FlyQuest have confirmed the appointment of Chris “PapaSmithy” Smith as the organization’s President, in line with our earlier publication. The Milwaukee Bucks affiliated franchise also revealed that the former 100 Thieves general manager will double as the team’s Chief Gaming Officer (CGO).
FlyQuest took to their Twitter page to make the announcement, sharing their excitement about his addition to their ranks.
“Please welcome our new President and Chief Gaming Officer Chris “@PapaSmithy” Smith!” FlyQuest announced.
“A legendary figure in the scene, we are excited to bring him on board to help build the future of FlyQuest.
Reacting to his appointment, PapaSmithy described his roles within FlyQuest as a “natural progression.” He goes on to reveal why he found the appointment intriguing and signed on to the franchise.
“One of the reasons why the FlyQuest pitch was so interesting was I had the opportunity to speak to the new leadership and see where their heads are at,” PapaSmithy said.
“They understand that to get to those great heights requires very strong processes and very strong people. You have to have the vision to understand what the intermediate steps are to make it to being a championship-contending org.”
The appointment of the professional League of Legends veteran will see him at the helm of the franchise, leading the charge for success across their various esports teams. He is also expected to expand on the franchise’s mission statement in due time.
As President, PapaSmithy will be the franchise’s foremost decision-maker, guided by the organization’s ethos. But as the CGO, he will be tasked with working closely with the franchise’s LOL and Super Smash Bros. teams and players from a business-oriented angle.
In late September, FlyQuest were acquired by new owners, the Viola Family. The Viola Family are also the owners of a professional ice hockey team, the Florida Panthers.
The new owner and President of the Viola Family, Michael Viola, shared some insights into why PapaSmithy is the right pick for the franchise. He expressed his excitement about the recruitment as he anticipates the next chapter for the franchise.
“Chris’ reputation and track record in the gaming, esports, and League of Legends communities speaks for itself. We are excited for him to join FlyQuest, and to help lead the organization into its next chapter,” Viola said.
“Chris will play a key role in team and player development, as well as engaging with FlyQuest fans and the LCS community in new and unique ways.”
PapaSmithy will also be working closely with the franchise General Manager, Nick Phan, to grow the various teams’ fanbases, as he believes the fans to be the core of any team. He also promised to engage the fans more and share the franchise goals with them starting in 2023.
“It feels like after you watch the [LCS] games, maybe you can sound off a tweet with some hashtags, maybe you can try to interact with your favorite pro player, but it kind of ends at that,” PapaSmithy said.
“My hope is that it’s going to feel super, super rewarding to be a fan of FlyQuest… in 2023, and that you’re going to be very clearly communicated with on what our goals are.”
FlyQuest have always been firm about their advocacies in support of several causes, like the adoption of #BeeQuest, #SeaQuest, and #TreeQuest. These causes have engaged players and fans over the years for the sake of charity.
PapaSmithy has been impressed by the franchise’s intentional quests and fan engagements. He stated that he was going to maintain such a culture and build on it, making it more fan-focused.
“You can see clearly that there’s been no half-baked ideas from FlyQuest, they’ve been wholehearted and very much transparent with their fans about the things they value,” he continued.
“I fully imagine that to continue in 2023. Whatever initiatives we’re in, whatever we’re trying to do, we’re going to be very much fan-focused on those.”
While the plans of the franchise are unclear, the team’s jungler, Brandon “Josedeodo” Villegas, has been allowed to entertain other offers. Even the team’s midlaner Loïc “toucouille” Dubois is reportedly on his way out of the team, with the LFL as his possible direction.
Regardles, PapaSmithy has shared his desire to focus on the North American amateur space, which he believes has been severely overlooked. He was crucial to the creation of the 100 Theives amateur team, the 100 Theives Next. He intends to replicate the same at FlyQuest.
“I want young North American players to have flexible ways to play the game,” PapaSmithy said.
“The more of them we can bring through the ranks, much like Danny, Jojopyun, [and Phillip]—that’s the sort of thing that allows people to dare to dream. And the more dreamers we have out there aspiring to be LCS pro players, the more healthy the scene will be in North America.”