British organisation Fnatic has continued its push into India, adding former Riot Games employee Nimish Raut to lead its division in the country.
Raut’s LinkedIn profile confirms that he began the role in December. Prior to that, Raut was Riot Games’ Senior Manager for Esports in Southeast Asia and Greater China and led strategy for the region’s leagues. He served in that role for much of 2019 following stints at Star TV Network and Red Bull.
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Patrik “Carn” Sättermon, Chief Gaming Officer and Co-owner of Fnatic commented on the hire: “I’m very pleased to welcome Nimish to the family. I had the pleasure to meet with Nimish a few years back, and following a lot of great conversations it’s exciting to have him join us to lead our expansion in India, where we aim to play an active role of growing the esports ecosystem together with all stakeholders. Welcome Nimish!”
Fnatic made its first move into the Indian esports scene in October 2019, when it acquired a local PUBG Mobile team (shown above). According to AFK Gaming, Raut will work locally in India and help expand the organisation’s presence in the country as it opens a gaming house and training facility.
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Raut spoke to AFK Gaming about his new venture: “I’m extremely excited to join the Fnatic family. While I was working with Riot in the past, I got a close understanding of what the Fnatic brand meant, how the team works, and how much love fans have for the organisation. We are passionate about the Indian market and feel that it can be grown just like traditional sports. In terms of our future plans, we have big plans and want to replicate some of our global initiatives here in India, starting with a full-fledged facility which isn’t just a bootcamp.
“My role will be to try and execute these while also helping our players to become global superstars. We also want to bring in the required professionalism in the sport and the ecosystem while simultaneously partnering with brands to find ways for them to meaningfully invest into it. I’m hoping that this journey with Fnatic will be super fun and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Esports Insider says: India is a major area of interest from global organisations eyeing the next big expansion opportunity, with Team Vitality joining Fnatic on that front. Having an experienced local lead like Raut will give Fnatic a great chance to build momentum in India.