This post is also available in: plpolski (Polish)

Kinguin Esports Performance Center’s (EPC) goal is to give professional gamers a place to grow both as competitors and as individuals.

Two friends with the same dream

Just as the name suggests, gaming houses – at their core – were just that. Places where enthusiasts would live and… play games. Doesn’t sound all that sophisticated, right? That’s true, the idea of gaming houses didn’t come to life thanks to some sort of an elaborate plan made by a large staff of professionals. It happened because two friends had the same dream – to do what they loved; and to be the very best at it.

Hong “YellOw” Jin-ho and Lim “BoxeR” Yo-hwan attending Kim “TheMarine” Jeong Min’s wedding (2013)

 

“What you have to understand is that no one designed the gaming house system. It started with BoxeR and YellOw back in Brood War in the early 2000s. They didn’t design it; they literally just moved into one house and brought their computers and they started playing. It was just a cost-saving measure to play full-time.” – Duncan Thorin” Shields

The Capital of Esport

Aspiring professional gamers within Starcraft and League of Legends had always had but one choice; move to Seoul, achieve top positions in online rankings and hope to be noticed by professional organizations. Young talents followed into Boxer and Yellow’s footsteps.

Groups of hardcore enthusiasts would go to Seoul, get a small apartment and grind the ladder day in, day out. As the industry grew, so did the standards. Gaming houses quickly turned into fully organized workplaces thanks to KeSPA’s policies. The presence of social hierarchy in South Korea’s  professional sphere brought order to what was – and still is – considered a highly chaotic lifestyle.

Up until this day, South Korea is considered to be the capital of Esport and is often the go-to place for team bootcamps.

 

The West’s fallacy and failed mimicry

We, the spectators, see the results; however the behind-the-scenes of living in a gaming house are often unknown to us. As it is with everything in life, every coin has two sides. As such, it was rather easy for the first Western organizations to fall for the false belief of “gaming house = success”.

“What got conflated in the West was the idea that because you’re living in a gaming house that you’re automatically going to experience success.” 

– Duncan Thorin” Shields

Time passed and things became clearer; the cultural differences weren’t taken into account. Cue in communication issues, lifestyle differences, as well as the infamous blurred line between work and private life. Western players and organizations failed in successfully adapting the gaming house system.

Time for an evolution

It didn’t take long before professional organizations started to work on fixing some of the most prevalent issues. They quickly hired professionals such as dietitians, general managers and psychologists. However, skillful as said people might have been, they weren’t able to tackle the most important of issues – the lack of a clear line between private life and work. Thus, the Western orgs decided to adapt a different concept; one more similar to traditional sports – a central training facility.

Kinguin EPC: The mission

For an individual to grow, he or she needs to excel in certain areas while constantly improving in other aspects of life. Our mission is to give professional gamers the best environment not just for practice but also a place where they can grow as people. This includes learning the ropes when it comes to working in a fully organized environment and to attain insight into the many positions available in esports.

TEAM KINGUIN 2018 [#1]: YESTERDAY, TODAY & TOMORROW

While it’s true that we care deeply about the results, we also want to provide the best conditions for growth and opportunities for future professional endeavors. This goes not only for our players but for everyone willing to work in the world of esport. We believe that the Kinguin Esports Performance Center, which is being built in Warsaw, will put Poland in the spotlight and help it become one of the main pillars of esports which will provide the scene with not only more professional players; but also experienced staff that will raise the quality and level of existing organizations.

Kinguin EPC: The plan

Kinguin Esports Performance Center can be described as a collaboration of 5 centers which will all work towards a common goal. Photo-video studio, work offices, practice rooms, a restaurant and even the help of a physical therapist; these are only a portion of what Kinguin EPC will have to offer.

The ground floor, also called the office zone, will provide the space necessary to field a team of highly skilled individuals. By putting staff in the same building as professional players, we aim to achieve easier communication channels and more face to face contact. The management and media teams will work directly with our professional teams on a daily basis.

This is where all the magic will happen, where winners will be born and where practice will be done. Both the psychologist and the physical therapist will operate from this very level. Additionally, several office spaces will be accommodated by Team Kinguin’s staff. Such a solution will allow our creative team to produce top-of-the-shelf content for all of our social media channels.

One thing’s certain; all work and no play doesn’t really bode well (apologies for not using the quote from “The Shining”). We know that all too well and that’s why the second floor of the Kinguin Esports Performance Center will be dedicated strictly for the weary. Fill your belly with food and get some much deserved rest. After that, feel free to win some more 🙂 That’s the kind of approach we’re going for; we are all humans, let’s just take it easy and push forward.

Last, but not least, we have the business-entertainment zone. In need of a great place for a business meeting? Got it covered. Maybe the team feels like watching a tournament after hours? Sure, no problem, make use of the bar as well. The top floor will be a place where new contacts will be extremely easy to attain. A place where partnerships will commence naturally. A place where networking will no longer be considered a hassle and a way for any of the above to just watch some high quality esports matches.

Kinguin EPC: Not only for us

What makes the Kinguin Esports Performance Center even more amazing is the fact that it will be easily accessible for outsiders. Teams from all over the world will be able to practice under EPC’s roof. We believe this will result in amazing growth for numerous teams and organizations from all over the old continent; not just performance wise but also in terms of marketing or networking. To take esports to an even higher level, this is our dream. We love to share our experience, wisdom and time with others.

 

Kinguin Esports Performance Center will provide opportunities not only for our own or other organizations. It will also allow newcomers to learn about esports from the very best, the experienced and the most knowledgeable. We will host numerous educational programs and workshops – all that in order to provide people from outside the industry, or those set on joining it, with the best tools there are when it comes to joining the great world of esports. The EPC will create new job opportunities and give the new generation a chance at doing what they love. Remember about BoxeR and YellOw. Aim to combine your passion with a career.

Don’t worry, we will be there to help.


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This post is also available in: plpolski (Polish)