Gaming Hotels: Train like a pro or travel like a Gamer
In movies and comic books, the hero will often take off into the remote wilderness before the final battle, on a journey to hone their skills without distraction and find a mental space that gives them the focus needed to win. Real life heroes and competitors do the same, and for professional gamers this idea is gaining traction in a cool new way. With the stakes continually rising for tournaments and eSports audiences going crazy for their favorite teams, it’s crucial to escape the commotion and practice skills in a space that encourages perfection.
iHotel Room; Facebook
Exclusive gaming hotels are a new phenomenon designed to meet this unique need, and the trend is exemplified best by the iHotel chain in Taiwan. Completely outfitted with the heavy-duty, performance-complementing equipment required by avid gamers including JBL headphones, large 4k flat panels, comfortable gaming chairs, top of the line PCs with the best GPUs and high-speed internet, the iHotel is a mecca for all varieties of gamer.
iHotel Room; Facebook
While also furnished with the standard array of relaxing and luxurious amenities you’d find in a nice hotel, a primary feature of iHotel is a mini eSports arena with enough stations to support 6v6 matches (or smaller), which is perfect for many popular competitive games including League of Legends and Overwatch. A multi-panel overhead display enables people in the lobby to watch the action while they enjoy the full restaurant and bar. The Australian team Blank eSports reportedly rented rooms for all its players for multiple consecutive months at iHotel, in preparation for the upcoming Overwatch season.
iHotel lobby arena; Facebook.
Great for meeting other guests and casual gaming as well, eSports teams have a lot to love about the lobby setup’s standardization, which is a factor crucial for tournament practice specifically. Though teams like Blank still follow the “team home” model, renting a house and flying everyone and their equipment out is costly and cannot accurately reproduce the experience of live competition on uniform PCs.
Gaming Hotels a Growing Industry
Individuals or couples and even squads who love vacationing, enjoy being pampered, and who miss gaming (a hobby that doesn’t often fully translate to travel) can stay at a gaming hotel and enjoy the “in-room battlestations” as well. These amenities are also included at another new hotel that recently opened its doors in Amsterdam called The Arcade Hotel, which is aimed at the casual crowd in particular. The rooms here have consoles and retro platforms like SNES and N64, but also a gaming room with PCs capable of handling the most modern games.
Arcade Hotel, Squad Room; Facebook
While the idea of a hotel purpose-built for gaming is still taking off, it will be easier for existing franchises to integrate gaming in piecemeal fashion. A more cost-effective approach is to install even two or three solid PCs in the “business center”, which most hotels already have. This will cater to gamers, who aren’t used to being accommodated beyond the rare hotel N64, often found bolted into an ancient TV and only accessible via credit card.
Arcade Hotel, The Fantastic four Room; Facebook
With a significant enough investment, spaces like iHotel may even encounter opportunities to host tournaments that are the real deal, which would further cement its facilities as the most advantageous (and luxurious) spot to train. Other hotels like Gamers Paradise in Thailand opt for a different blend of services, and while also providing a larger PC-gaming room, put more emphasis on comforts expected from a comparable 5-star resort.
To visitors, gaming is becoming an attraction as valuable as an Olympic-sized pool, sauna and spa, or Michelin Star hotel restaurant. They are places to bunker down pre-tournament with the team, travel and meet other gamers, escape the status quo and take a week to immerse yourself in your hobby, or simply visit the city on business and game a bit once the workday has concluded.