Team Spotlight: Management
Describe your role and duties in Astrantia. What do you do, and what major part does it play in the day to day running of this group? 8
V: My current “role” for management is outreach. This can mean a variety of things such as when it comes to recruitment I am usually the one to make the contact and get to know the people. It usually means that if there is an issue people can come to me. I am also acting as temporary captain of our NA CGL team where I am in charge of scheduling the matches for the tournament, aiding it making practices and scrims for prep, etc. Overall what I do does not 100% effect every day running of the group but it does give the other members of management time to do what they need to do.
M: I’m one of three existing founders/members of management. We as a team look at what needs to be done and come up with a plan of action to achieve them. Luckily, the people in management are equally passionate and talented just like the members who willingly pitch in, so we meet most of our goals.
There’s no fixed role for any of us in. We all have different strengths—and weaknesses—so we work together to make sure that the team is a in a good place. My strength and interest happen to be in writing/public relations so I usually handle anything which relates to that. Graphics and branding tend to be Fenedhis’ forte while VenusTheSavior is our go-to when it comes to player relations and scheduling.
My typical day consist of checking discord and FB to review what needs to be done. I don’t get to play a lot since I travel for work but anything that can be done on an airplane ride I do. This mostly consists of coordination and project management. It could be coordinating with our content creators or just talking to people to expand the brand. Every day is different.
F: Oh, god where do I start? I do branding, designing, social media managing, content creating...a bit of captaining for the EU squad. A normal day would include some graphic designing for the social medias, scheduling stuff for the EU team, taking care of our Discord server and playing with the team, for example.
Tell me how Astrantia was formed. What is Astrantia, what does it mean, and why this is the name that stuck out the most?
V: Astrantia was formed after our founding members left another group of teams where we felt we weren’t doing what we set out to do. Astrantia is said to mean courage, strength, and protection which are all things that I believe really bring together the family vibe we all wanted Astrantia to be. Also Maija recommend it and showed the art and we all fell in love.
M: Astrantia was born out of the need for a more organized team. Venus, Fen, Lulu and I met while playing in the same clan in season 4. A group of us were unhappy with how it was run so we created a team that could better meet our goals.
A little-known fact about Astrantia is that it was born out of an all-female team; this explains why the initial members and the management team are all female. Moving forward, we didn’t want to restrict ourselves by only admitting a certain type of player so despite acknowledging the value of having that representation we knew we wanted something more inclusive.
Who knows? Maybe we’ll reach back to our roots and create an all-female division to compete in some tournaments. I’m down for it.
F: We were all stuck in an organization that we weren't happy with, so we decided to try and create something better. Astrantia is a flower that I remember suggesting as a name because a) it looks pretty and I liked the colors and b) it symbolizes strength, courage, and protection which we all found fitting.
Astrantia has branches in both America and Europe, as well as your Academy branch. Why were these created, and what purpose do they serve?
V: Overwatch promotes a lot of different play styles from ladder to league no matter the SR. Our branches were made to fully utilize that aspect and to make it where everyone ( no matter the skill ) feels like they have a home. It also motives people to grow once so that they can move to the next roster if they so chose.
M: We originally had no plans to expand. We’re just a group of friends who like to play and want to get better. Our focus has always been to make a quality team regardless of size but when we found ourselves with a handful of new recruits that were either EU or too high in SR to participate in CGL, we decided to expand to give them a team in which to compete. Luckily, we were in a good place to make that happen.
Shout out to our EU people (Night, Kraey, and Fen) who played well into their morning timezone just to make practices back when we were just one team and to all the members that aided us during this expansion.
F: I think I first suggested creating the EU division to ease our scheduling conflicts (three members of the Astrantia at the time were on European schedules....more or less, since at least James and I are night owls.) I think then the Academy idea came with it.
What, as managers, brings you immense joy in this group? Is it the comradery, seeing new members sync well with the vets, watching a person beat their career high SR or move into a new rank?
V: I think whoever you ask will have a different answer in what brings us the most joy. Personally I think the two things that really stick out the most to me is seeing people improve because of the group setting. We have had multiple members achieve a new rank that they did not think was possible with us, and that joy brings me a lot of joy. Secondly seeing the vets and newer players come together and play is really something special, it helps people learn how to get better no matter the SR and promotes a type of friendship that I don’t believe you can get from different medias. Having our team be a family is very important to me, so to see that being accomplished is something very joyful.
M: What brings me great joy is seeing the enthusiasm everyone has. Discovering people’s strengths and enabling them to flourish especially to the benefit of the team gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment. Some people are competitive and this often makes them dedicated players while others prefer to organize the team so we usually let those members lead functions and events. Everyone pitches in and management tries its best to make sure that everyone is happy and getting what they want out of being in this team. If not, we change our structure, or reassess whether it’s a good fit for all.
F: To me the best feeling is when people come to me and say that they love our graphics and our branding, since that's what I personally worked the hardest for. Gives me that sweet validation, you know. Though of course it's always wonderful to see our teams succeed in competitions, and I always have a good time playing with our members. I wouldn't be playing Overwatch anymore if the team didn't exist, to be honest.
Astrantia recently celebrated its 1st birthday. What does that mean for you, and for the group? Where do you go from here?
V: Referring back to how Astrantia was formed, knowing that the team that came from that is a year old means we did the right thing. It isn’t easy to go from just being a member of a team to running a team, and to be honest it was scary but seeing it be fruitful really shows that it was meant to be. Where we go from here is honestly up to our members/family. We wouldn’t be anything without everyone that is apart of Astrantia. I want to go onto year two, expand further into maybe different games, but my biggest goal is to make sure that the values we found in the first year are held and made more clear in the future.
M: It means a lot. Just lasting this long is a success story in itself but we didn’t get here without some growing pains. I want to thank everyone who’s been with us every step of the way, even those that have left for whatever reason. I’ve led 4 other teams before this in 3 separate games and by far Astrantia has been the best and most efficient team I’ve had the privilege of working with. Special kudos to Venus and Fen who have been the best management team to work with. Some of us often get burnt out but we support each other and that’s how we get through it.
Truth be told I miss playing with the team, talking with them, and just having fun. As management, I often feel guilty playing if there were things left to do (and the list never runs out) so it heavily cut into most of my playing time and left me disconnected. For this reason, I have decided to step down into a lesser management role.
Moving forward, I’d like to see us maintain our current teams while continuing to spread some positive influence as we shift our focus from within Astrantia to the greater xbox one overwatch community. We’re in a good place, but if we can help others establish their own groups, the community will be that much better for it. I hope we can bring new content that might help others or perhaps by merely existing we can inspire others to build something great. Whatever it may be, I am so proud to be part of this team.
F: We've recently hit a lot of great milestones that were in our plan for this year, like achieving Twitch affiliate. We have quite a few plans for the future as well, that we're currently looking into.
Interview by x Grief Seed
Edited by M1ch3LL34nn