exceL Esports are leaving behind their OMEN gaming house in favour of a dedicated League of Legends training centre at Twickenham Stadium.
The UK org – who will be taking part in the new League of Legends European Championship (LEC) and LVP UK league this year – explained why they’re making the move.
exceL Esports MD, Kieran Holmes-Darby, said: “We are incredibly excited to announce that exceL’s new home is going to be here at Twickenham Stadium.
“We looked at loads of places before deciding on our final home. It’s massive for us as an esports organisation, we think we can take a lot of learnings from the traditional sports industry into esports, and from a networking and a commercial perspective, it has huge benefits.”
Kieran spoke about the importance of having top gaming setups, gym facilities, on-site catering, sports science and sports psychologists at the stadium.
Director of esports, Joel Holmes-Darby, commented: “We’re moving away from the gaming house model because, for us there needs to be a clear separation in where the players live and where they work.
“From a mentality, attitude and discipline perspective, it helps enable the players to come to work, to practice with a different mindset. But it also gives them their own space away from work, where they feel like they can relax and switch off. From a wellbeing perspective it’s certainly going to be a lot better for the players.”
The players will have a separate area for playing and a different space for meeting with the coaching staff, reviewing plays and discussing strategies. There will be two scrim rooms that mimics the stage environment.
“We’re moving away from the gaming house model because, for us there needs to be a clear separation in where the players live and where they work.”
Joel Holmes-Darby, exceL Esports
Players will fly to Berlin each week to take part in LEC matches.
On exceL having a ten-man LoL roster, Joel added: “The ten-man roster is something I expect to become standard in pro esports. In other team sports around the world it’s very rare you have a starting set of players with no squad around them, no options or backup. In League of Legends that can offer you a competitive advantage. And it’s not just about competing with each other, it’s about learning from each other.”
Dave Harris, MD of Guinevere Capital, who invested in exceL Esports last September, said on Twitter:
I’m a huge believer in the model of bringing together traditional sports & #esports. I’m sure the success of our @scg Esports High Performance Centre will be mirrored (or exceeded) by @exceL in Twickenham Stadium. A lot of though has gone into 2019 & innovating in esports! https://t.co/q9wY71PZBu
— Dave Harris (@daveharrisAUS) January 3, 2019
While it’s not the first time Twickenham Stadium has got involved with esports (last year Twickenham hosted the FaceIT CSGO Minors), it’s the first time a training centre has been opened in this way in UK esports. And it’s a massive statement of intent from UK esports organisation exceL who have enjoyed rapid growth over the past few years.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.