The name KRÜ Esports dotted headlines around the industry last October when Manchester City’s Sergio ‘Kun’ Agüero was announced as the Founder & CEO of the newly forged organisation.
Joining the growing ranks of footballers entering esports, Agüero’s org has quickly ascended the ranks in a number of titles, earning the admiration of fans. In a November 2020 interview, Agüero told ESI sister brand, The Esports Journal: “To be clear though, KRÜ is not a hobby. We are an organisation that wants to grow and become a club that fans will choose to cheer for.”
While the org’s VALORANT roster is competing for glory in Berlin for the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 3: Masters, KRÜ Esports Project Manager, Mariel Lluch, spoke with Esports Insider about the org’s growth, successes, and plans for the future.
Esports Insider: How would you assess KRÜ Esports’s growth over the last 12 months? Is it in line with what you expected or has it exceeded expectations?
Mariel Lluch: These have been very intense months for us. We are not even a year old, which we will be on October 15. Without a doubt everything has been very positive. Our goal was to build a team from scratch, with professionals in each area but not necessarily esports specialists, which also nourished us with different points of view.
Thinking about the sports at KRÜ, I would say that we managed in these past months to establish ourselves as a notable regional organisation thanks to the performance of our FIFA and VALORANT teams. This goes hand in hand with a wonderful job from both staff and players on both groups.
We set our goals early on in the project and I strongly believe we have surpassed them. We set a kick-off with just a few games in order to have time to organise the different work teams and take firm steps from the very beginning.
I was not expecting other organisations to have such good opinions on the work we have been doing, and that still makes us very happy.
ESI: How has LATAM’s esports scene developed since KRÜ’s launch, have you seen any changes within the region?
ML: We’ve always said that we wanted to go along with the great work that many organisations had already done, not only in Argentina but throughout the region. We are entering a time of growth by leaps and bounds in the region.
I think that the pandemic also served, in some way, to make all the work behind esports and the entertainment industry massively visible. Many people discovered that there were competitive scenes and a whole new world behind just playing a certain game.
ESI: KRÜ has yet again secured qualification to a VCT Masters event, how important do you think it is to ensure that the organisation is competitively successful as well as a commercial success?
ML: From the competitive point of view, being able to qualify for LAN events opened up many opportunities for us to rub shoulders with the best, see how they train, how they work. The VALORANT team took great advantage of this and have done nothing but improve their performance tournament after tournament.
From the commercial point of view, the exposure that we get from these events is massive. It gives us the opportunity to generate different types of content that bring more brands closer to us.
ESI: What are KRÜ’s immediate plans when it comes to other esports titles?
ML: As of today we have a new title that we want to get into before we are one year old. As we did with the two previous games, we are going to give the new team time to get to know each area of KRÜ and how we work.
In parallel to this, we will be working on all the previous steps before presenting another new game, which will probably be in early 2022.
ESI: Given the rise of mobile esports in LATAM, is that a sector that KRÜ is looking into?
ML: Yes, definitely. Mobile esports are of our interest and have been in our sights from the beginning. This year we could not be a part of the competitive calendar, but in 2022 we will be involved.
ESI: What has been the most challenging situation that KRÜ has had to face since the organisation’s debut?
ML: The trips were definitely a challenge. Much more if we take into account the context of the pandemic. On the other hand, when faced with organisations that have been on the scene for so many years, we observe a lot how they handle their content and others, and it forces us in one way or another to be up to par.
ESI: Given the organisation’s superb start, what are some of the main goals for KRÜ in the next five years?
ML: Before the end of the year we plan to open up our Gaming Centre in Buenos Aires. It will be a space of almost 800 square meters that will not only allow our teams to train and prepare for tournaments, but also for the staff to work, generate content and develop actions with our sponsors. Our clothing line will also come hand-in-hand with the online store, which we hope to launch very soon.
If 2021 was a year of adaptation, we hope that 2022 will consolidate everything that has been done and allow us to develop the plans we have.
If I imagine KRÜ in the next five years, we hope to consolidate what Sergio Agüero, our CEO, said at the launch: “to be a bridge that connects LATAM with Europe, giving promising young people the opportunity to develop and fulfill the dream of representing their region in the world.”