Veloce Esports’ own Nathan Tague was generous enough to answer some questions we had about what goes on behind the scenes when running esports teams such as McLaren Shadow and Quadrant.
Photo credit: Alex Rogers, Veloce
We have all become accustomed to knowing the faces of players in esports, but the individuals who do the work behind the scenes play a big part as well. For every player or team, there are many of these people whose tireless work often is overlooked.
One of those people is Nathan Tague, whose name may ring a bell with a few of you as he actually took part in the first few rounds of the most recent season of Veloce SquadSprint. This is a series where Veloce Esports and their affiliate teams McLaren Shadow, Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports Team, YAS HEAT and Lando Norris’ Quadrant team, competed with three drivers each in quickfire races. All races can be seen on Veloce’s YouTube channel.
SquadSprint had big-name esports racers taking part such as James Baldwin, Jarno Opmeer, Daniel Bereznay, Bari Boroumand, Bono Huis, Cem Bölükbaşı and Emily Jones as well as content creators such as Benjamin ‘Tiametmarduk’ Daly, Aarava, Tom97HD, Maxime MXM and Jaroslav ‘Jardier’ Honzik . Not only that, but Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois took part as well.
There’s a @Team_Quadrant 1,2,3 incoming. @TheOfficialFNG and @_aarava‘s pace is undeniable. We can’t be stopped.— Nathan Tague (@Rosso_NT) February 9, 2021
Tune in to #SquadSprint this Thursday at 1pm!#VivaVeloce #LiveFast pic.twitter.com/LROFRD2SlV
Quadrant were in need of a third driver as Steve ‘Super GT’ Brown wasn’t available immediately, so Tague took up the chance and became almost a cult hero to the Quadrant fanbase. He vastly outpaced the likes of regular Quadrant members like Aarav and Niran (FNG). He would run consistently in the top 10 and earned pretty much all of Quadrant’s points in the team’s championship.
However by trade, Tague is not a racer. He works behind the scenes of Quadrant and McLaren Shadow, and he was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions we had about himself and what goes into running an esports team.
OverTake: What was it that got you interested in the virtual racing world?
I’ve always been a gamer, for as long as I can remember I’ve had some sort of gaming related experiences and memories. My dad is to blame for that! The catalyst for racing was through him too. There was a competition called ‘The Gotham 100’ on Project Gotham Racing in about 2005 that he was trying to qualify for. At that point, I didn’t have an Xbox so I jumped on his every now and then. He worked night shifts, so I sat down one evening to give it a try myself after watching him on it caught my attention. Come the end of the night I was in the top 20 on the leaderboard. That’s where it all spiralled out of control!
There’s a new competitor entering the racing esports scene – @Lazarus!#LZR has announced that it has acquired @F4HMotorsport, signed @ForzaRC drivers @Racerz_55, @ForceOne141 and @Rossi_962, as well as GT Sport drivers @mclaren6LB and @mrt95_— FullThrottle (@FThrottleMedia) January 14, 2019
Details at https://t.co/tZ5zBxd7eG pic.twitter.com/1XjueaT8Mk
OverTake: Could you tell us how you got involved in esports and particularly within the role you have taken on?
From the above, I had a decent career as a sim racer, most notably in Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo. About half way through this I started to really sit and think about what I wanted to do with my career and my life. I knew I loved gaming and racing but at that point, the scene was in its infancy. The days of brands like McLaren, Williams, Ferrari etc. being involved were still maybe four or five years away.
I ran and operated my own team, F4H (the most successful team in Forza Motorsport history at the time it was wound down) and it was there that I began to realise that there was potential for a career doing something I loved, if I worked hard and made the right decisions.
I actually met Jamie MacLaurin (Founder of Veloce) at F4H. I’d scouted James Baldwin and picked him up earlier in the year and after a few good results, Veloce came calling and Jamie and I chatted at length. We’d both actually followed a very similar path through esports and shared a lot of common ground, even if he was trying to take James away to Veloce at the time!
Just goes to show that in all things, if you are treating people the right way, making good impressions and networking, your next opportunity can come from a place you never really anticipated. Here I am three years later working with Lando Norris, McLaren and so many other fantastic brands and partners. I’m extremely fortunate.
OverTake: What teams have you worked with before you landed within your place at Veloce?
I spent nearly eight years at F4H before I transitioned to Canadian brand, Lazarus. After a highly successful year and a half there in which we got 2nd in the ForzaRC and also 2nd and 3rd in the Fortnite World Cup, I contacted Jamie looking for a new challenge. Been here for just over a year now and I wouldn’t change a thing.
OverTake: Exactly what role do you play within Quadrant and McLaren Shadow?
For Quadrant, I am the General Manager. This essentially means it’s my job to oversee the brand from end to end. From content, to social media, to apparel, to partnerships, to events and activations, it’s my role to coordinate all internal teams, manage our roster of creators, strategise and ideate and everything in between.
For McLaren, I am project oversight. In essence, this means that I oversee the project and liaise with the Team Manager to ensure we are delivering the service that a brand like McLaren demands and deserves.
OverTake: After your performances in SquadSprint and being vastly superior to the likes of regular Quadrant members Aarava, FNG and Super GT, has Lando extended a formal invite to be his first pro racer?
Hahahahaha! I think those days are long gone for me. I still have a sim at home but I genuinely can’t remember the last time I sat in it. It might even have been for Squadsprint! There’s still a bit of talent left in me but I’ll leave the professional racing for the next generation of talents now.
Can’t wait for #SquadSprint?— Nathan Tague (@Rosso_NT) February 10, 2021
Here’s an onboard lap from the @Team_Quadrant car driven by myself for the first event at Silverstone!
The car is HUGE fun to drive. Make sure you tune in at 1pm tomorrow 💪#VivaVeloce #LiveFast #Quadrant pic.twitter.com/gA3O4ooxrN
OverTake: What is the future of Quadrant? We haven’t seen any movement on the esports side to a huge extent, but Lando has publicly stated his intentions for Quadrant to enter the likes of the Call of Duty and Rocket League championships. Is Quadrant aiming to be the more mainstream esports team of Veloce?
The future is overwhelmingly promising. At the moment, Fifakill is our sole esports creator and he’s been incredible since he came in. Having a European Call of Duty champion in your ranks is huge and we are certainly always exploring other avenues and opportunities in both Call of Duty and beyond as we expand.
It’s easy to forget that Quadrant is only 9 months old because of the success and impact we’ve had in that short space of time. We are knocking on the door of 20 million views on our YouTube channel in that space of time. That’s unprecedented for such a young project. In terms of future plans, I can’t give too much away but we are definitely aiming even higher going into the second half of this year. Expect more content, more events, more apparel and most certainly more memes!
What would you like to know about what goes into running an esports team? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!