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Pro-team Dignitas discusses its store, anniversary and more

The UK’s top pro-gaming team, Dignitas, has revealed it has big plans for the group’s ninth anniversary on September 9. They’ll be hosting a Hall of Fame on their web site and will also have a nostalgic evening of playing Battlefield 1942 – the first game the team ever played.

Run by organisational geniuses like Michael ‘Odee' O'Dell, Team-Dignitas has won almost every major championship worth its salt [Er, you mean cash money paycheck – Ed].

Not scared of monitising their success, Dignitas recently launched an online store selling themed merchandise and has had a staggering response, selling 10,000 Euros' worth of gear in the six weeks since the web site was declared open for business. If they keep that up, then it would add up to £100k a year to the budget needed for the team to fly across the globe and frag the arse off the competition. Nice.

Stylised shot of Odee at a recent Intel event. It's the professionalism of people like Odee that has helped build the brand and reputation of pro-gaming to where it is today. Major events like i43 show just how much interest there is in the sport.

Odee told us, “As we developed over the years, we got a lot of requests for the merchandise, so we’ve finally got it up and running. Sponsors are great, but rather than rely 100% on the brands that have been backing us in a great way, we also want to generate our our revenue. Being sustainable is the main thing these days.”

Stuff you can buy includes a T-shirt branded with ‘NaNiwa says “It’s ok”’ – a reference to the response given by the pro-gamer when asked how he felt after winning a tournament. Michael says, “He won the tournament in the hardest possible way – he had to play through something like 26 battles to get there. Then he was asked – how do you feel? He said, ‘It’s ok.’”

After a promising early career as a professional footballer was cut short by a serious injury, Michael worked in an office for 18 years as a marketing manager in a postage stamp company. When the marketing team at Intel committed themselves to be a long-term Dignitas sponsor, Odee made the leap into professional gaming.

When asked about the name, he said, “When we formed, there were two teams coming together and we had to pick a name. In Latin, Dignitas means merit, prestige, honour and dignity – so when I heard it, I thought ‘that sounds perfect'”.

“We didn’t know that there was a Swiss suicide clinic with the same name. About two years later they started to become famous. But you know, what can you do? They help kill people in the real world, we just frag them online.”

Check out Dignitas’ store here and the PCTV interview with one of Odee's star players, Ramesh Singh:-

KitGuru says: If you were thinking about running a professional gaming team – or you want your existing clan to be much more successful – then you should track Odee down at Multiplay i44 in November, but him a beer and beg him for some words of wisdom. He definitely knows what he's doing.

Comment below or in the KitGuru forum.

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