Gaming’s fed into Taiwanese DNA since birth.
We were invited by Taiwan Excellence to witness what Taiwan calls ‘gaming haven’ or as some say, the Mecca of gaming. And we couldn’t agree more from what we were shown around. From learning to be the best in Taiwanese gaming classrooms, to smashing keys for hours in gaming cafes and witnessing gamers from across the globe in compete in Esports world championships, we’ve seen it all.
We've snuck into MSI’s office to play around with heavy-duty gaming laptops and strolled around to see whether we could bring you some classified stuff. Not to forget, Thermaltake’s office was also one of the coolest (literally) places to visit. Especially, if you’re a sucker for RGB and liquid cooling tech. Goosebumps, goosebumps everywhere.
If you’re not a gamer, we’ve squeezed in some good stuff so you’re not left out. Here are a few things you need to know.
Shot on the Google Pixel 3
1) You can learn to game professionally in a gaming classroom
The magnitude of gaming is wide and how. Players of all ages have been exposed to gaming from a very small age. Some get hooked, some drop out, and some have the potential to be the best among the best. Those who have the potential, make their way to the top and have a chance of competing with others from all around the world.
Enter the Lee Ming Institute in New Taipei city, one of Taiwan's biggest gaming classrooms, where students are taught to compete with the world's best in its state-of-the-art gaming classroom. The PCs and accessories are supported by Acer Predator and there’s also a legit teacher who’s prepping kids to be the best. They are taught to better their skills at games like League of Legends or PUBG, design arcade or indie games, edit and create animated movies and taught to code too. So it’s not only and only gaming, it’s everything that surrounds it too. Just like troops around a battlefield.
3) They take gaming very seriously, especially Esports
People in Taiwan don’t just dream about gaming. They live, breathe and swear by it too.
The International e-Sports Federation (IESF) promotes Esports with open arms welcoming people of all races, cultures and languages. Taiwan volunteered to host 2018’s IESF 10th Esports tournament at the Kaohsiung Arena and it’ll also be the first time for Taiwan to host the largest Esports event. Now we’re talking.
Thanks to Taiwan Excellence we were given special access to witness the 10th Esports World Championship competition where gamers, geeks and nerds from over the world were there to spectate other gamers and to watch who reigns king.
Just look at that set up they’ve installed for thousands to come watch. Forget gamers. Old women, men of all ages, kids and tiny toddlers were also present to watch a video game final. That just shows how the Taiwanese love and respect gaming. No wonder these guys are so damn good at video games.
4) It's got the best gaming brands under one roof
If we were to ask you to name three top gaming brands, you’d probably come up with MSI, Asus ROG and Acer Predator. Guess where they're from? Taiwan. From cooling equipment by Coolermaster, to RGB lights and PC chassis from Thermaltake, to motherboards from Gigabyte to gaming accessories by Logitech, to smartphones and VR headsets by HTC and much, much more. Taiwan’s got ‘em all.
We paid a visit to MSI’s HQ to see what’s cooking. They took us around their office to brag about their gaming room equipped with MSI’s best laptops, a streaming room where MSI live streams games and a Virtual Reality room to play around with the best VR titles. We even got to meet Lucky the Dragon in its Lego form. How cool is that?
We were one of the first to explore the world of Virtual Reality at the HTC Kosmospot X Viveland arcade park at Taroko Mall in Kaohsiung city. The place is filled with all kinds of VR titles and motion sensing technology. Just plonk on the HTC Vive Pro and you’re ready to rock and roll. From killing aliens to racing cars to staring at a 3D aquarium, we aced it all. The Vive is just the beginning of VR and it’s a powerful tool for the coming future.
The arcade will not only serve VR fanboys but also mix in Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality. So if you’re making a trip to Taiwan, be sure to stop over at the HTC Viveland to tick mark that 'achievement unlocked' list.
5) You can go ham on DIY tech, quirky gadgets and anime
Taiwan’s the place to be if you’re looking to build your PC from scratch or find missing parts for your gaming rig for real cheap. Or you could go on a shopping spree until your wallet’s crying blood.
We cherished that devilish intention by strolling around small streets, mega malls (Guanghua Digital Plaza) and departmental stores just to ogle at various kinds of never-seen-before gadgets and tech. Because why not. You just need the right person to guide you through its smelly lanes and your wish will be granted. There's also a lot of anime franchise to spend all your money on. Oh, be sure to carry an extra suitcase, just in case.
6) Head out to Explore Taiwan's hi-tech marvels
We hopped on the world’s fastest elevator made by Toshiba to go all the way up to the top of the 5th tallest building in the world - the Taipei 101. The elevator travels at a speed of 60.6kph and teleports passengers from the 5th to 89th floor in 37 seconds. Does it have some kind of nitrous? We felt so.
Mind you, this ain’t some regular skyscraper with sharp edges and glass windows. Since Taiwan’s a little island, it’s prone to all types of earthquakes and the Taipei 101 is built to resist those, thanks to a ball-bearing like structure at the 89th floor keeping it at zen. The Taipei 101 is also one of the greenest buildings in the world too. Environmentalists, take note.
We boarded Taiwan’s High-Speed Train that runs across Taiwan’s west coast (Nangang to Kaohsiung) in a rough 1.5hrs doing an easy speed of 300kph and covering a distance of 350kms. That’s roughly about 3.5hrs if you travelled by car. We never felt at utmost peace whilst travelling at that speed. If it was India, who knows if we’d made it alive or no.
The train station is as big as a domestic airport: it’s kept clean, well organised and makes sure trains are punctual. We really wonder how the Indian government's going to make something similar for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. Hmm.
Welcome to 2018, where gaming’s finally getting into the ‘best careers of 2018’ list. So, if gaming’s the only thing you’d want to do your entire life - then this is your chance to shine.
All you need is skill, luck and lots of money. Have all that? Get ready to run across the hall to convince your mom that you’re on your way to becoming the world’s best gamer.