With world class facilities, the new European Team Liquid training facility is providing the best possible home for their players.
Team Liquid is an infamous esports organisation, dominating games such as League of Legends, DOTA 2, Rocket League, and more recently, VALORANT, for 20 years. And now, Team Liquid are opening their latest facility in their founding city of Utrecht, The Netherlands.
The EU facility is the second of its kind for Team Liquid, who also operate an LA HQ, and celebrates almost a decade-long partnership between themselves and Alienware. The Alienware Training Facility (AWTF) will act as the European headquarters for the organisation and become a home for players, staff, and talent alike.
With goals of providing excellent facilities and services to sustain mental and physical health and architecturally sustainable construction, the state-of-the-art 1060sqm building was designed from the ground up, and has many fantastic features for the players to enjoy and utilise. These range from scrim rooms, onsite accommodation in the form of apartments, a gym, a full-time chef, and state-of-the-art tech from Alienware to test their skills on.
The standard is set for esports training facilities, and to get a further glimpse into this world-class setup, GGRecon spoke to Brittany Latanzio, the Senior Talent Manager for Team Liquid, to get all the details on the EU AWTF.
How many people are living at the AWTF right now?
We have staff here – about 20 staff full-time that live in the Netherlands. Some are Dutch, and some relocated like myself. Then we have five players who've moved here. And another team that's pretty much here all the time anyway boot camping. By the end of the year, we should have about 50 people in the office.
It's an important thing for us at Team Liquid that we are doing things as sustainably as we can.
Tell me about the sustainable construction the facility boasts.
The city municipality facilitated part of the construction - they were very excited to have Team Liquid here in the city, and they were very helpful with getting us the right permits, and making sure "hey, just so you know, this is a Dutch code for environmental etc." Part of it is the glass in the windows, part is the air recycling and electricity grade, and the other part is the plant wall that we have in the player lounge. It's a full wall of plants to keep the air fresh.
Do you have solar panels?
We do, on the top floor. Two floors are offices, there's us on this floor, underneath us is a gym, and above us is four floors of apartments.
So it's healthy inside and out!
Yeah, we try to be as sustainable as we can with buildings. It's an important thing for us at Team Liquid that we are doing things as sustainably as we can, and with our partners too - its everyone's obligation.
An emotionally healthy environment is important due to burnout etc. What facilities/products do you have on offer within the building to promote that for the players?
A lot of people who are now working from home have maybe had this experience – if you’re working where you’re sleeping, you start to feel a bit cramped and a bit stir-crazy. The old way of having gaming houses for esports was to have a team house, and everyone lives, sleeps, games, works in the same house. So, the first thing that this facility has done that is different is we have the scrim rooms where we play, and they go upstairs to the apartments, and that’s where they sleep. And something as small as having the separation does so much for mental health. You’re sleeping better because you’re not staring at your PC thinking about the game, but also it makes your practice better because psychologically you know when you walk into that training room “this is where I practice hard, this is where I focus, this is where I do my analysis, all work stuff happens here.”
We also have a chef who cooks three meals a day for them, and its always healthy food. We have gym memberships with the gym across the street, but with the Coronavirus, that’s a bit tricky so we bought some of our own gym equipment they can use during quarantine. That’s important, too – being physically active.
Where the green wall is there’s a player lounge, so they can play Rock Band in there, play ping pong, chill. All these things are things we thought about.
How many players do you have coming over from different countries?
We have three guys who moved here from the UK, and they moved here ten days ago (our VALORANT team). Then we have our DOTA team who practice here a lot, and they will be in the second scrim room. We have guys from Germany, Sweden, and Norway on that team. In terms of staff, I’m from Canada, and we have a guy from the US, people from Brazil, Wales, all these places – pretty much global.
Is there anything you think the EU facility does or will do better than the LA one?
It’s nice for us because we had the experience of working the LA one and building that, so you learn a lot. Whether that’s from a design standpoint, or how much work behind the scenes there is to do to build a facility, the legal stuff, the contracting stuff, architecture etc. We learned a lot from that. This facility is a bit different because there’s more thought to giving quiet areas for players to just chill. The scrim rooms are their own area, but they could come into our open office and chat with us as well. In LA, it’s a lot more connected. So I think we do better managing the space and the segmentation. But that, of course, was with feedback from players in the other facility.
Obviously, it’s an Alienware Training Facility, so everything the players use is Alienware?
Yes! They were gracious enough to provide us with the equipment, everything, all peripherals, monitors, PCs. It’s all outfitted.
Are there staff specifically to help with physical and mental health within the facility?
We have a sports psychologist, three actually now, they work with all of our teams. They can request, or if we feel they need to speak to them about mentality, so we provide that. A lot of players get wrist injuries, so we work on posture and exercises with them. That’s the kind of services that we provide the players to keep them playing and healthy.
This AWTF has only just opened, but are there any other plans for more Team Liquid facilities across the world?
I would not rule it out. I can’t really say much more - I would not be surprised.
Images via Team Liquid | Alienware