Bob Ross Fan Club finally has a home, picked up by new org Team Naventic
The team formed after the Heroes World Championship in November last year, when Chris “Zuna” Buechter and Taylor “Arthelon” Eder left Tempo Storm. Since then, BRFC has been a dominant force in the North American Heroes scene. After switching out Eder for Cloud9’s Fan “Fan” Yang, they took out multiple online qualifiers, as well as the overall title at the Heroes Rising competition at eSports Arena in Santa Ana, Calif. at the start of January.
BRFC was courted by multiple organizations over the past few months, including both esports newcomers and big names, with Counter Logic Gaming, Team SoloMid, Echo Fox, and Enemy all reportedly approaching the players at some point.
The players ultimately chose Team Naventic because of the support being offered. And while the exact terms of the agreement were not disclosed, BRFC has been signed until the end of the year. The team’s manager Pat “Tazza” Yiu tells the Daily Dot that Naventic provided a “strong incentive package” to keep the team motivated throughout 2016. Naventic co-owner Jack “Vandy” Frierson added that “they’re getting a pretty comfortable pay,” which is one of the reasons they decided to sign with Naventic over the two League Championship Series orgs that gave them offers.
“They were on our radar for a long time but their win at Heroes Rising sealed the deal for us and proved that they were a top team,” Frierson said. “They individually are very enjoyable guys and all have pretty unique personalities. Their team dynamic is different than most other teams.”
BRFC weighed the costs and benefits of each org’s offer, according to carry player Yang. They looked at them objectively and decided that Naventic would be the most beneficial overall. Eventually, they may move into a team house, depending on how the overall Heroes scene shapes up—but it won’t be in the next few months.
Naventic itself is not actually new to the esports scene, even if it's operating under a new name. It used to be known as Swarm Gaming, with teams in Rocket League, Counter-Strike:Global Offensive, and a Gears of War team in the ESL Pro League. All have since been sold or released from their contracts during the rebranding.
“We just felt that they were the best fit out of all the orgs we talked to,” BRFC support player Ken “Kenma” Buechter of Naventic said. “A bigger org will more likely need to spend their attention on more popular games like League of Legends and Counter-Strike instead of newer games like Heroes.”
The team is currently gearing up for the Heroes North America Spring Regional, which will be held at the ESL Studio in Burbank from Feb. 27 to 28. They were one of eight teams to qualify, and if they place in the top two at regionals they'll head to Seoul, South Korea for the spring finals in March.
Ken Buechter said it’s unlikely their Naventic jerseys will be ready in time for the regionals, but the team is confident that they can place in the top two.
“If we show up and perform to our standards I don’t see us losing to anyone in North America,” he said. “I think our biggest competition is ourselves, because I think the only way we will lose is if we underperform, maybe underestimating our opponents or not going into the tourney with the right mindset, stuff that we are going to make sure not to do, but Cloud9 is the closest to us in skill level.”
The Naventic roster includes of all five BRFC players, Fan Yang, Ken Buechter, Chris Buechter, Aaron “Erho” Kappes, and Stafford “McIntyre” McIntyre.
Signing with Naventic seems to have taken a weight off the team’s shoulders.
“There’s definitely a large burden taken off of the players now that they’ve got financial security through the partnership,” says manager Yiu. “Without those issues the team can focus 100 percent on the game, and becoming the best that NA can offer.”
Image via Blizzard (PD) | Remix by Jacob Wolf