What The Heck Is An Esports Gym? | Men's Health Magazine Australia

What The Heck Is An Esports Gym?

Japan just opened its first-ever esports gym in Tokyo and consider us intrigued.

It used to be the case that gaming was once confined to the margins, something many did but rarely owned up to in social circles. Instead, if you happened to be a gamer you hid the identity with a steely determination, reserving your console for evenings only when you took refuge in the shelter of your own darkened room. But how things have changed. Now, gaming isn’t just recognised as a seriously competitive hobby, it’s also a lucrative one and thanks to Esports, its popularity is only increasing. 

As the gaming industry has become a billion-dollar industry, thrusting child prodigies into the kind of spotlight once reserved for sports stars alone, more and more people are looking to gaming as not simply a side hobby, but a potential profession. naturally. It’s led many to “level-up” as it were, as they take a discerning eye to their own home equipment and how best to improve their skills. It’s precisely why Japan’s first gym devoted solely to Esports has opened in Tokyo, known simply as “Esports Gym.” 

Set to open on May 19 in the Akabane neighbourhood of Kita Ward in the northern part of Tokyo, the development is the brainchild of Esports facilitator Recipe and Tokyo Metro, Inc. the goal is to create a safe environment where a culture of joint development can be fostered through Esports. As Gecipe said in a statement, the hope is to create a world where “anyone and everyone can enjoy serious Esporting whenever they want.”

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If the thought of an Esports gym conjures images of weight racks filled with various-sized controllers and finger-flexing equipment, think again. Here, the gym will feature a long and Esports space composed of twelve gaming PCs, complete with gaming chairs and headsets. Players can casually practice their trade here, but where the gym mindset comes into play is through the training; the gym will be the first in the country to offer paid coaching sessions from professional Esports players, with coaches hailing from Crest Gaming, Glory be Esports, and Delta. 

The thought of walking into such a space might sound rather intimidating if you’re not an avid gamer, but it will actually cater to players of all levels, from beginner to advanced, and they will be able to enrol in training, both in-person or online, with students even having the opportunity to become professional Esports players. Through an online course delivered to students, those who are advanced and pass the course could tryout for Crest Gaming. 

While it sounds like every gamer’s dream, the facility is set to open in the coming weeks and will offer regular afternoon hours during the week, with full-day hours on weekends. For those who now find themselves in Japan, know that the PCs will be outfitted with five of the country’s most popular games: VALORANT, League of Legends, Identity V, Rainbow Six Siege, and Puyo Puyo Champions. 

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For approximately $65 AUD per month, players can register as a regular gym member and have daily access to PCs in three-hour time slots. Coaching from professional Esports players can then be added on for a further $33 per hour. For those wishing to skip the contract completely, three-hour time slots are available for $17, but you won’t be able to do professional coaching unfortunately. 

Tokyo Metro and Gecipe have since said they plan on opening more gyms and adding more services too, and we can only hope that some day in the not-so-distant future, an Esports gym might just make its way to Australia, too. 

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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