image: 2654Alongside fellow manager China Kim, Finland Kimmo "Sauna" Vähä-Ruohola is the brains behind the well respected Finnish multigaming community Insignia Cadre. After negative-image's well publicised move to the organisation, I decided to have a short chat with the man behind the venture, and discuss the mechanics of the move.

Enemy Territory has been a successful game for over 3 years now, with Euro Cups, LANs and a dedicated community to its name. Why take on an ET squad now?

Well, one of our missions is to provide home for Finnish top teams whenever possible and now the time was right for ET. We also wanted to give our help to ET scene and maybe with our team and community we can give it a little extra push among the dominating LAN-games.

What was it that first drew you to the negative-image team, and how did the negotiations start?

I received an email from Lettu where he told me about their team. They had approached us already once earlier but at that time it was not possible for our organisation to take them in. This time we were ready to give them a chance and after a brief MSN-discussion we decided to take the guys in.

As an organisation, people are often hearing about players only joining the big multi-gaming teams for the fame and the freebies. What sort of support do you offer your players, and how do you ensure exploit the generosity you show?

We are trying to build Insignia Cadre so that it is like a big family where everyone knows and comes along with each other. Our mutual goal is to make Finnish eSports known and respected. Being as a team in Insignia Cadre is a process where during time and loyalty you get more and more. We try not to promise too much and we have succeeded in it well.

What sort of goals have you placed on the shoulder on your ET squad for the future?

We never place any pressure on our teams considering matches or tournaments. First we focus on making the team learn the habits and ways to work in Cadre. Then we go through together their weekly time tables and practice schedules. Then we aim goals for those matters and start to turn their ways of working into even more professional level. Through that process teams normally bring out their match/tournament goals by themselves.

As a sponsors you have 'Global Cash Team', what if the cash doesn't come from this new investment?

We have a stable situation with all of our sponsors at the moment. We are proud to have Global Cash as our title sponsor and we will do our best to keep it that way. They offer a cool product that makes it very easy even for under aged people to buy online so we are happy to promote it. But because Insignia Cadre is growing extremely fast we need to be active all the time on sponsor markets.

As we've seen, the Insignia ET team has been announced as not a direct invite to the Euro Cup, but as a qualifier. Does this make you at all question the calibre of the team you have adopted, given the reputation Cadre have?

Not at all. As I said earlier, we focus also on other things than just cups and tournaments. I don't mean that we don't care about them. Of course they are what this is all about and we want to succeed in every event we participate. But for us, being part of our organisation means more than just that. I see a lot of potential and skill in our team and those invites don't change anything.

When looking at PC gaming in particular, many point to the sheer amount of instability as a crucial aspect of online gaming failing to represent a profitable business. What is your attitude at Cadre over roster changes and player instability?

From our point of view, most of the roster changes have happened because of the guys had to focus on things like school or work and those are totally understandable. Organisations need to develop so that they can be better prepared on upcoming changes. When eSports get more and more competitive, it's natural that instability comes to the picture.

As part of the Cadre management statement, it was said that "we will start to work on to build also the news crew for ET and this way give our input to increase and develop ET-scene." How viable do you anticipate such an effort to be?

The first days have been amazing on Our team have shown their commitment for Insignia Cadre right away doing nice articles and with couple of new ET writers we are getting ready to serve ET scene very actively. Also the ET interested people have started to stop by on our site. ET doesn't have so many active community websites so we hope that this will also give ET even more status among other gaming scenes.

Let's look at the worst case scenario. Negative Image ET doesn't work out for you, for whatever reason. Would you be deterred from looking again at other squads in ET, or do you judge each case by its own?

We go case by case. We are building a strong link to ET scene and we want to stick with it. If our co-operation with our existing ET team for some reason comes to an end it doesn't mean that there won't be another ET team in Insignia Cadre anymore.

Before taking on an Enemy Territory team, what sort of information did you have about Enemy Territory as a game in terms of following, offline events, "skill", etc?

To be honest, I still don't know too much about the game. I just know the rare basics of it and I recently downloaded it to myself. Luckily we had people on our crew that were familiar with the game. This will be a great learning experience both ways between our crew and ET team.

And why do you think it has proven to be "less successful" than a game like Call of Duty, which although is played by less players, now has Euro Cup LAN finals, and big name sponsor backing?

Very hard to tell. It is really small things that matters when it comes to deciding which games are "most successful". It's up to big IT-companies that which games are sponsored and the decisions are not always very logical to me at least.

Any last words?

Thanks for the nice interview, dude! Crossfire is doing a great work for ET scene! I want to say hello to all you ET people reading this site. You are dealing with extremely cool game and let's all give our best to make it more respected in eSports. I also want to thank our amazing sponsors, NordicBet, QPAD, Level7, Sennheiser, Shuttle, Saunalahti and Corded!