Disclaimer: This interview was conducted by Pablo Monti, on behalf of The Esports Journal, sister brand to Esports Insider.
Sergio “Kun” Agüero is widely regarded as one of the best Premier League footballers in recent years. The striker currently has the most hat tricks of any player in the competition, and is equally adored in both Argentina and Manchester (at least the blue section).
In October 2020, Agüero also became one of the most notable athletes to enter the esports and gaming space for Spanish speaking audiences to date, by launching his own organisation KRÜ Esports.
His first moves in esports actually occurred a few months prior, with the player’s 11-year-old son crucial in his decision to start streaming on Twitch during the pandemic. Since then the footballer played with pro-FIFA player Yago Fawaz at EA Sports’ eNations Stay and Play Cup before finally creating KRÜ Esports, with Aguero announcing himself as the organisation’s CEO. Fawaz has since become the first player to sign for his team.
Esports Insider’s sister brand, The Esports Journal, spoke with Sergio Agüero to discuss KRÜ Esports and the organisation’s origin, ambitions, and future plans.
Esports Insider: How and why did you decide to launch your esports organisation, and how much of an impact did the COVID-19 pandemic have?
Sergio Agüero: It started casually, but it soon began to take shape and become more of a concrete plan. I started streaming during the lockdown after my son and my brother told me to. I found out about Twitch and thought: Why not give it a go? It was mainly for something to do during the quarantine, to be honest, and to entertain people. But it ended up becoming the beginning of this project, and now it’s a reality.
During the first streams, I made contact with many people from the gaming world and found out more and more about this phenomenon, about esports. This led me to investigate a bit more, and many from the world of gaming were very generous with their time, helping to explain things to me and giving me advice, mostly to improve my streams. With their help, I quickly reached more than 2.5m followers on Twitch! Even the staff from Twitch reached out to offer their help too.
It was during this period, via the streams and participating in gaming events, that I came up with the idea of creating my own organisation. It was then that I wanted to know more about the esports ecosystem and learn as much as possible about this “new world.” Of course, it was due to the ongoing pandemic that I had more free time to allow me to keep learning!
My thinking was, and is, to utilise my experience as a professional player at Manchester City and to replicate that with my team. City is a club that, from the moment that Sheikh Mansour arrived in 2008, had the ambitious aim of making history as a club, of building something historic.
Titles and silverware aside, City is one of the greatest clubs in the world. I want the team to have that same vision. To achieve that end, I needed to gather experts for every area. I wanted to make an organisation that respects the growth process, with clear goals to consolidate in the esports world in the medium-term.
ESI: Let’s talk business! What are the expectations of KRÜ as a company?
SA: We have a unique business vision. To achieve that, I knew from the beginning that I had to give the club predictability in terms of organisation, budget and performance objectives.
I defined each aspect with an organisation chart that has a team manager, accountants, lawyers, marketing team, as well as coaches and nutritionists for the players. I contacted everyone personally and laid out these objectives. I was lucky to have them thinking just as I did, and they are now with me! I was able to bring together some very professional people, so when we went into battle the roots were strong enough to compete in this thrilling but highly competitive world.
Of course we know there will be a period of consolidation, and we don’t want to miss that. As in the case of Manchester City’s development, if we achieve those early stage, first goals, we will build for the future. The idea is to give all we’ve got, but without the pressure of having to win and be the best right now. I know as a professional football player that you lose more than you win, but if you do things right and build well with the right people involved, you are much more likely to win big.
We want to make Krü a club that grows piece by piece, but in a sustainable way both in sporting and economic aspects. 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.
— KRÜ Esports (@KRUesports) October 15, 2020
ESI: What are the team’s mid-term and longer-term goals?
SA: As we mentioned at the launch event and I wrote on KRÜ’s website, we want to gather a team of people passionate about video games. It’s key to note here that I’m not talking only about players and content creators, but also about the entire staff and the community we are creating.
We want to banish the negative misconceptions around video games and esports and be a bridge between regions too. We’ve a strong presence in Latin America but we’re always open to the wider world, where the biggest competitions take place. We will help our team to develop: players, coaches, analysts, managers, and streamers. We will give them the tools to develop themselves to show the world their potential. We do this step-by-step. We’ll start with FIFA, and then we will expand into other esports titles.
ESI: Do you dream about seeing Krü amongst the biggest esports clubs in the world?
SA: Why not? Of course, though we want to take it step-by-step. When I started playing football, I dreamt about playing at the top level and playing for my national team. Although I accomplished that at a young age, I worked extremely hard to make it a reality, and it was something I put my heart into. I now want to translate the same level of focus and drive into this project, and if we do it the right way, why not dream big?
Read the full version of this article in Edition 7 of The Esports Journal.