French organisation Team Vitality has appointed former professional tennis player Thierry Ascione to lead its performance department.
Ascione has coached tennis stars such as Elina Svitolina and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the past.
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Ascione first worked with Team Vitality’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team in December ahead of the EPICENTER 2019 tournament, which the squad ended up winning.
Fabien Devide, President and Co-founder of Team Vitality discussed player performance in a release: “We have built a team of amazing players, but they still have so much untapped potential. As an organisation, we of course want to be the best, and to do that we recognise the value of supporting our players and their development. Esports players are athletes and should be offered the same level of support as seen in mainstream sports. We are committed to adopting better practises, and we hope that by creating this new department we are setting a new standard in esports.”
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Joining Ascione in the department are fellow former tennis player and coach Pier Gauthier and professional poker player Ludovic Lacay. The performance team will further develop training methods and practices for Team Vitality’s CS:GO team, including bootcamp sessions at Stade de France and onsite at international events. From there, the coaches will ultimately work with the rest of the organisation’s rosters.
Ascione commented on the venture: “I am very excited by this challenge, but I’m also proud and impatient to prove that the victory secured at EPICENTER was only the beginning. People are at the center of everything; that’s why we will take care of each player individually, but also of all of them as a team. Even during our first meeting with the team, I could see that we shared the same ambitions and visions, and that’s what made us accept this project. We are ready, together with Pier and Ludovic, to make Team Vitality’s players fully benefit from our decades of experience and our energy.”
Esports Insider says: As the esports industry matures and professionalises, it is borrowing some best practices from traditional sports — and perhaps some the best people, as well. EPICENTER was a great start for Vitality’s new performance coaches, but we’ll be curious to see whether that trend continues into 2020.