It’s said that the strength of an esports scene is how dedicated its teams are to the cause. Do the teams eat, breathe and sleep their chosen game? Professional Vainglory players practice 8-10 hours a day. They play at an incredible level against the world’s best competition. But Team Solomid, always seeking to gain a competitive advantage, have taken their commitment to the next level. This week, TSM have become the first dedicated Vainglory team to move into a team house.
“Houses are the industry standard for the most developed esports,” explains team captain FlashX. He and teammates BestChuckNa and VONC are currently unpacking boxes in their recently signed house in the suburbs of Las Vegas, Nevada. While TSM’s house is the first team house for Vainglory, he anticipates that it just the beginning because none of the pros will want TSM to have a training advantage. “You’ll see other houses follow suit.”
The Makings of a House
So why is a team house such a strategic advantage? Not only do dedicated team houses provide convenient opportunities for practicing, but a central location also ensures the team gets on the same page. “We saw how successful bootcamping had been in the past, and we wanted to see how extended bootcamping would do for us,” explained FlashX. “Living together will help overall team bonding and grow team synergy to heights that cannot be achieved normally. Having everyone in the same house and on the same schedule creates a more focused atmosphere where we can effectively motivate each other to continue improving as individuals and as a team.”
The TSM house did not come into being overnight. There have been talks between the team members and with the TSM organization for months. Both Chuck and VONC are native Californians, but with real estate being more expensive out west, they found Las Vegas to be a better alternative. “You get half the price and twice the size,” explains FlashX.
“TSM has been super supportive,” he adds. The TSM organization contributes to not only rent, but also toward purchasing bare essentials for the house. “We didn’t have a lot of the obvious things — silverware, furniture, etc.” TSM is paying the rent, groceries and utilities. For the young team, with two members barely out of high school, the TSM house isn’t just their first team house, but their first time living away from home.
In talking to FlashX, it’s clear it has been a year of change. Last year at this time, he was working in sales for an office supplies store. VONC and BestChuckNa, meanwhile, were just getting out of high school. Both parents and friends think it’s “pretty crazy,” how they’ve gone from their old lives to now being professional gamers, living in a dedicated team house. But FlashX has actually found their loved ones’ to be “Super, super supportive.”
TSM has gone through different rosters and different international competitions before arriving at the current lineup. Now, they’ve made this commitment to each other and to this house ahead of the Vainglory 2016 World Championship.
TSM has already qualified for Worlds, starting in Group B against Hack (Korea) and GankStars Cerberus (EU). We’ll see if this new level of dedication and commitment pays off on Vainglory’s biggest stage. Whether living together provides a large strategic advantage, FlashX is confident that they’ll be facing other teams with houses in the future. “It’s only a matter of time.”
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