SANTA MONICA, California. — One Tuesday morning in March, five young men half-awake from the Liquid team crept into the new esports franchise training area. They walked through the Neon-accent fireplace and the dining room, where they caught omelets with sliced tomatoes and fresh avocados, fruit cups, toast and coffee, and sat in wooden cabins.
As the caffeine grew, some of the players started talking business, mostly in Korean, with English exclamations, reviewing their performance the night before in the League of Legends’ Championship Series (LCS) regular season. After the meal, the team’s assistant coach called the men into their colorful movie theater with a 120-inch screen. The trainers used an interactive tablet to mark the gameplay images, as well as the teletypes on the NFL broadcasts.
The opening of the new Liquid Team Training centre is a recent example of how North American sport organizations are increasingly getting on the same footing as professional and collegiate teams in mainstream sports, providing organized environments and structure to support their players and staff. This is a literal architecture that, according to the teams, will help support the astounding growth of esports properties such as the LCS.
The goal is not only to improve the calibre of current players and develop future prospects for pros, but also to instil a culture of professionalism in a group of players accustomed to working alone from remote locations or in Team homes where players work and reside.
“The next evolution of esports’
Located just down the road from the Lionsgate head office and Amazon studios in this upscale coastal city of the Los Angeles Area, Team Liquid’s Alienware Training facilities are located in an 8,000 square foot space in an office park. The lack of exterior appeal contradicts not only the building’s bright interior, rich in amenities, but also its importance as a key element in what the team believes to be “the next evolution of sports.”
The installation includes a conference room with a giant screen and three lounges on the theme of the game, all with murals of the team’s past glories. There is a kitchen and dining room — including a chef on site-and areas reserved for games for the LCS Team Liquid (the league of Legends of the best league), the Academy (its minor league) and counter — attack: the world offensive teams-the three teams on site.