In November 2016, UK-based esports organisation Torpedo picked up Gears of War team Marfach, who are one of the only esports teams in Britain to live together in a gaming house. Here, the team’s captain Jack “Trap” Saunders tells us more…
For many of the top esports teams around the world, living in ‘gaming houses’ together has become standard practice.
With four or five players often under the same roof, it allows teams to bond more closely, practice regularly and hold meetings without needing to arrange calls or online chats.
But in the amateur British esports scene, gaming houses have not become the norm. Yet.
Marfach, a Sheffield-based Gears of War team, are one of the only teams in Britain that live together in a so-called gaming house. They were recently signed by UK organisation Torpedo, who they will be representing going forwards.
So what are the benefits of living in a gaming house and what’s it like?
Team captain Jack “Trap” Saunders explains: “The gaming house idea spawned from a conversation had during the announcement of the $1m pro-circuit. The basis of the idea was, ‘if we are going to play for all this money and opportunity, why not go all in and do it right!’ It was something we all agreed with and were comfortable doing, and hopefully soon we will see a return on our dedication and investment into this game and house!
“Living with the team helps for a number of reasons, firstly we are always able to be available due to the commitment – meaning we should rarely to never miss practice or tournaments that other teams may find it a struggle to participate in.
“Another advantage is the ability to visually explain situations to each-other while going through stuff, allowing for faster comprehension and less time wasted. The sense of camaraderie and teamwork translates in and out of the game, giving us somewhat of an advantage whilst playing.
“Other teams should consider doing this if they get the opportunity, mainly due to how much fun you’ll have playing a game at a super competitive level with teammates whose company you enjoy. The benefits of a ‘team’ are as stated above but not limited to just that. Overall the experience will be fun and you’ll be in the best possible position you can be in to accomplish what you set out to do.”
In terms of a typical day in the gaming house, the team will complete any smaller tasks in the morning – breakfast, shopping, showering etc – and the playing schedule usually starts at about 2pm.
Jack adds: “We normally take a couple hours every day going over footage of either ourselves or opposition if we think it’ll be helpful. If not, then we get on the game and go over maps in an attempt to brush our strategies up to perfection. At about 6pm we take a short break for dinner, before starting the night’s practice scrims which normally stretch into the AM.
“My team are rather fortunate financially, we are all able to play Gears of War full-time and still able to support ourselves with no issues.”