4th November 2022, London, UK – Fnatic x BMW have today revealed the FNATIC X BMW VISION MOUSE – a lightweight, pro-gaming mouse custom-moulded to fit the hand.
In a first for the esports industry, each Fnatic x BMW Vision mouse is unique – ergonomically designed and 3D printed to reflect the player’s hand shape, curvature, and grip, with the level of customisation aiming to enhance competitive performance by providing improved control, response, and hand-comfort.
An initial limited run has been made for Fnatic’s League of Legends pro-team with future commercial availability dependent on further testing and public interest.
Fnatic and BMW Designworks joined forces on the project with the shared belief that esports pro-gamers should have customised equipment, like pro-sport athletes, to give a competitive advantage. On average, a pro-gamer will spend up to 70 hours a week practising or taking part in competitive matches. Highly bespoke accessories will allow players to compete better, for longer, with a reduced risk of hand injury. The Fnatic x BMW Vision mouse was designed to meet this need, and as the BMW Group has been successfully using 3D printing technology for more than 25 years, it makes it a perfect partnership.. Classic examples of the use of additive manufacturing can primarily be found in areas, in which customised and sometimes very sophisticated components are required in small numbers.
Each Fnatic x BMW Vision mouse consists of two parts – the shell and chassis. The shell is unique to every player and is created in two distinct design and manufacture stages.
The design stage is carried out by Fnatic’s product engineer who works with each player to understand their precise needs to develop a design profile in addition to 3D scanning each of their hands. The profile covers a broad set of requirements including preferred playstyle, device set-up, and hand ergonomics. An initial shell template is then created, and further refined using a robust trial and error approach until perfected.
A functional prototype of the shell is 3D printed using SLS 3D printing technology, under the guidance of BMW and their unrivalled expertise in printing materials for high performance use. This insight enables Fnatic to craft a shell that’s extremely lightweight, made to the highest quality, and ergonomically precise.
The need to replace the mouse due to wear and tear or because of different ergonomic requirements is no longer a concern. The shell can be constantly refined to meet changing needs, with the same materials reused for re-printing and placed on the existing chassis.
The final stage is adding the shell to the chassis of Fnatic’s BOLT mouse, known for its high performance, unparalleled durability, and best-in-class internals.
Another focus when designing the Fnatic x BMW Vision Mouse was on circularity. This responsible use of resources plays a fundamental role at the BMW Group. Based on the expertise of BMW Designworks in this area, the bioplastic Nylon 11 is used for the mouse shell. In addition, the mouse chassis is made from recycled components from the proven Fnatic BOLT mouse, which adds another level of consideration.
Stefan Ponikva, Vice President BMW Brand Communications and Experience, said: “The development project for the Fnatic x BMW Vision Mouse is a very good example of how we define our role in Esports. Our know-how should benefit the community, and contribute to the further development of the industry. In professional Esports, the key is the performance of the players. 3D manufacturing methods, which we have tried and tested in house, and our experience with sustainable, circular materials are being applied in innovative ways in sport. Together with Fnatic, we are genuinely helping to improve the performance of professional gamers.”
George Barrett, Industrial Designer, Fnatic commented: “Esports is immensely competitive and the difference between winning and losing can be minute, often mere milliseconds. Being able to own this difference is why we’re constantly looking for ways to give our players that competitive advantage. “Working with BMW Designworks has given us the opportunity to create a gaming mouse unique to each athlete that seamlessly blends performance, ergonomics, and sustainability like nothing else in the market. On their own, these adjustments would be negligible, but incrementally they can make a real difference to the player’s performance.”
Tom Allemeier, Design Director at Designworks, said: “For us at Designworks, it was particularly attractive that Fnatic and the BMW Esports team were not just looking for material alternatives. They were collectively hungry for an overarching understanding of circularity. The team wanted to learn how an optimal use of materials and the right processes, manufacturing and processing methods could lead to more sustainable results in the future.”
Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov , Fnatic League of Legends Pro-gamer commented: “To have the opportunity to use a mouse designed by BMW and Fnatic is awesome. My mouse is a fundamental part of my setup and I see it as an extension of my hand. I need it to be responsive, accurate, and comfortable to support my playstyle and help prevent any fatigue from extended play. The Fnatic x BMW Vision mouse is like nothing I’ve seen before. A mouse that fits only to your hand is unreal.”
The Fnatic x BMW Vision mouse is currently in production for Fnatic’s League of Legends pro-team. While there are no current plans for commercial production, Fnatic will listen to fan feedback and monitor competitive performance.