Golden Guardians’ new facility influenced by Warriors’ own new center

by Brian Bencomo

Last week the Golden Guardians unveiled their new facility on the Westside of Los Angeles. The space will serve as the home for their League of Legends team, Smash pros and World of Warcraft players as well as team staff.

The state-of-the-art Golden Guardians’ facility opens in the wake of several other esports teams such as Team Liquid and 100 Thieves opening modern facilities for their players in the same area in recent years. However, as an affiliate of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, the new facility was mostly influenced by the Warriors own brand-new facility.

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“We looked at other esports facilities, but we also looked back at the research we did with our Oracle Performance Center at Chase Center,” vice president of GSW sports ventures Kirk Lacob told Nerd Street. “What are the things -- and obviously esports and the NBA aren’t exactly the same -- but there’s a lot of key learnings. How do you build a space that’s best for your athletes, and for your coaches and the staff around that?”

The Chase Center, which recently hosted the League of Legends World Championship final, opened in 2019 in conjunction with the Warriors moving from Oakland to San Francisco. The Oracle Performance Center is located below the arena. Lacob said he did extensive research before building that facility.

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“I went to nearly every single NBA practice facility, went to a bunch of college practice facilities, went to some NFL ones and really other sports trying to pick out what the best things a team needs,” he said.

Lacob is a big believer in learning from other industries, not just your own.

“I don’t think there’s anything where you want to only look at your own industry,” he said. “I think every industry it’s really important to see what key learnings you can get from other industries too.”

Photo credit: Golden State Warriors

The Golden Guardians’ facility has all the bells and whistles you would want in a modern esports facility.

There’s a scrim room for the League of Legends team that’s built with the same specifications the players experience when they play on stage at the LCS arena. There’s a review room for coaches that features 85-inch TVs and four 10-inch overhead speakers to hear player communication.

The facility includes 825 square feet of creative studio space that includes a multitude of lighting settings depending on what content is being filmed. The space has five conference rooms, a fully stocked kitchen and a lounge area with retro games that players and staff can play in their downtime.

There’s even a Pokemon-themed wellness room called the “Poke Center” that includes a nursing station for mothers.

Photo credit: Golden State Warriors

The 10,742 square foot facility is large, and while walking through the facility on a press tour, the large windows throughout and high ceilings made it feel even more spacious. With so much natural light coming in, the organization’s head of esports Hunter Leigh noted that there are a couple different shade options that can be pulled down over the windows to make the practice rooms quite dark, which he said the players tend to prefer.

The modern facility could be a big selling point to attract players, and opened just in time for the League of Legends free agency period, which began Monday ahead of the start of the 2023 season in January.

Lead photo credit: Golden State Warriors

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