Back in February, Esports Insider took an in-depth look into Team Singularity’s academy platform and the Danish organisation’s plans for the programme in 2021.
Five months on, Team Singularity has increased its membership numbers to over 5,500, which is roughly 2,000 more than in February. Moreover, the academy system has expanded into FIFA after only previously hosting Fortnite.
The development of Team Singularity’s project also comes at a time when David Beckham’s UK esports organisation, Guild Esports, launched its own academy system earlier in May.
Esports Insider spoke to Team Singularity’s CEO Atle S. Stehouwer, Founder and CEO, to provide an update on the organisation’s academy. Moreover, Stehouwer discusses the growth of esports academies, the platform’s next steps, and which titles are likely to be integrated next.
Esports Insider: Given that Team Singularity Academy launched in December 2020, how have you felt the project has gone?
Atle S. Stehouwer: The Academy programme has been a key piece previously missing in our company business model. Even though some progress in regard to the academy has been delayed in the roadmap we first projected, we are seeing a constant growth in members, and we don’t want to rush any implementations as the quality of the user experience is the most important factor for us.
ESI: What are some of the major changes that have come about since the launch? Have there been any adjustments you’ve had to make along the way?
AS: We are constantly making adjustments to enhance the user experience and to sort troubles in various formats.
We are very close to pushing a major update along with two long-anticipated game integrations, that we expect will be live within the next month. This update will open a lot of opportunities that we’ve been longing to implement and will help us reach our goal for the year within the academy division.
This update will also include our three educational subscriptions, as we have been beta-testing the subscriptions since January and are very satisfied with the various subscription products that will be available for the members ranging from $2-$10 a month.
ESI: After starting with Fortnite, and then expanding into FIFA, what is the next title for the Academy?
AS: CS:GO is the next title to launch and shortly after VALORANT, Rocket League, Free Fire, Call of Duty, Call of Duty Mobile, League of Legends and Wild Rift will follow.
ESI: How difficult is it to tailor the academy system to a specific title? Were there some changes that you had to make when introducing FIFA?
AS: It’s a large and complicated task as every game is different, and there are multiple game developers to work with. The platform, however, has a robust framework for games integration that makes it seamless to integrate new programmes.
ESI: It recently came out this month that Guild Esports has launched its own academy structure. Is this a sign that academy systems are the way to go when helping develop talent?
AS: In the end, it all comes down to the goal of the individual academies and how their measurement for success is defined. The most common academy structure in esports is usually being focused around developing players for the main team and not as broad as the Singularity smart academy.
Our prime focus is not to develop players for tier-one organisations through our academy; our prime focus is to give a skill-based path-to-pro platform for aspiring talents to claim their ticket for a future within esports, without necessarily having a network within the esports ecosystem to help them forward.
Joining the Team Singularity academy can be a great first step for a talent to test if they’ve what it takes to get a professional contract within esports, and if a player can complete the path-to-pro within our academy then I believe that the promotion from academy to main team can help spotlight the player publicly as ‘one to watch for the future’ in the eyes of other organisations.
ESI: Do you expect other organisations to follow an academy project model, similar to yours or Guild Esports’s, in the near future?
AS: I think that there’s plenty of room for more academies in the market, and I believe that we will continue to see growth in organisations initiating academy projects as a part of their talent development and business model.
ESI: Finally, going back to the Team Singularity Academy. Where do you see the academy by its one-year anniversary?
AS: We expect to speed things up heavily in the last half-year to hit our target of 40,000 academy members by the end of the year, but we might aim higher depending on certain things in our backend. We know that our primary bottleneck is our delayed game integrations, but good things take time and we don’t want to compromise the quality and integrity of our academy programme.