We are extremely excited to kick off 2021 with our first esports partner, Endpoint esports!
Our mission at Beyond is to continuously support British esports’ growth and position ourselves as a drinks partner that genuinely helps players be the best they can be.
Our CEO, Billy Webb, sat down (virtually) with Endpoint’s COO Peter Thompson to discuss all things Endpoint…
Tell us, who is Endpoint esports and what games do you guys compete in?
Endpoint is a UK organisation based in Sheffield. We’ve been running for about four years and have always classed ourselves as the top in the UK scene and the games we compete in. Our goal has always been to reach a global stage and represent the UK. We currently compete in Counter Strike: Global Defensive (CS:GO), Rocket League, Quake, Rainbow Six Siege (RSS) which is a female team and have a bunch of Content Creators on our side as well.
Why was Endpoint started, how did it come around?
It was founded in 2016 by Adam Jessop, Endpoint’s CEO and my business partner. The aim was to help professionalise the UK esports scene, bringing friends together to represent the UK and make esports a better place for everyone. At the time, there were many UK talent supporting organisations in America and worldwide, mainly because there wasn’t a British brand they could hold on to. I joined Adam after six months; we both had the same passion for driving this goal forward. It was just a great match!
What leagues are Endpoint competing in, this year?
Coming up soon, we have CS:GO pro league, which is one of the biggest competitions of this year’s calendar. We also have the HomeSweetHome series, which is a monthly £100K competition. Then there’s a bunch of DreamHacks which we are going to try and play as well. We played three last year, which was a great experience for us.
We are competing in RLCS Season X in terms of Rocket League and are currently fifth in the EU. Alongside that, we have The Grid, which are fun weekly cups with the top 16 teams in the EU. For Quake, we are in the Pro League, which includes only the top 20 individuals in the world. Competing in this is Av3k, an absolute legend in the game, and has a fantastic personality. For RSS, the CCS Women’s League is coming back, which the team is practising hard to try to get the first-place position.
Are you planning on going into any other games?
Our current plan for Endpoint is to grow our staff base. We are currently a top-heavy organisation and have a lot of awesome Pros and Content Creators. But we need to have a more solid foundation in terms of more staff, getting the brand out there and making use of the Pros as best as we can.
If we get a large investment, we may pick up another team – but that’s not our main goal. At Endpoint we have always focused on infrastructure, we have had three gaming houses in the past, we currently have a boot camp facility in London, and we’ve always tried to get out of that ‘bedroom org’ mindset which a lot of teams are in. We want a proper training facility and an open area.
How many people are part of Endpoint?
Currently, we have 43 people working for us. About 16/17 are full time. Others are part-time, it’s their passion, or are helping in other ways.
Out of the 43, how many are Pro Players?
We have five Pro Players for Counter Strike, three for Rocket League and a coach associated with both of them and we have one Quake Pro Player. The RSS girls are not full time. So nine full-time players!
What does the day of an esports player consist of?
For Counter Strike, we have a schedule set out. On a standard practice day, the players usually start with a briefing and demo review that either be their own demos or other peoples. This is to help pick-up tips, think outside of the box and find new solutions to different problems.
They will also go over strategy and maps, finding new grenades and working out line-ups together. They then have a break, followed by three practice matches with top teams around the world. On the days that they have Officials, they will have less practice as this usually tires them out.
Do teams in esports relax before an event?
On a typical Officials day, they don’t normally start until 4 pm, with the match at 6 pm. For the two hours before the Official, the Players will start by doing some anti-stress practices, then a briefing about the map, followed by a warm-up.
What was your highlight from 2020?
As a business, we actually did quite well. We’ve managed to grow in a year with COVID causing chaos. We don’t have a betting sponsor, but as esports was the only event people could bet on, due to all other sporting games being cancelled, this instantly put eyes on the industry as a whole. It has almost professionalised the category.
We started the year with a really great strong partnership with CEX, a gaming high street brand. They became our high street sponsor which started us off unbelievably; we picked up a much better Counter Strike and Rocket League team.
One of the main highlights for the year was qualifying for the Pro League. In 2020 we went from advanced to qualifying into MDL, then in the same year to Pro League. Within Rocket League we came second in a £100K regional event which is awesome! These are huge achievements for us, among many things.
Do you think esports is becoming more mainstream than regular physical sports these days, and do you think it will overtake it?
It is definitely becoming more and more mainstream – nowhere near as mainstream as football or tennis, yet!
But there is no doubt in my mind esports in the next ten years will be as big or bigger than most sports. Who knows if it will take over a sport like football, but I don’t see why it can’t. There are fewer barriers to entry than there are in a lot of sports. It also depends if you class esports as a whole or as individual games. For example, will CS:GO be bigger than football… no, but gaming as a whole will be.
To put this into perspective, esports is free to watch online, esports is global, you can have a match, and people can watch from everywhere in the world. When you think about a Premier League match, only certain people have the rights to watch it.
What’s involved with running an esports organisation on a day-to-day basis?
It varies from organisation to organisation, but for Endpoint, Adam and I do everything 50/50, we make every decision together. My usual day starts around 9.30; we have a 10 am stand-up with all our staff members. My day varies from growing friendships, maintaining partnerships, and there is always that commercial side of things too, like seeking investments and managing budgets.
I typically have meetings throughout the day too. Most recently, with our Streamers. I like to make sure they are happy, look at their 2021 goals and how we can support them. Just checking in really. I don’t ever want to get so big that I don’t know every single person.
Honestly, the main things for Endpoint are:
1. Pay your players on time
2. And keep your promise
It’s about maintaining those kinds of things and exceeding expectations.
Is nutrition and physical activity just as important in esports, as it is in regular activity?
Nutrition and mental health are something we are looking at strongly. We want to grow our staff base this year, and part of that will be around this. I would love a Sports Psychologist that can develop nutrition plans. The mental health of our staff, players and streamers is our number one priority.
Mental health can also be affected by constantly changing players. In the last year, we only changed one player in Rocket League and one in Counter Strike, but that was just because they got bought out. So keeping the same core players is very important to us. Essentially, a healthy team is a happy team.
Do you believe that energy supplements help peak mental performance?
I genuinely think it does help. Over the years, we’ve had several people in Endpoint that consume energy drinks like Monster or Red Bull. You can go to LAN events, and people are drinking up to eight cans a day – we all know that’s terrible for you. This is why it’s essential to have a drink formulated that actually helps with energy levels and mental well-being and includes vitamins that are good for you.
That’s the main reason we are very happy to be on-board with a brand like Beyond. When we first spoke, you (Billy), said each drink has 40 to 60% of your daily recommended vitamins – which really stuck in my mind. If someone drinks two of these a day, it’s extremely good for their body. Also the ‘no crash’ is critical, because if a player gets a ‘crash’ during a match, it could be disastrous.
Why is Endpoint excited to be partnering with Beyond NRG?
We are often wary about joining up with new companies; we do a lot of research into every company that comes into us. We have been very impressed with Beyond, and I surprisingly like all five flavours! We are excited that you are very much a brand that wants to get involved with our community and us – we don’t like partnerships where it is just us putting a logo on a jersey or Twitter header.
What makes Endpoint esports a highly respected UK organisation?
Over the last four years, we have really gained the respect of players. Ask any of our Pro players or even our staff, and they will say, we always pay them on-time and pay them what they are promised. It may sound like standard business practice, but it really isn’t in this industry. Additionally, we have always had a hard-working team and 99% of the time we have been the best team. We have six ESL premiership titles which no other organisation has done in any game, and CSGO is also the hardest game in ESL to win.
How can people join Endpoint?
It’s a tough one. We have our own scouting process, and we are likely to pick players competing amongst us who we know are very good.
For CS:GO, we are currently creating a path ‘to Pro’ in the UK. We’ve created a hub on Faceit.com which allows people from level one to ten to work through that path of progression, going from Pro League, to Academy and then to Pro team.
We usually do a couple of weeks trial with any new player, to ensure they fit with the team.
Usually, we only trial one player at a time. We never normally have open try-outs, we only really scout players ourselves.
However, the ROG Academy was somewhat of an open try-out, we’ve just finished closing applications for it. We received 235 applications with people having to submit a video. We are now starting to whittle that down to five players. If you want to find out how we do that go to our Endpoint YouTube channel and look at the ROG series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wWJL8DppX8
And finally, what are you looking forward to most in 2021?
Helping to grow our current content creators and potentially bring on a few more. We want to work with people who are willing to get involved with our other creators – we have the ethos that you can’t grow by yourself, you have to grow with others.
For Counter Strike, our Pro League is the number one thing we are looking forward to in mid-March. Our huge goal for Rocket League is to qualify for world finals; it is tough to do, only the top six teams in the EU will get there, that’s a million-dollar event.
For Quake, Av3k, has won multiple Championships and our goal for him is to win another one. He hasn’t done it in a few years, but we know he is capable and has the hunger for it! And of course, the RSS team competing in the CCS Women’s League.
Beyond NRG supporting British esports
We’re very proud to be working alongside Endpoint, an organisation at the absolute top of their game, helping them break through limits, whilst making nutrition a key priority for the team. Their ethics and practices really set a great example for the gaming industry. The Beyond gaming energy drink has been specifically formulated to suit the needs of competitive players. We’re looking forward to supporting Endpoint and British esports as a whole, in years to come.
Visit our community page to see a gallery of partnerships and meet the growing team of creators. Learn about their platforms and find out how they are going above and Beyond.