All in – One year e-sports by W&H

While some are still arguing about whether e-sports is a real sport at all, others are already several steps ahead. This also applies to the medical technology company W&H from Salzburg, which founded its own e-sports company team in the autumn of 2022. 2 league seasons, 30 matches, and 1,500 hours of training later, the W&H gamers can look back on their first successes.

Lukas Jungbauer (l.) and Benedikt Fial (r.)
Lukas Jungbauer (l.) and Benedikt Fial (r.) during a friendly match. © Amir Kaljikovic | @amirkaljikovic

The members of the W&H e-sports company team have grown from absolute "newbies" (a term used by gamers to describe inexperienced players) to become serious opponents. The game played by W&H is called Rocket League – a fast-paced soccer car game that requires, above all, speed of reaction and decision-making skills. Once a week, the W&H team members are prepared for the matches by a professional coach – in total, the players spent more than 1,500 hours training in their free time last year. The main quest was clear: growing together as a team and having fun. Lukas Jungbauer, surface technician at W&H and part of the e-sports team, comments with a smile: "In the first few matches, we lost our nerves after conceding a few goals. But we learned from it, didn't give up and continued to develop. We are now competitive". Benedikt Fial, project manager of W&H e-sports, adds: "At the beginning, we didn't even know how to register for the league or how to plan matches with opposing teams. Our biggest concern was whether the internet connection would be sufficient for the stream".

 Last year, W&H players dedicated over 1,500 hours to their recreational training.
In total, the W&H players spent more than 1,500 hours training in their free time last year.
© Amir Kaljikovic | @amirkaljikovic

Ready for the next season

Season 15 of the Nitro League, the e-sports league in which the W&H team will be competing for the third time, starts in February. Similar to soccer, e-sports is organised in leagues. And when it comes to popularity and followers, e-sports can definitely keep up with it. To be successful in digital sports, gamers need endurance, stress resistance, dexterity and fine motor skills as well as good team communication. "In this respect, e-sports teams can also be compared to teams in companies, where communication and cooperation are the be-all and end-all," says Stefan Jandric, coach of the W&H e-sports team.

E-sports to address digital natives

In Denmark, some schools hold e-sports tournaments; in Norway and Sweden, e-sports are an elective subject. W&H's initiative shows that e-sports can also be used successfully in employer branding. The medical technology company received the HR Award 2023 for its e-sports project.
It aims to enable young people to get to know W&H in a new way.