Interview with HEET CEO and Founder Tim Buysse
Yoann: Hello everyone, today I’m with Tim, CEO and Founder of HEET!
Tim: Hello, my name is Tim, I am 37 years old and live in Belgium. I have been playing games since Wolfenstein and Doom and never stopped doing so. I have a huge passion for esports and also other sports like running and soccer. I have a wife and two amazing daughters and I think that's about it!
Yoann: When and how did you get into esports?
Tim: I would say my first esports game was Command and Conquer Red Alert, it was played in lan cafés against some locals from your town or village. When the internet was in a better stage i started to play as much online competitive games as i could because i really enjoyed competing.
Yoann: What is the job of an esport organization CEO?
Tim: Well first of all in any startup the title "CEO" is just a fancy name for covering every aspect needed of the company, if you have to create a social media post or send a package that's your job and responsibility. The title also says to a lot of people you are the man in charge so for every detail that doesn't go as planned you will be held accountable even if it had nothing to do with you.
Yoann: HEET is a growing esports team, how has been the journey so far?
Tim: It has been very intense, I’ve learned a lot even though I had so much experience in esports for me it was the first time working with investors and reporting to them or even pitching the company to other interested investors. I think we have had massive growth in just 2 years but of course with massive growth everything expands quite fast maybe a little bit too fast, im lucky to have very dedicated people around me who care just as much about the company as myself.
Yoann: That’s great! What changed for you as a person since the org foundation?
Tim: Haha i would say my sleeping schedule for sure, even when I try to find a good balance it takes me at least 1 hour before my brain starts shutting down a bit and I can find some inner peace. I can't say it changed me as a person just that I feel more experienced and I realize you are never too old to learn something new.
Yoann: What are HEET's Esports values?
Tim: This is an easy one, we thought about it for a long time and our values are very important to us: Our passion burns bright / We expect every player or staff member to care about the brand, not just about themselves. We show no fear / I think it's very easy to be judged these days on social media but I always tell everyone doing nothing is easy if you make a mistake you can learn from it don't be afraid sometimes to do something different
Together we are stronger / Without this HEET wouldn't even exist, I would have never been able to create this alone and together as a team we accomplish more that’s why being in HEET is more about being family.
We are calm / Very important because it’s easy to lose yourself in all the hate messages you get when you lose a game or you post something people don't like. Just remain calm and remember there are more people out there that appreciate what you do.
We always look to leave a mark / In everything we do, graphics, teams, results we look to be different and create something people remember.
We are inclusive for all / I like a very diverse culture, everyone should be accepted into a community and everyone that wrote me a personal dm or email always had a chance or answer.
Yoann: What's the process behind recruiting new players?
Tim: This is probably the most important part of the brand. It's not an easy one because every player or team always comes with high ambitions and says they will be a top team in a few weeks or months with the right support. The right support meaning a full time salary and a coaching staff supporting them.
I personally hired most of the teams / players in HEET although in Valorant currently this is fully the responsibility of the coach but he is here for a year now and knows very much what we are looking for.
A few key questions I always ask and qualities I look for are:
- What is the minimum salary you need to play full time? From there we add a bonus system that increases with results or visibility.
- How long have you been playing together as a team?
- What does your current practice schedule look like?
- Are you able to play full time?
- What is a professional player in your opinion?
- Would you join us without financial support?
- Next to getting good results what else will you bring to the organization?
These are a few key questions I always ask and depending on the answers it’s either a fast yes or no, if the budget is there, there is not just 1 right answer to every question but mainly I look for players who already gave up something to achieve their dream for example our CSGO team they were already together for 1 year without financial support playing fulltime at the highest level that was a very deciding factor for me to invest let’s say a big part of our budget into this team.
Yoann: What would you say to players that want to commit to a career in esports?
Tim: Well I don't know if it's just about a career in esports but I am a big fan of saying "if you like something go for it". I believe you can always find a job in areas you don't like but at least give it a try because it's much more motivating doing something you like with passion every day instead of going to a job every day you don't like but you do it for the money you need to pay your rent, food, ... if you have a dream go for it!
Yoann: What's your favourite game?
Tim: Currently it's CSGO but I also enjoy Valorant and League of Legends.
Yoann: Are you playing CS-GO or Valorant in your free time?
Tim: I don't have much free time but if I get a chance to grab a game with the people i work with every day I go for it but the last months that hasn't been the case sadly enough. We used to go for Valorant although it shifted to CSGO at a time and now I need to find some more spare time again I feel.
Yoann: Are you playing with your staff or players?
Tim: We played a little bit of deathmatch with our CSGO team, with the Valorant team I’ve only played with the coach but our staff played with some players in community games. I think it’s very important as an esports org to create a bond between the staff and the players and nothing better than playing a game together for that right?
Yoann: For sure! What are your short and long-term ambitions with HEET?
Tim: Short term it's to finish this investment round and work towards a profitable esports org.
Long-term I have very high ambitions and I would like to be at the highest level of the games we are in which means for CSGO going to a major and for Valorant reaching the franchised league!
Yoann: That would be great! Is there anything else you would like to say?
Tim: Thank you for interviewing me, and thanks to everyone spending some time of their life reading this. If you ever have any questions about gaming or esports or maybe you are starting a company of your own feel free to reach out!