Destination esports locations have risen in prominence in recent years, with many cities lauding how tax and tourism revenue are heavily impacted by hosting major esports tournaments.
Swedish city Malmö reported that the 2022 LEC Summer Finals generated over SEK 50m (~£4.03m) for the city. Meanwhile, tournament organiser BLAST has claimed that it created over €22m (~£19m) in economic impact for host locations of its esports events. Simply put, fans are coming to these events and are willing to enjoy these experiences — and hotels have started to realise this.
In 2022, hotel chain PARKROYAL COLLECTION teamed up with AMD x Asus and Microsoft to launch the AMD Gaming Experience, a suite specifically designed for gamers and esports fans. The suite, situated at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore, featured a two-person PC gaming setup with the latest gaming laptops, powered by AMD Ryzen and Radeon, monitors and gaming chairs. An Xbox console and a choice of Secretlab chairs or bean bags rounded out the suite’s lounge area.
The Suite’s first launch campaign took place from October to February 2023, however, the AMD Gaming Experience has quickly been made available again until December 31st 2023.
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering’s plunge into esports and gaming-focused hotel rooms uncoincidentally occurred at the same time that The International, Dota 2’s largest event, took place in Singapore. It is that opportunity that Lim Wei Yang, Sales Manager for PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, highlighted when speaking to Esports Insider.
“After watching an exciting tournament, gamers would be itching to hop on to PCs to play and have fun” Lim said. “[Residents] making their way back to the room [can now] have everything ready and set up for them to have their gaming desires satisfied.”
Creating a suite of rooms tailored towards esports and gaming fans during major international events is likely a clever marketing strategy. It could even create exciting opportunities for players competing in events; perhaps in the future using these esports-tailored rooms could be easier for a player and esports organisation as opposed to travelling with expensive equipment to train.
However, given how esports by nature is heavily reliant on internet connectivity, it’s crucial that these rooms have the right infrastructure. In an AMD campaign summary document provided to Esports Insider by the semiconductor company, it was noted that the room for the suite’s first launch was redesigned, both visually and functionally, to cater to PC, console and mobile. This included the internet speed in the suite being increased.
From PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering’s perspective, Lim noted that some of the most challenging parts of developing this room included setting aside time for the renovation, finding the right materials, ensuring that there will be sufficient power to have all the devices running at the same time and making sure that the gaming rigs are in 100% working condition after each guest checks-out.
Taking traditional brick-and-mortar facilities and making them ‘esports ready’ is a growing trend within the industry, ranging from sports venues, cafes, casinos and now hotels. Despite global economic difficulties — which have undoubtedly impacted the esports sector — these developments highlight that there is still a growing audience that is looking to take part in competitive gaming opportunities.
This not only bolsters the esports ecosystem from a structural standpoint, but it allows companies such as hotel chains to connect with younger audiences and tap into the sector. Whilst PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering aims to provide esports accommodation, the hotel also looks to maintain its ethos of creating a luxurious experience. As a result, the experience includes luxuries such as full access to the Microsoft Xbox Game Pass library, a selection of Monster Energy drinks and an exclusive in-room dining menu specially curated by the hotel’s chef.
“The Hotel [PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering] is promoting a luxury lifestyle experience for the gaming community to enjoy a staycation or holiday while being able to do what they love,” Lim explained.
“At the same time, it promotes and supports the gaming and esports community in the APAC region. The Gaming Experience has definitely put us on the map within the esports industry and built some awareness for the hotel.”
According to AMD’s campaign report, the suite, alongside its other The International 11-focused campaigns, helped raise the brand’s profile.
AMD itself noted an increase of 880% in gaming laptop sales in comparison to the previous period (December 4th-31st vs November 6th-December 3rd). This was attributed to marketing activations such as a giveaway to the suite, media reviews, social media callouts and hotel promotions.
For PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, the hotel has realised that Southeast Asia is a hotbed for esports and gaming across PC and Mobile disciplines. With a greater number of international events coming to Singapore, alongside other neighbouring countries, the appetite to provide a luxury esports experience in the region is apparent, whether that’s for fans or competitors.
Hotel rooms and suites designed for esports players and fans will undoubtedly only serve a niche section of individuals. Still, the development of these facilities, which have become more and more popular in Asia in recent years, showcases how esports and gaming has become more entwined with modern culture.
Supported by PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore.