Excel Esports launches XLHQ training facility in Twickenham


Excel Esports at Twickenham Image: MJR Group Ltd.

UK-based Excel Esports has entered into a strategic collaboration with Twickenham Stadium to become its resident Esports team, The Esports Observer reported, adding that XLHQ, a dedicated training facility within the stadium, was unveiled to members of the press recently.

Located in Twickenham, England, the 82,000-seat stadium is home to the Rugby Football Union and frequently hosts other events such as concerts and conventions. Excel was unable to comment on the terms or length of the collaboration, the report stated.

“We’ve been discussing strategic initiatives around Esports with the team at Twickenham Stadium for more than a year now,” The Esports Observer quoted Kieran Holmes-Darby, Managing Director of Excel Esports, as telling them.

“With the team here already putting on some fantastic Esports events within the stadium, it felt like the logical next step for them was to have an official resident Esports team setup with their own space. There are a whole host of projects and activations that we can create from this alliance and we look forward to bringing these to life for our communities.”

XLHQ will offer the organization a variety of performance benefits, Holmes-Darby explained, including the ability to create different training environments for solo play, streaming, team practice, or video reviews.

“The separation of training and living space is a vital component of our approach that differentiates us from a lot of other teams in Europe,” said Holmes-Darby. “Basing this facility in Twickenham Stadium enables us to speak with Performance Experts from outside of Esports and gives us considerable legitimacy when engaging with them.”

In addition to training, the collaboration will provide Excel with a physical space it can use to activate brand partners.

“It is really important for us to gain this credibility with a wider audience of people,” he added. “Also, working with the team at Twickenham Stadium opens us up to a great breadth of commercial expertise. This collaboration will thus expand our commercial offering.”

Previously known as “ExceL”, the organization rebranded prior to its debut LEC season with a new logo and name styling—EXCEL, Excel, or Excel Esports. It also released a new clothing line that was produced by Esports apparel company Raven.

Excel currently fields rosters in League of Legends, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft.

Although the LEC is not geolocated like the Overwatch League, Excel appears to be working to establish itself as the UK “home team” for LEC fans.

“We are establishing ourselves as a top tier European Esports organization but we are certainly keen to asset our UK roots,” said Holmes-Darby. “We feel this gives us a unique space within the Esports industry, allowing fans of Esports within the UK to have a team that they can root for. Aligning with a household name when it comes to traditional sports stadiums here in the UK certainly strengthens this branding play.”

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