With 2014 already here for half the world. We like to say, party hard in 2013 and party even harder in 2014. Happy New Years everyone!— Love Your Girlfriend (@LYGFsc2) January 1, 2014
This past week Love Your Girlfriend set the StarCraft community abuzz with their top-tier acquisitions. It all started when the team first announced its signings of Genius and Tassadar on the 25th of December. From their continued to add to their roster. Three days later, they announced their acquisition of ex-SKT1 players Mamuri and Bubble.
With all these player pickups being announced so quickly the community started questioning whether this team was just another flash in the pan or whether it was here to stay. onGamers sat down with the CEO of Love Your Girlfriend, Pascal Anton, to learn more about the team and exactly where it’s heading.
With a name like Love Your Girlfriend (LYGF), one would think there would have to be an interesting story behind the team’s inception. In this particular case, that assumption couldn’t be more correct. As Anton tells the story, he was playing solo 2v2 games when he was partnered up with another player going against two Korean Grandmasters. They ended up winning the match and becoming 2v2 partners from then on. While playing the beta for Heart of the Swarm with each other, Anton’s teammate and now Technical Director for LYGF, Jung-min Ok, noticed his girlfriend was bored watching them play and wanted to do something nice for her. He decided to create a clan called Love Your Girlfriend and the name stuck from there.
After the creation of their two man clan, Anton got to know a lot of European Grandmaster players and noticed many of them were looking for a team. He decided to open the doors of Love Your Girlfriend and make it a home for these players. From there, the team grew week after week.
On May 12th , 2013, LYGF signed its first paid player, CuteZerg. “He was very unhappy on his previous team and I knew he'd bring a lot of viewers to our team,” Anton said on the signing. After a while, Korean players began joining the team. At that point, the flood gates opened. Anton explains it like so: “When you are reliable to one player, you are reliable to all.”
To Anton, “The team feels like a family.” As an example, Anton told onGamers about one of HTOMario’s practice sessions with Tassadar. He said HTOMario came to him and was ecstatic about the three games they had played with each other, claiming that he had learned more in those three games than in the all of his previous month’s practice combined. When asked what makes his team different, Anton said “No player is arrogant. If you’re a team member, you’re a family member, and they would do anything for each other.”
However, with so many players being on the team, you have to start looking at getting sponsors. While some may think it’d be difficult to get sponsorships with a name like Love Your Girlfriend, Anton explains, “The sponsors are smart. They know the name doesn’t matter.” Along with their current group of sponsors they allege have a group of investors and a new sponsor, all from America, that they will be announcing in early January. These new sources of income are quintessential not just for their current acquisitions, but for their upcoming plans as well.
Anton said to onGamers, “I want to create the best team in the world. We’re still a long way from that, but we’re working on it.” This year he plans on sending his two most recent acquisitions, Mamuri and Bubble to WCS Korea, Tassadar to WCS America, and Genius to WCS Europe. On top of that, Anton said LYGF 'will be sending their players to major LAN events starting in January.' He continued, saying “DynaMite, Believe, and MotoK may be no names, but they won’t be for much longer."
Even some of the academy players will be sent to local LAN events or those within their country, according to Anton. While you may think that those announcements, along with LYGF’s player pickups, were big, they don’t even scratch the surface as to how big they allegedly intend to get next year.
During his interview with onGamers, Anton announced that LYGF is “planning to open the team house in March in Cologne, Germany.” Anton remarked, “The first thing we want to do is be safe and not have any risks for the players, managers, or the team as a whole. I think the problem with teams who have disbanded [in the past] is that they were rushing things and at that moment, they believe that they would achieve that, but something went wrong and they couldn’t get out of it anymore.”
Team Love Your Girlfriend expanded their Protoss roster with the addition of Genius and Tassadar - http://t.co/c7W6cIl1Go— TeamLiquid (@TeamLiquidnet) December 27, 2013
As a result of these teams and their closures, Anton is fighting an uphill battle trying to convince the StarCraft community that Love Your Girlfriend is a sustainable operation. When this was brought up, he asked, “We’ve paid HTOMario and other players for 6 months now. Why would we not pay Genius and Tassadar?”
When asked what he had to say to the people who doubt him and his team, he simply stated, “We have a strong financial backing. When we have promised things in the past, we have always kept our promises. You’ve never heard any complaints about the players. What else do you want?” Right now he seems to be content with the negativity he is receiving, as he believes that will all turn around soon.
“Despite the name, we are no joke,” he explained, “When they see Tassadar, Genius, HTOMario, or one of our other players in WCS or Dreamhack, then they’ll change their minds.”
Author Credit: Chris Bizzell. We're suffering a database issue at the moment that doesn't let us attribute writers correctly.
Image Credit: Playxp