Bernd Unger and Marcel Fitzek: Only together we can create more attention for the ProClubs mode!
Pro Clubs is coming to the stage of the biggest sports show in the world! But what else can be done to make the Pro Clubs mode more popular. Who knows that better than Bernd Unger and Marcel Fitzek. Bernd Unger is the CEO of the gaming company Stage 5 in Solingen, Germany. Among other things he is in charge of the Pro Clubs Team S5 Elite Bomber. Marcel Fitzek is the organizer of one of the biggest Pro Clubs leagues. The Pro League! In the talk with Patrick, the two talk about how the Pro Clubs mode can be further developed in the future.
Patrick: Pro Clubs could reduce 90 minutes from real football to 12 minutes on the console. In a way, Pro Clubs mode is the digital transformation of real football. What do you think about Pro Clubs mode?
Marcel: I've been playing Pro Clubs for a few years now. Getting closer and closer to real football is actually our goal. That's actually exactly what we're aiming for.
Patrick: Bernd, you are in contact with many eSport clubs. Is that a discussion point you see in talks with clubs from the Bundesliga?
Bernd: I don't experience it in that intensity at the moment. You have to say that quite clearly. There are positive departures to the top like VfL Wolfsburg, Bayer 04 Leverkusen or RB Leipzig. But if you take a closer look at the scene, traditional clubs in particular have an extremely hard time with the topic of eSports.
The situation is somewhat different in popular sports, where acceptance is somewhat greater. In clubs that are not pure football clubs, the willingness for eSports is significantly higher.
Patrick: Marcel, in Pro Clubs, unlike in real football, there is not THE ONE league, but many different leagues like your Pro League. Is that part of the problem in the Pro Clubs scene?
Marcel: This is often described in a way, that because of the different leagues the tracks are not steered as they could be. In addition, there is the problem that people play on different consoles. I think this is a matter of process, that the leagues unite and go common ways. So hopefully we can make a significant step towards professionalization and get one or the other Bundesliga club on board.
But this will only work if we act as one and bundle the size of the community.
Patrick: Marcel, you mention an important point. If the community is not united, it is difficult to bundle the forces. What is your relationship with other leagues? Is it your goal to grow together with other leagues?
Marcel: We are open to it and have done so in the past. I myself come from the PC area. There we found out some time ago that we have to bundle the league. Accordingly, we approached the PlayStation League and managed to become one unit with our partners. We all have one goal. We want to move the Pro Clubs mode forward. We want to bring more exposure to Pro Clubs and help it become more professional. This does not work if everyone cooks his own soup. Everybody has to think about what is best for the Pro Clubs mode.
Patrick: What is the next step to bring the Pro Clubs Mode to the top.
Marcel: Good question. I wish I knew... The bottom line is it's about attention. That's the big point. How to get that done? There are different ways. One way would be to get a lot of Bundesliga clubs on board, who realized that the Pro Clubs mode is much closer to their core than the single mode.
Of course money plays a role. This of course can generate more attention because a big tournament with a lot of money also attracts prominent streamers.
At the same time, there is also the issue of education. When I talk to people outside the scene, hardly anyone knows about the Pro Clubs mode. I think that's a huge issue to work on.
Patrick: We are now presenting the topic at the ISPO Munich. How important is that from your point of view?
Marcel: I have been active in this mode for several years and know that the topic is huge. Anyone who looks at the European soccer market knows that soccer is a huge topic in Europe. It's a billion dollar business! Also eSport is booming more and more. So we come back to the topic of 11 vs. 11 in eSports! If you don't see the link there, then I don't know. It actually gives itself.