eSports is growing and evolving at an amazing pace. Viewership, prize pools, and production quality of events are all improving year after year. This explosive growth comes with fierce competition between gaming organizations to sign the best players to their teams. One way the biggest eSports organizations are luring players to their rosters is with luxurious residential and training facilities.
For the most part, eSports teams have previously lived, and most continue to do so, in gaming houses. A gaming house is a normal neighborhood home where the players live and practice together along with other team members such as coaches and managers. Players both live and practice in these houses. Living and practicing together 24 hours a day is meant to bring teams closer together inside and outside the game. For most eSports teams, they convert a simple, every day, neighborhood home into their gaming house. One major issue with this set up is the difficulty players have separating relaxation from work, which is why some of the biggest gaming organizations have decided to change that.
Bigger events, more viewers, and more money have attracted larger and more mainstream sponsors to the top eSports organizations. Along with these major sponsors, eSports organizations such as Team Liquid have built incredible cutting-edge training facilities for their players and staff. These facilities are several thousand square feet with office space, kitchens with private chefs, player residences, strategy rooms, practice rooms, everything the players and staff need to keep their eSports organization running. In this article we will look at three of the most advanced eSports facilities today.
The first on our list is the Ninjas in Pyjamas, or NiP training facility in Landskrona, Sweden. NiP has teams in CS:GO, PUBG, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. One of the purposes of moving away from gaming houses to training facilities is to have players and staff get into the mindset that they are there to work. Having staff and offices on site helps players get into a more serious and focused state of mind, as well as keeping both the talent and business sides of the organization in touch with each other. NiP’s facility follows this trend and has offices for the organization’s CEO, COO, CFO, Sales Manager, Video Editor, and other staff members.
Along with offices, the NiP facility has all the features of any top eSports organization headquarters. The facility has a full kitchen, conference room, recording studio, recreational lounge complete with arcade machines, and of course, gaming practice rooms. Recreational areas where players can relax and unwind after a long day of practice are a common theme with these facilities. Keeping up with the demanding practice and travel schedule of being on a major eSports team is mentally and physically draining.
NiP has been a powerhouse in CS:GO for the last several years, winning 5 tournaments since April of 2016. However, the organization has struggled a bit in 2018 and undergone roster changes with two new players and a new coach joining since February of this year. Hopefully for NiP their state of the art training facility will help them return to their previous position as one of the top teams in CS:GO.
The second facility we will take a look at is the 100 thieves training facility in Venice, California. 100 Thieves has teams in League of Legends and Forntite. Sponsored by Rocket Mortgage, the 6,000 square foot facility has everything the 100 Thieves players and staff need. Players each have their own room, which is a step up from many traditional gaming houses where multiple players often share a room. One floor up from the player rooms is the recreation and kitchen area.
These recreational areas are important for players to wind down after their grueling practice schedules. The kitchen area even comes with a private chef, often mentioned by players as their favorite perk of any team house or training facility.
100 Thieves is a relatively new gaming organization and their new facility is a big part of their strategy for attracting the best players possible. The eSports organization reformed in November of 2017 and received a multi-million dollar investment from Cleveland Caveliers owner Dan Gilbert. The young team has already begun to see success, with a second place finish at the League of Legends NA LCS 2018 Spring Playoffs.
The most notable eSports organization on our list also has the most advanced training facility and is located in Los Angeles, California. Known as the Alienware training facility, the sprawling 8,000 square foot complex spared no expense. The facility was designed with not only functionality but style in mind. The facility could easily be mistaken for a trendy Los Angeles nightclub or lounge. Everywhere you look you will see sleek LED lighting, hand-painted murals, and top of the line equipment such as Alienware computers, 4k projectors, and gaming chairs with the Team Liquid Logo.
With the largest on-site staff of any eSports training facility, there are several desks for employees who keep the Team Liquid eSports machine running. Employees all have Alienware PCs and multiple monitor setups. Team Liquid made sure to keep all of their on-site staff members happy as well as the players with all the top of the line equipment.
Team Liquid sponsors teams in three of the most popular eSports, Dota 2, League of Legends, and CS:GO. Since the Alienware training facility has an open-air design, there is a private “War Room” for each team. The Dota 2 war room seen below is complete with a hand-painted mural of the TI7 winning roster. Here players can discuss strategy and analyze replays with their coach.
Another strategy room comes with a large projector screen and a touchscreen PC that allows the coach to examine replays and draw instructions by hand.
Outside of the game, all the top eSports organizations are constantly producing content for YouTube, Facebook, and other social media such as player interviews and other promotional material. Team Liquid is one of the most media savy organizations out there so it’s no surprise their training facility has a full production studio on site. Called 1UP studios, this is where all the online content for Team Liquid is created.
Team Liquid wanted to ensure that players and staff not only have the best equipment but that they will stay healthy physically and mentally. Players have access to a private chef, nutritionist, and sports psychologist. The players having access to these professionals allows them to focus their energies on the next upcoming tournament.
This investment in players and staff has certainly worked for Team Liquid. Their Dota 2 roster won the largest Dota 2 tournament ever at The International 7 last year, taking home $10.9 million dollars. While most winners of Dota 2’s International lose steam afterward, Team Liquid has stayed strong and is in a good position to be repeat winners of The International 8 later this month in Vancouver. The League of Legends and CS:GO rosters have also enjoyed recent success. The League of Legends roster won the NA LCS 2018 Spring playoffs in April of this year, and the CS:GO roster won two majors and placed second in three premier level tournaments all within the last 9 months.
With Team Liquid’s Alienware training facility setting the bar for eSports organization’s headquarters and recent tournament wins in the three biggest games, it’s no question that other eSports companies will follow their lead. The continued growth of the eSports market attracts larger and more mainstream sponsors with deep pockets every day. It will be exciting to see what new high-tech facilities will be built in the coming years training the current and future superstars of eSports.