Tencent Games and Ouyu Technology are teaming up to launch the first esports-themed hotel in Hangzhou, China, set to open later this month. The hotel caters to the mainland’s gaming community, featuring top-of-the-line hardware, comfortable setups, bootcamps, access to professional live-streaming, and even incubation training areas.
At the Tencent-Ouyu esports hotel, the lines between virtual and physical reality all but disappear. The hotel is staffed by an AI, and its offerings more closely resemble those of a digital theme park than traditional bed-and-breakfast. For young locals, the complex allows them to live out an alternate reality – whether that’s dreams of a professional gaming career, or just turning their hobby into a multidimensional experience.
In the luxury retail world, recent campaigns have experimented with gaming platforms, avatar interactions, and virtual hosts. The rise of professional esports players means new ambassadors to tap, with a wide reach among China’s Gen Z. For instance, Nike recently unveiled a partnership with League of Legends professional Rekkle. Industry crossovers, too, have been plentiful, with KFC, Uniqlo, Tesla, and MAC releasing limited-edition products themed around gaming.
What’s significant about this development is that it shows the extent to which the virtual world is now manifesting in the real. Gaming is no longer a niche hobby but a whole lifestyle with sports, careers and now hotels.