About the program
Created by Gucci & FACEIT, the Gucci Gaming Academy, is a program designed to support the development of up-and-coming gaming talent and help accelerate their path to pro. Beginning with CS:GO, exceptional players will be handpicked from the FPL, FPL Challenger and FACEIT Matchmaking System.
Players will receive full-time mentorship from coaches, mental health support, world-class hardware and access to many other programmes which help enhance in-game performance and well-being.
The Gucci Gaming Academy programme will strive toward supporting aspiring talent and empowering them to be signed to a professional team.
Meet the ambassadors
Gucci Gaming Academy will be represented by some of the best and brightest personalities in gaming. Our Ambassadors come from diverse backgrounds and have had unique experiences that shaped their careers. They will offer advice, mentorship and share rare insights with the academy players.
Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund
Christopher is a legendary name within the esports community and the wider gaming ecosystem. He is widely considered one of the best players in Counter-Strike history, having been ranked #2 in 2010 and 2011 in CS and #1 in 2013 and 2014.
He works closely with charities which help others suffering from stomach-related disease, and recently launched a limited edition burger with Brodernas, of which a portion of sales were donated to charity.
James is one of the few commentators of colour within esports and celebrated by fans across the world.
He has commentated multiple Valve Majors. Growing up in inner-London, he attributes a strict upbringing to part of his success. Despite obstacles in his path, Bardolph is as self-made and genuine as they come.
James has been part of the FACEIT family for over 7 years and is a valued member of the gaming community.
Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey
Stephanie is a 5x Counter-Strike world champion. Previously working at Ubisoft as a game developer she has established herself within esports and used her popularity to launch inclusive tournaments and helped to create pathways for women in esports. She currently is Counter Logic Gaming’s Business Development Director.
missharvey recently received the Lifetime Achievement award at The Esports Awards and Personality of the Year at the Canadian Video games Awards. She also just won Big Brother Celebrities in Quebec.
Meet the talent
Here is the inaugural class of the Gucci Gaming Academy:
Hussein “m1n1” Hijazi is an eighteen-year-old from Lebanon chasing his dream of being the country’s first pro player in esports history. Hussein, the next breakout star within the MENA region, has a growing fanbase who support his journey.
A huge CS:GO fan, Hussein grew up using all of his savings to invest in new hardware to make sure he could compete at the highest level. With hard work and dedication, Hussein is looking forward to being part of the Gucci Gaming Academy to receive the support necessary to take his career to the next level.
Kaia “KiKi” Holmen is a twenty-two-year-old player from Norway. Kaia began her gaming journey at 14, playing Counter-Strike: Source with her friends. She quickly decided what she wanted to do in her life, and pursued her career in esports.
She started live-streaming to earn enough money to progress up the ladder and get noticed. KiKi traveled to several international female events, most notably Copenhagen Games 2017/18 & 19, and self funded her trips. Her main goal was to get noticed and show she could make it in the female scene. Kaia also spent days and nights on FACEIT matchmaking to climb the ranks.
In 2022 Kaia made it into ESL Impact Season 1 Women’s league with her old team “Ambush.” Even throughout her success in CS:GO, Kaia has had an uphill battle with the lack of support and funding for females in the space. She is eager to be given a chance to tell her story and chase her dream of winning a women’s championship.
Mārtiņš “shadiyy” Gūtmani is a nineteen-year-old player from Latvia. Mārtiņš started CSGO at 12 by playing from his father’s account in 2016. Mārtiņš then purchased a personal computer to play CSGO.
Mārtiņš moved to Germany in the Summer of 2019 for work; after three months without CSGO, Mārtiņš realized how much he missed playing and decided he wanted to become a CSGO Professional. Mārtiņš moved back to Latvia.
Mārtiņš looks up to the only two players from Latvia that are professional in broky & YEKINDAR. Mārtiņš recently qualified for FACEIT Challenger. He believes his calm personality, alongside his dedication and impressive statistics on FACEIT, will push up to his dream of playing one day alongside broky & YEKINDAR.
Brajan “DGL” Lemecha is a twenty-four-year-old player from Gdansk, Poland. Brajan had two dreams: to become a CSGO professional player or become a professional football player. His desire to succeed is inspiring to the world to see.
He started CSGO at the age of ten; Brajan used CSGO as “therapy” to get away from his bad moments in school. He also played football with some Polish clubs before moving to England.
Brajan, in his first season at Chester, picked up a severe injury that needed operating on. He decided to come back to Poland and fully dedicate himself to his first found love CSGO.
Brajan is the highest active member of FACEIT and the second most skilled statistic-wise globally, currently without a contract.
Meet the coaches
In 2001, at the age of twelve, Niclas “enkay J” Krumhorn played Counter-Strike for the first time and was instantly hooked. During high school, he played the game for fun, but it wasn’t until 2011, when his father passed away, that he decided to pursue a career as a professional Counter-Strike player. He succeeded in 2012 in CS:S and later that year switched to CS:GO.
Ever since then, he’s been competing at the highest level within the German scene and internationally. He has managed to win the German championship twice as a player.
In 2016 he decided to start a new chapter in his career and transitioned into an analyst position and, later on, head coach. Since then, he has been part of the international top tier and has competed at some of the most prestigious tournaments in CS:GO, such as IEM Cologne, IEM Katowice, and several Major tournaments.
Neil “NeiL_M” Murphy is a professional Irish CS:GO coach and ex-professional CS:GO player. He is one of the most decorated and experienced coaches for leading a team from youngest to big tournament championship victories. Neil spent his early professional years as part of the NHS in the UK, following his passion for helping others.
In 2013 he merged that passion with his love for gaming and became a CS:GO coach, focusing on assisting young talented players thrive and develop as professionals. Today, he is famous for his tournament runs with team Imperial and CR4ZY, two different teams of youngsters he picked up from anonymity and led them into an international success.
GG Legends is a new 3-episode docuseries of personal stories from gaming icons/from video games' most famed personalities. Each episode details how they went from an unknown player to fan favourite, learning to handle the physical and mental pressure and sharing experiences to inspire a new generation of esports stars.
Health & wellbeing resources
Provided by the World Health Organization (WHO)
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The Gucci Gaming Academy is made possible by our partners who are providing hardware to the Academy and educational & wellbeing services to the players.
What is the Gucci Gaming Academy?
Gucci Gaming Academy is a new program designed to support the development of up-and-coming gaming talents and help accelerate their career path.
Players will receive full-time mentorship from coaches, world-class hardware and access to many other programs which help enhance in-game performance and well-being.
The Gucci Gaming Academy programme will strive toward supporting aspiring talents until they get a professional contract. When approached by other professional and academy teams, players will be free to go anytime they want.
How can I join the Gucci Gaming Academy?
Using advanced analytical tools, FPL coaches are scanning millions of active players on the FACEIT platform, every day, from all corners of the world to find up-and-coming talents with great potential. Players will be scouted in the FACEIT Matchmaking, FPL Challenger and FPL.
Once scouted, coaches will initiate interviews and perform additional reviews to further inspect the talent. Once the players are selected for the Academy, they will get access to all academy player perks.
What is FPL?
FPL is an in-house league system where top professional players and selected new talents compete in private solo-queue matchmaking to train, network and stream all-star content. To find out more information please head over to the FPL website.
Which games are supported by the program?
Gucci Academy is currently supporting CS:GO. We are planning to expand to more games in the future.
Which countries are included?
The Gucci Gaming Academy is currently open to all players based in Europe and North America. We are looking to expand to more regions in the future.
Who is eligible to participate?
Players must be 18 years or older to participate.
What support does Gucci Gaming Academy provide to players?
Gucci Gaming Academy comprises of group and individual activities to improve the esport athletes’ skills and is designed to provide support and enhance soft skills, and help the next generation of esports stars navigate the mental and physical issues coming from the pressure of in-game performance and online scrutiny. This includes:
- Access to professional coaches who will mentor the player in and outside the game server.
- Top-of-the-line hardware and gaming PCs and monitors from Dell Alienware and personalized selection of computer electronic peripherals from Logitech G for high-level gameplay and to facilitate learning.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) to provide expertise and support on health topics.
- Sessions facilitated by psychologists who specialize in esports; topics include "Performance under stress", "How to deal with the spotlight", "Teamwork" and more.
- Digital training plans designed specifically for each player, supplied via the Gucci Education platform, and community-driven experiences coordinated through the Gucci Changemakers Volunteering programme.
- Access to the vast Gucci and FACEIT esports network for the players’ entire careers.
Gucci Gaming Academy has been designed by Gucci and FACEIT alongside some of the world’s leading mental and physical health organizations and legal minds to ensure every element of the curriculum has been informed by experts. The program will provide young esports players with access to individual and group psychological support through Mindwork, which has experience with Gen Z and professional athletes. The esports industry’s leading talent agency Prodigy, and independent lawyer Billy Jenks, are also on board to educate players on brand building, and legal protection.