It’s one thing to have the ambition to become a world-class eSports organisation – it’s another thing entirely to make it happen.
But Torpedo is certainly one of the more promising UK eSports organisations to have emerged in recent years. And it has already demonstrated professionalism, talent acquisition and success since it was founded 14 months ago.
The self-funded org pays their players wages, has spent thousands of pounds with respected law firm Sheridans to draw up professional contracts, and has won the Multiplay Insomnia57 Truesilver Hearthstone Championship and the first Hearthstone ESL UK Premiership with their own respective British players Joe “Ness” Zazzaro-
Torpedo also have respected Hearthstone caster/player Alexander “Raven” Baguley on their books, as well as ‘Egg Paladin’-style player James “Jambre” Brennan.
Torpedo also have a roster for SMITE developer Hi-Rez Studios’ new team FPS Paladins, consisting of Laizy, Spunkki, Thiel and Zerful; they did have CSGO and SMITE teams in the past, but let them go earlier this year. The org also have two sponsors in AK Racing and QPad.
Now, Torpedo – which is based in the UK and scattered between Manchester, London and the North – hopes to become the next Fnatic or Team Dignitas: A UK-based org with a global brand.
We caught up with Torpedo partner Cassius Kiani at i58 (where Ness reached the quarter finals of the Hearthstone Truesilver Championship this time around).
“We’d like to be one of the go-to names in Hearthstone – one of the world-class orgs that people talk about,” Cassius told eSports News UK.
“You get a lot of orgs that are synonymous in certain games – the ones to watch. That’s where we want to be – one of the top three Hearthstone brands that when someone says ‘they’ve got great Hearthstone players’, they think Torpedo.
“Our goal is to be like a Fnatic or a Team Dignitas. We want to be as international as anyone else does.”
“Our goal is to be like a Fnatic or a Team Dignitas. We’d like to be one of the go-to names in Hearthstone – one of the world-class orgs that people talk about.”
While Torpedo hope to become a globally successful org, they are still focused on the local scene in the UK. They picked up a few Hearthstone players from ManaLight before it folded.
“We spoke to ModernLeper about the scene, and we tried to pick him up before he joined ManaLight,” Cassius added. “He put us in the direction of BoarControl, Ness and Raven, and taking them on was probably one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
“We like that we’re involved in the UK scene because we’re based in the UK. What we’ve seen is the UK scene has been a bit hit and miss at places, and we’d love to support and grow the scene as much as possible.
“We think there’s a wide pool of eSports talent that’s underappreciated and doesn’t have a voice. We like that we’ve found a lot of top talent that’s showing the UK is a place to watch for eSports.
“If we can find the talent in the UK, then we’re happy to push with that, but we wouldn’t restrict ourselves. We want to be the best and grow in the right way, and we know that sometimes we’d have to look further afield. If we could potentially start crafting or moulding a scene of talent in the UK, we’d do that in a heartbeat.”
Going forwards, Torpedo is looking at Overwatch and are keeping their ear to the ground for other games that pop up.
“We’ve been looking into Overwatch and we know Blizzard support their games for a very long time. We’ve always got our ears to the ground for other games that pop up. We invest in the people that are part of the games, rather than the games themselves. We’re open to all sorts of games,” Cassius explained.
Torpedo could actually have four of their players in the ESL UK Hearthstone summer 2016 split, which gets underway this month.
“All of our players are willing to go above and beyond,” Cassius commented. “We didn’t have too much influence in them getting into the Premiership, it was all of their hard work. It’s a blessing that’s happened more than anything, it’s a fantastic stroke of luck.
“There’s nothing to say that we couldn’t have an all-Torpedo league by the end of this time next year!”
Check out our full video interview with Torpedo’s Cassius Kiani:
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.