. We like to play, click the play button, then matchmaking, and then complain about the randomness and sometimes the toxicity. We believe we can fix all these things because we [are starting] to have more and more people playing together as a team and as a club," he continued, referring to his work at EFG.
The social aspect of competitive gaming
When it comes to CS2 esports, in particular, Floris emphasized the social aspect of it as well. He told esports.gg that EFG is really focused on community and player interactions. Floris said that EFG wants players to stop thinking that gaming is simply about clicking a button and matching up with random competitors. Rather, by using EFG as a portal, players can duke it out against verified individuals, friends, and professionals who are at the same level.
"We want to be that place that [supports players who are] at any level of the [competitive CS2 ecosystem]. On top of that, we are going to focus even more on the aspect of trying to ensure that everyone can easily find people to play with and express [their] best competitive potential," he added.
Floris then highlighted that EFG's platform can support thousands of organizers while offering anti-cheat tools, and more. He also hinted at a significant upgrade arriving in 2024, but said he cannot go into detail.
FPL Proving Grounds as a path to professional esports
After emphasizing EFG's ongoing commitment to fair competition, Floris noted how the platform provides opportunities for emerging talent in the esports ecosystem. An example of this is the FACEIT Pro League (FPL) Proving Grounds as a pathway for aspiring professional players.
He stressed that the FPL Proving Grounds events serve not only as a place for current players and new competitors, but also as a resource for players without a team. According to Floris, these tournaments provide financial support and opportunities for players to stay engaged with their community at a competitive level.
"Players that have been temporarily without a team — they still [see] FPL [as a] place to go to," Floris said. "They're getting some financial support, eventually for prizes, and still [getting] picked up by a team a few months later. There are sometimes people that invest a lot of time [into esports before] they lose a contract or they lose something for three, six months."
EFG's Fabio Floris on improving the gaming experience
Floris detailed the need for gamers to transform their passion for esports into a healthy and supportive activity as well. Much like traditional sports, this means moving beyond repetitive sessions with random players. Instead, there should be more close-knit networks where friendships could develop. He noted that players can find life-long friendships through these connections, further underlining the value of social connections and camaraderie.
"Maybe they consumed tons and tons of hours of gaming without really [getting] the chance [to have] a supportive experience," he said. "Knowing people, knowing their actual names, playing together, growing together, win something together, lose something together, enjoy a moment of victory, enjoy a moment of loss, [have] something more meaningful that just [clicking] a button and spending one hour on a game server randomly."
Visit EFG's website to learn more about what it takes to build community through gaming.
That's all for now. Stay tuned on esports.gg for more news and updates!