Fnatic x BMW have unveiled the FNATIC X BMW VISION MOUSE – a lightweight professional gaming mouse, custom molded 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 shape, curvature and grip of the player, with the level of customization aimed improve competitive performance by providing improved control, response, and hand comfort.
A first limited run has been made for professional League of Legends team Fnatic, 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 professional esports players should have custom gear, like professional athletes, to give a competitive edge. On average, a pro-gamer will spend up to 70 hours a week training or playing competitive games. Highly customized accessories will allow players to compete better, 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 successfully used 3D printing technology for over 25 years, this makes it a perfect partnership. Classic examples of the use of additive manufacturing can mainly be found in areas where custom-made and sometimes very sophisticated components are needed in small numbers.
Each Fnatic x BMW Vision mouse consists of two parts: the shell and the chassis. The shell is unique to each player and is created in two separate design and manufacturing stages.
The design stage is carried out by Fnatic’s product engineer who works with each player to understand their precise needs in order to develop a design profile in addition to 3D scanning each of their hands. The profile covers a wide range of requirements, including preferred playstyle, device setup, and hand ergonomics. An initial hull model is then created and refined using a robust trial and error approach until it is perfected.
A working prototype of the shell is 3D printed using SLS 3D printing technology, under BMW’s guidance and unrivaled expertise in printing materials for high-performance use. This idea allows Fnatic to design an extremely lightweight, highest quality and ergonomically precise case.
The need to replace the mouse due to wear or due to different ergonomic requirements is no longer a problem. The hull can be constantly refined to meet changing needs, with the same materials reused for the reprint and placed on the existing chassis.
The final step is to add the shell to Fnatic’s BOLT mouse chassis, known for its high performance, unparalleled durability, and top-notch internals.
Another goal when designing the Fnatic x BMW Vision mouse was circularity. This responsible use of resources plays a fundamental role within the BMW Group. Based on BMW Designworks’ expertise in this area, Nylon 11 bioplastic is used for the mouse shell. Additionally, 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 Fnatic x BMW Vision Mouse development project is a great example of how we define our role in esports. Our know-how should benefit the community and contribute to the future development of the industry. In professional esports, the key is player performance. 3D manufacturing methods, which we have tried and tested in-house, and our experience with durable circular materials are innovatively applied in sports. With Fnatic, we are truly helping to improve the performance of professional gamers.
George Barrett, Industrial Designer, Fnatic commented: “Esports is extremely competitive and the difference between winning and losing can be minute, often milliseconds. Being able to own that difference is why we are constantly looking for ways to give our players that competitive edge.” with BMW Designworks gave us the opportunity to create a unique gaming mouse for every athlete that perfectly blends performance, ergonomics and durability like nothing else on the market. On their own, these adjustments would be negligible, but over time they can make a real difference in player performance.
Tom Allemeier, design director at Designworks, said: “For us at Designworks, it was particularly interesting that Fnatic and the BMW Esports team didn’t just research hardware alternatives. They were collectively hungry for a holistic understanding of circularity. The team wanted to know how a use optimal materials and the right processes, manufacturing and processing methods could lead to more sustainable results in the future.
Fnatic League of Legends Pro Player Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov commented: “Having the ability to use a mouse designed by BMW and Fnatic is awesome. My mouse is a fundamental part of my setup and I consider it an extension of my hand. I need it to be responsive, precise and comfortable to support my style of play and help prevent fatigue from prolonged play. The Fnatic x BMW Vision mouse is unlike anything I’ve seen before. A mouse that only fits in 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 competition performance.