North American esports club and organisation Black Ice has announced the opening of its Black Ice Facility in Minneapolis.
The new venue will act as a training facility for both amateur gamers and professionals, as well as a social club for local gamers.
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Founded in 2019, Black Ice is a private social gaming club that also hosts a professional esports team called Black Ice Elite.
Its ‘state-of-the-art’ facility will act as a place for gamers to play, meet, and connect with friends in a private club environment. Black Ice also offers the opportunity for skilled gamers to try out with and compete against the Black Ice Elite.
Co-Founder Riaz Adnan told Esports Insider Black Ice wanted to do something that would break traditional gaming taboos and create a space for community formation.
“We wanted to create one big umbrella of a physical location where we would have communities of gamers who could connect with like-minded people, compete to hone their skills, and have a great time,” he said. “Our goal was to create a space that was not just for pro gamers, but would also serve the casual players who like gaming, mingling with their peers and learning from each other.”
To celebrate the opening, Black Ice will host a multi-game esports tournament on the 24th of September.
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Faisal Hassan, Co-Founder and Executive of Black Ice, commented: “We want to create an ultramodern facility that can host the best in the world, but is also open to the casual gamer or young person that is interested in training to become a professional.”
Black Ice’s new facility is the latest in a growing trend towards the emergence of physical esports venues at the local level. Nerd Street is opening a network of LAN training centres in the US, and Belong Gaming Arenas has numerous such venues across the UK.
In July last year, esports infrastructure company Vindex acquired the Belong brand with ambitious plans to open 500 esports venues in the United States and a further 1,000 in other countries.
Esports Insider says: While the coronavirus pandemic has been busy moving most things online, physical esports venues have bucked the trend. As consumer confidence returns, it will be interesting to see how newfound esports venues like Black Ice fare.