We would love to look at the gaming world and how women are underrepresented in the gaming world. So when we got invited to the opening of Wanyoo Esports Studio at Westfield Stratford we had to go check out the Diggs and request a Ladies night at the new location in London. Is this place a safe space for female gamers?
Wanyoo Esports Studio at Westfield Stratford London
Inside Westfield’s new eSports video gaming studio you can order food with the push of a button and reserve private rooms like in a karaoke bar for you and your friends. So to answer the question yes, this is a safe space for female gamers. They even have all pink rooms with plush seats too.
Wanyoo is Asia’s largest and leading e-sports studio, with over 10 million members worldwide and 1,200 stores across the USA, Singapore, Australia, UK and Canada, and the newest store opening at London’s Westfield Stratford is lit and Style Cartel approved for fun for you and your friends and is kid-friendly.
Wanyoo Esports Studio Gamers Paradise
When you think of eSports, you probably imagine lots of sweaty teenage geeks sitting in a mini cinema-type space. The smell of crisps, dirty socks and Red Bull energy drinks fills the air as the Halo soundtrack plays in the background. Yet, Wanyoo is the total opposite of this, the space is a high-end luxury hangout for gamers. With cool blue neon lighting, bubble tea made from fresh fruit, and table service you can summon with the mere click of a button.
Style Cartel Checks Out Wanyoo
This is what you’ll find in Wanyoo – an eSports venue now open in Westfields, Stratford. Situated next to Sports Direct the hub is the second to open in London (there’s another in Charing Cross Road that’s “always full”, we’re told). As you enter you’ll clock Yi Fang, a bubble tea company that exclusively deals in natural ingredients. If you love bubble tea then you will enjoy one this summer in the Covid safe atmosphere.
The vibe is boujee and upmarket, with blue strip lighting illuminating the venue’s interior. In the entrance, the gameplay is projected onto a nearby wall. The Wanyoo marketing manager told us the lobby will eventually become a place for spectators to watch Twitch streams and socialise, a bit like watching football in the pub with your mates. If you are at the top of your game you will also be featured on the screens with your wins and score.
For the uninitiated, eSports is the catchall term for competitive video game playing. Games such as League of Legends, Valorant and Overwatch have spawned entire industries and teams of players train and compete for huge cash prizes in tournaments all over the world. A gateway made of several ethereally lit archways separates the lobby from the gaming space, which employees say is like “passing through a checkpoint”.
On every desk sits a button, which when pressed alerts the staff that the gamer needs table service. They can then order food without so much as having to look away from their screen. Around the space are dotted several sofas with large TV screens. Currently, most of them are connected to PS5s, but Wayoo is planning to add XBoxes and Nintendo Switches if the demand is there.
The sofas are aimed more towards casual gamers a lot of what Wayoo offers is geared towards the less serious crowd, who have come to view eSports studios as modern-day arcades. Just off from the main room, you’ll find the Duel Rooms, where two gamers can enjoy a session alone. You can even draw a curtain for extra privacy, or better lighting, making it ideal for gamer couples looking for a date.
Aside from the Dual Rooms, team rooms are set up for six players (most of the biggest eSports titles use teams of six), however these likely won’t be used until the rule of six is abandoned. The sealed-off rooms are mildly sound-proofed to help the team’s concentration, while controls will enable the teams to alter the temperature and play their music.
Wanyoo Westfield Stratford
In a similar vein, the studio includes a party room, which we were told is geared towards groups of teenagers keen to play team games like Rocket League without having to crowd around the same PC.”Usually two parents sit in the corner while the rest go out shopping,” an employee says. An older clientele is anticipated and Wayoo is prepared to offer alcohol for the post-work crowd should they turn up wanting to chill out and game.
We have already booked a return night for a double date night. Is this the future of fun dating or meeting new people. We hope so, so let the games begin.