• Jiji


Subway operator Tokyo Metro Co. said that it will open a gym facility for esports, or competitive video gaming, on May 19 in Tokyo’s Kita Ward.

There will be coaching by professional players and courses to enable players to participate in tryouts that are needed to enter professional teams.

According to Tokyo Metro, it will be the first esport facility in Japan to provide a monthly membership service with professional coaching.

Tokyo Metro will run the business with Gecipe Inc., a Japanese company specializing in esports education.

The gym will provide computers and chairs designed for video gaming. Five games, including the popular Puyo Puyo eSports puzzle game, will be available.

The monthly membership fee for regular members, who can use the gym every day, is ¥5,500. Regular members can receive professional training by paying an additional fee of about ¥2,750 per hour.

For courses to become a professional, the monthly fee is ¥12,100.

Tokyo Metro is considering holding its own tournaments and building more gyms along its subway lines.

The esports industry is rapidly expanding in Japan, with one tournament having prize money of ¥100 million.

“We want to expand the base of esports,” Gecipe CEO Takuya Manabe said.

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