Debuted during the Grand Finals of the PGL Antwerp Major, Gucci Gaming Academy marks the first educational gaming initiative from a luxury fashion label. The program is kicking off with four high-performing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) players — Brajan "DGL" Lemecha (Poland), Lukasz "mwlky" Pachucki (Poland), Rokas "EspiranTO" Milasauskas (Lithuania) and Mārtiņš “shadiyy” Gūtmani (Latvia) — with plans to add more members over time.
Gucci will select candidates for its academy based on both in-game performance and interviews assessing players' values and skills. Upon acceptance, players will remains members of the gaming academy for 12 months unless they are officially signed to a team sooner.
The Gucci Gaming Academy has employed several ambassadors, including commentator James Bardolph and retired CS:GO gamers Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund and Stephanie ‘missharvey’ Harvey, who will mentor the academy's roster in one-on-one monthly sessions.
“Gucci is at the forefront of the luxury industry’s foray into the world of gaming and as part of our mission to build meaningful relationships with communities in a genuinely authentic way, 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,” said Nicolas Oudinot, executive vice-president of new business and chief executive of Gucci Vault, in a statement, via Vogue Business. “Understanding the issues that are relevant to them and learning about these from the people they affect are at the core of this collaboration.”
As part of the academy, Gucci and Faceit will collaborate with the World Health Organization to ensure that players receive ample support in looking after their mental and physical health while improving their gaming abilities.
Watch the Gucci Gaming Academy's introductory video, titled "The Bellhop," above.