The Esports Roundtable: Hans Christian Dürr, FC Schalke 04 Esports

The Esports Roundtable is a podcast that hosts different guests each and every week, discussing all things business in esports.

This week’s installment features the Head of Esports at FC Schalke 04, Hans Christian Dürr. Naturally, he discusses FC Schalke 04’s involvement in esports, and how he believes traditional sports teams should enter the world of esports.

Dürr introduces himself to kick off the forty minutes of discussion, explaining that he was only 13 when he first got into competitive gaming. Playing Quake – which later became banned in Germany due to the level of violence it contains – alongside his friends as it provided them with good experience playing in a competitive capacity. From there, they formed a team and their own LAN party. It didn’t take long for them to compete in online tournaments playing Quake 2, which led to travelling around Germany to compete and earn some money.

Hans Christian Dürr
Hans Christian Dürr, FC Schalke 04 Esports

From there, the conversation moves onto Dürr’s time with Splyce and his time coaching them to Worlds. He remained modest when it comes to the team’s success, explaining he believes it mostly the players that got them to that point – of course the players are the ones competing, but coaches are widely believed to have an important role in an esports title such as League of Legends. He noted that he’s not a high ELO player, opting to refrain from discussing in-game tactics with players – instead hiring the people who can have those conversations.

The podcast turns to FC Schalke 04’s time in esports, which started roughly – they were the only team to be relegated from the EU LCS, and in their first season. Dürr joined the sports club in October 2017 as its Head of Esports, with his first move being the hiring of Mitch “Krepo” Voorspoels as the head of the EU LCS team.

After that, the topic switched to teams from traditional sports making the transition into competitive gaming. Dürr hopes that more teams get involved alongside the recent franchising developments in esports – the EU LCS, for example, is following NA LCS’s franchised league format from 2019. He also discusses the ease of entering esports as a traditional sports club when picking up a game such as FIFA.

Plenty of other conversations take place throughout the rest of the podcast, including Dürr’s management style, how he goes about hiring the right people for specific jobs, and how that can build a culture that breeds success.

Dürr commented after the episode: “We are all so excited to build something together with FC Schalke Esports, we were competitive this split but ultimately we are looking at the long term for this roster and management team. As I mentioned in the show, it’s the perfect opportunity for me to feel like I can be directly responsibly for our success in Esports. This isn’t the case in more established endemic teams. Thanks for all the support this split!”

Joe Hills, LFG and The Esports Roundtable

Speaking to Esports Insider, Joe Hills, Founder and Host of The Esports Roundtable, also commented on this episode:

”This conversation couldn’t come at a better time with Riot announcing more details on how they will be franchising the EU LCS next year. I think F.C Schalke’s investment and dedication to League + their huge local fan base makes them top contenders for a slot in 2019.”

Hills is the Founder of Looking for Group, an esports executive recruitment company and has worked to achieve placements for many high profile individuals in the burgeoning esports industry.