Gucci is about to the next phase of their ongoing evolution as the brand for the chic geeks of tomorrow after announcing they will be launching a gaming academy for the next generation of esport champions. That’s right, Gucci Gang are now Gucci Gamers.

To launch the training ground for the next champions of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Gucci has partnered with esport tournament organiser Faceit, tapping into four of their current competitors to kick things off. To become part of the Gucci Academy, players will be picked based on their gaming performances. These potentials will also be required to take part in an interview and assessment process that will look at soft skills and values.

Gucci is going gamer. Image: Gucci

But the gaming element is only part of the picture. The luxury Italian brand will also be partnering with the World Health Organisation and Mindwork to help players deal with mental stress, life in the spotlight of competitive esport and teamwork performance. An added bonus to membership within the academy is access to Gucci’s education platform and as well as personal training sessions where they will the skills to navigate player contracts and development of a personal brand.

This leap into a digital market via one of the world’s biggest, fastest growing sporting communities (last year, eSport was estimated to be valued at more than $1.4 billion or approximately US$1 billion) is a genius marketing move by Gucci. As NFTs and cryptocurrency continue to have more risk associated to their markets than gains, eSport remains a safe harbour.

In an interview with Vogue Business, executive vice-president of new business and chief executive of Gucci Vault Nicolas Oudinot explains that “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.

“Understanding the issues that are relevant to them and learning about these from the people they affect are at the core of this collaboration.”