Meet Harun: Team Lead
We are excited to introduce yet another story from one of our remote colleagues – Harun Yavuz. Read on to learn about his experience with e-sports, working from home and career at 5CA. Enjoy!
Q: Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Harun Yavuz, I am 27 years old from Bielefeld, Germany. I am a passionate, competitive gamer and currently Team Lead on one of the projects at 5CA. I got married last year and enjoy traveling with my wife and our Maine Coon, Tabs.
Q: How long have you been working at 5CA? How has your role changed since you joined 5CA?
I joined 5CA in September 2017 as a Customer Service Agent. I’d never worked in Customer Support before, so it was a crazy new experience having calls with customers and helping them with their technical issues. Shortly thereafter I got promoted to Senior Agent and provided feedback to the agents assigned to my projects and helped them improve in their daily work routines. I applied for the Team Lead Position to grow and build upon the experiences I collected during my time as Senior Agent.
Q: Tell us about a typical day 🙂
Right now it’s learning as much as possible during the onboarding to the Project. It’s important for me as a Team Lead to have a deep insight into the procedures and the project to prepare my agents as well as possible for their daily tasks. I love to cook something fresh during my lunch break and see that as one of the nicest perks of being in a remote position.
Q: What have you been doing before joining 5CA?
I was Director of Esports at MeetYourMakers GmbH in Bensheim, Germany. I took over operations at the end of 2015 and had the possibility to build a gaming house in Mexico and Turkey for two professional League of Legends teams. It was a 24/7 job coordinating teams and managers in different timezones. I also took care of taxes and contracts for the players, travel plans and budget planning.
Q: I happen to know that you used to be involved in esports. How did your esports career get started?
I finished my apprenticeship in Media Design with a focus on Media and Communication and was a passionate gamer throughout my youth. I saw all these professional teams since my childhood and always wanted to know how they were able to maintain these teams and earn money with their passion. I applied at the ESL in Cologne for an unpaid internship just to have the possibility to work in the industry as a graphic designer. After my first interview, I was told that my passion is more behind the scenes and an internship in an organization would be the best opportunity to experience this. The ESL then provided me with contact details for SK Gaming in Cologne. I applied and got accepted for a six-month internship at SK Gaming. I moved down to Cologne, emptied my bank account, and started a new chapter. From that point I had three wonderful years working fulltime in esports. After my mother got sick, I had to move back home to take care of her and looked for a job where I could work remotely and found 5CA. Since then I still have one professional team left competing in PUBG and I also continue to consult players and organizations in Germany on esports related investments.
Q: What was your most exciting challenge or a project during your esports career?
During my time at MeetYourMakers everything was about League of Legends and the LCS. We had two of the best FIFA players in the world in our line-up but still the focus of our partners and sponsors was always League of Legends or DOTA. I convinced my CEO to see the potential of FIFA as a mainstream esports title and to include soccer clubs into this as an official virtual German Bundesliga. I worked two weeks after work on a concept of how soccer teams could include esports divisions to expand their sponsorship opportunities and target audience. VfL Wolfsburg was the first team which responded and where I was able to present my idea. Three months after the first meeting our two FIFA players were presented as official VfL Wolfsburg FIFA players competing in FIFA for the club.
Q: What was your role precisely as a player manager?
When I started working as a player manager, in the beginning it was a fulltime babysitting job. You have young players from all over the world leaving their homes for the first time in their lives. As a player manager you were mostly responsible for acquiring new talent, reporting to management on the state of the players and team and improving the conditions for the players so they can perform better.
Q: I happen to know that you are working remotely, what are the benefits and challenges of working like this?
Working remotely was completely new for me. Due to traveling from tournament to tournament, it was hard to build relationships. There were times where I would see my friends and my hometown only maybe once a year and I was always a very social person so now having my friends and family around me and the time to visit them without a flight is one of the best benefits. I think discipline is an important factor in working from home. Even though you are thousands of miles away from your colleagues, you need to be just as reliable as if you were next to them.
Q: How do you make sure your remote team feels connected and motivated? How does your esports experience help you with your job at 5CA?
For me, it’s very similar to managing an esports team. Agents, like professional players, can burn out pretty fast. It’s important to not only provide negative feedback, but also positive feedback, and making sure that your agents know that they are doing a good job will improve their performance and work ethic. Offering incentives for hard-working agents and having a nice game of League of Legends or Apex helps to see the worst and best side of every agent 😊
Q: What is the next big thing in esports? How do you think this industry will evolve?
Like in every other competitive sport, esports is full of passion. With publishers and developers now creating their own leagues and selling franchises I think that esports will be an important factor for clients in the gaming industry. With the growth of the industry, surely the work environment and contracts for players and staff will need to improve and adjust. Still, many players have really bad contracts and poor working conditions, making it hard for them to pursue their dreams of being the next best players in a game.
Q: What are your dreams, Harun?
Staying healthy and watching my future kids grow up and hopefully beat me in every game so they can go pro! 😃
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