Nicecactus, headquartered in Valbonne, France, hopes to be an ‘all-in-one’ esports platform for gamers.
Previously known as Esport-Management, the platform offers 1.3m members an array of games to choose from, numerous tutorials at all skill levels and a special, data-driven tracking system that empowers decision-making by gamers.
Esports Insider sat down with Nicecactus Co-founder Alexandre Amoukteh to learn more about the company’s journey and its mission towards providing value for the ‘digital-native’ generation.
ESI: Can you share a little bit about yourself and what led you to your role at Nicecactus?
Alexandre Amoukteh: As a kid, I loved playing video games — during my time it was the Atari console and games such as Vanguard, Star Wars, Mario Bros or PacMan. I had a friend with whom I played a lot back then, who later became a fellow Co-founder at Nicecactus, Mike Hessabi.
This interest in video games added to my true childhood passion for computer programming and led me to write a computer game titled Gin Rummy during my studies at college. It was nice for the time, but obviously nowhere near to what we have today.
Upon completing my studies, I entered the world of management consulting, where I worked with a diverse set of companies for more than 20 years. The prospect of launching an entrepreneurial adventure related to my passion for gaming presented itself in late 2017. I decided to leave my consulting job to join Mike Hessabi in building Nicecactus.
ESI: What’s the story of how the company was born and what was the idea behind it?
AA: Nicecactus was initially born with the intent to help gamers build their path to esports using online training and tournament tools. Like with most new businesses, a big dose of passion accompanied its origin. But beyond pure passion, we also saw a need for a rational view on market dynamics and the implementation of a business model that is scalable, sustainable, and of course, profitable.
ESI: Nicecactus prides itself on providing value for both gamers and game publishers. How would you describe the company’s mission?
AA: Playing video games is now a legitimate part of the culture of the digital-native generation — it is no longer a “gamer-only” niche. It’s mainstream. It’s become the extension of our social life. We meet up and play with friends in virtual environments. If we look beyond purely esports games, the diversity of the gaming population is huge.
With that in mind, we want to facilitate gamers’ ability to compete in their game of choice to the level of their aspirations. Where relevant, we want to provide them with the best training and tracking mechanisms. This is what we call the Nicecactus Gamer Platform. Moreover, we help brands to connect authentically and effectively with the digital-native generation.
ESI: Nicecactus has developed notably since its inception four years ago. Talk about what’s shifted the most as the platform has continued growing.
AA: Nicecactus has evolved into a technology-asset-based online service company that focuses on enabling the digital-native generation to engage in video game competitions in a wide and diverse sense.
Our focus has shifted from purely ‘path to pro’ to being an environment for all gamers around the world, no matter their level or if they want to become professional or not.
We invested heavily in our tournament technology, which is now high-capacity, globally scalable and extremely modular format-wise.
ESI: What exactly does the Nicecactus platform offer to gamers who are seeking to improve their skills?
AA: Today we run over 1,500 online tournaments per month on the platform, with a total of 18,000 online tournaments in 2020. We organise competitions in more than 30 games and new ones can be added at very short notice.
Over the past year, we have also transformed our tracking and training capabilities into a fact-based, data-driven feature with various training courses available on the platform. At the moment training in Fortnite, League of Legends, VALORANT and CS:GO is available, with more titles to come.
The cumulative uptake of our training has seen a nice steep curve over the past couple of months, and we continue to improve and upgrade them based on the feedback we receive from users. It’s the key to all our operations.
ESI: Can you share some of the company’s future plans?
AA: Looking into the future, there are many interesting developments upcoming. We plan to add functionalities around gamification and NFTs to the Nicecactus platform. Also importantly, we will be driving stronger international growth. So far we have been focused mostly on Western Europe, even though we have a globally scalable technology. Thus we will be progressively announcing global expansion news over the coming months.
Overall, we are planning to put our technology to use in new and innovative ways, so that everyone involved can benefit from it.