The Evolution of Kinguin Esports Performance Center
Michał Gębski, Regional Country Manager at Kinguin, has a huge passion for video games, which all started when he received his first PC, the Atari XL, at eight years of age. Coupling this love of gaming with his ambitious nature, Michał became a competitive gamer, initially battling in Starcraft, before moving into Rainbow 6 and GS:GO. This experience means he understands the importance of needing a place to train before major tournaments and he’s used that experience to ensure that Kinguin Esports Performance Center (EPC) has become that perfect place for teams and players to hone their skills because of its holistic infrastructure and ability to put players’ needs front and center.
Michał has worked at Kinguin for six years now, playing a vital role in evolving the EPC into the world class facility it is today. We sat down with Michał to ask him about his rich history in the professional esports world and to find out more about Kinguin’s EPC, as well as his aspirations for its future.
Back in 2017 I joined Team Kinguin as a PR Manager, where I very quickly realised that the best thing about working here is that you have a lot of autonomy. This is where I saw my chance. There were so many new business opportunities for Kinguin to explore and tap into, and when I outlined these to my Senior Managers, they were not only excited, but also helped me adapt my role to make my visions for the company possible. What I didn’t know then was that this was only the beginning of my journey at Kinguin.
After this, my next challenge at Kinguin was to manage and grow the EPC itself. As a team, we built Kinguin’s EPC from scratch, making it one of the first professional facilities for esports teams and the industry in Europe – something I’m very proud of. My competitive gaming background made this a passionate venture for me. It allowed me to share insights and knowledge into what teams really need – an all encompassing esports training center.
And that’s what we accomplished! Our EPC, which is based in Warsaw, offers the best-in-class facilities and provides teams with unlimited access to training and analyst rooms, streaming opportunities, accommodation, massage room with professional physios, a gym, psychologists on hand and even professional chefs. This goes far beyond just a bootcamp; a professional sport – or esport – requires a professional lifestyle.
Brandon Doerfler, Kinguin’s first acting CEO, recently spoke about his people first philosophy which resonates so well with what we’re doing here at the EPC. People really are our greatest assets and without them, our EPC wouldn’t be the world class facility it is today. Our team truly does go the extra mile. Take for example our newest team member, the concierge, who watches all the games and if they see that you’re still conquering enemies then don’t worry, they’ll reschedule your dinner! It’s that kind of enthusiasm and passion that really helps Kinguin’s EPC stand above the rest.
The first team to put our facilities to the test were the Australian Renegades who originally came for a whistlestop bootcamp. Nine months down the line and they were still here! This said it all, proving that these facilities were needed in the industry. From the beginning of last year, the EPC was visited by world-leading esports organisations such as OG, FaZe Clan, Team Vitality, MiBR, Evil Geniuses, 100 Thieves, Furia and many others.
In terms of future aspirations, we have many. The EPC has already established itself as a leading facility within the industry, but as the teams who come to train at our facilities will know, it’s all about how to stay on top.
One of our ideas is to create our very own Mind Hub. Designed for professional and semi-professional players, it will be made up of three key pillars. These include:
- Performance – consisting of 23 clinical-grade cognitive tests prepared by professional scientists and created specifically for esports professionals. Each test will focus on fundamental cognitive skills, including short-term memory and spatial perception.
- Psychology – a comprehensive psychological assessment based on 35 years of research in professional sport but modified for esports. The assessment will evaluate players’ psychological and social functioning and focuses on 12 intangible performance traits crucial for any esport athlete.
- Medical – a list of biomedical tests designed by doctors for pro-gamers. This medical checkup will be focused on blood, kidney, liver, inflammatory and hormonal functioning and will enable us to detect whether players are suffering from any medical issues, such as dehydration, excessive stress, cardiovascular problems, liver problems and much more.
Putting this analysis together will provide an all encompassing report which will let teams and players know their current performance status, as well as their true potential. If implemented properly by teams, it would be a huge step towards further professionalising esports.
I’m excited to continue leading and pushing boundaries with this exciting venture for Kinguin. We’ll continue to make our state of the art facilities even better – Kinguin Esports Performance Center is where future champions are born – watch this space!