Catalyst Sports & Media announced Tuesday the opening of Sandbox Esports, an esports-specific training facility located in southern California.
The training center will reside inside Sports Academy, a 96,000 square foot sports and fitness facility in Thousand Oaks, Calif. It will seat up to 40 players at one time, and according to a release, the program “combines aspects of physical training exercises (weights, cardio, core exercises, etc.), cognitive development (hand-eye coordination, reaction time, etc.) and an in-game esports training component.”
Amateur players will also have the chance to be coached by professionals. The initial focus will be on League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Overwatch and NBA 2K. The first three games seem obvious, and NBA 2K was selected because of the basketball players that come through Sports Academy and the fact that Catalyst represents NBA and future NBA players.
“We are elated to integrate esports into Sports Academy’s all-inclusive sports offering with the opening of Sandbox Esports in partnership with Catalyst,” said Chad Faulkner, Chief Executive of Sports Academy, in the release. “This first of its kind esports facility and training program allows esports competitors of all levels to train alongside the NBA, NFL and Olympic athletes that train at our complex. We look forward to helping esports athletes take their game to the next level.”
Counter Logic Gaming and FlyQuest, two League of Legends teams in the North American LCS, used the facility before it opened to the public for a special sort of bootcamp in between professional splits. According to the release, the teams used advanced training tools at Sandbox such as “the Dynaboard (hand-eye coordination and reaction time), Neurotracker (memory and task prioritization skills) and recovery equipment (Cyrochamber and Normatec).”
The facility also has an on-staff nutritionist available to develop meal plans for teams and players.
“Participating in this program was the first time that our athletes were able to combine physical training with cognitive esports training,” CLG director of esports Matt Nashua said. “Our athletes were able to receive instruction from the best trainers in the industry while using state-of-the-art technology to perfect their esports skills.”
Sports Academy opened last year as an all-inclusive sports training space. The massive are contains five volleyball courts, two sand volleyball courts, a turf field, batting cages and pitcher’s mounds, among other equipment.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games