IKEA makes a major esports play as Singapore gets a gaming line and tournament
If you’re an active member of the esports universe looking to upgrade your living space, get ready to do a whole lot of cursing, which is fine because the payoff is always worth it. Already the go-to store for everyone from downtown condo dwellers to budget-conscious university students to Airbnb landlords, IKEA continues to go after the gaming market. Starting November 4, the Swedish furniture and lifestyle giant will be selling a whole spectrum of products aimed at gamers in Singapore.
To those who either work at IKEA, or blow three-quarters of every paycheque there, the names UTESPELARE, HUVUDSPELARE, UPPSPEL, Matchspel, MATCHSPEL, and LÅNESPELARE will give you a good idea what to expect.
Get ready for everything from CPU stands on castors to glass door cabinets with ventilation holes to mug holders which should prevent you from spilling your coffee everywhere during a League of Legends match. Those items have been available in parts of China since this past spring.
There will also be IKEA gaming chairs, desks, mouse bungees and pads, neck pillows, ring lights with phone holders, and even posters. What there isn’t is an explanation why the names UTESPELARE, HUVUDSPELARE, UPPSPEL, Matchspel, MATCHSPEL, and LÅNESPELARE are, um, ALL IN CAPITALS. It’s like someone’s shouting in Swedish.
Again, to track down every product that’s part of the line you’re going to have to be living in China, or Singapore. If not you’re willing to make a road trip with some extra-heavy duty luggage for the trip back. But with esports a major thing across the planet, and IKEA with stores across the globe, it shouldn’t be long before the gaming line is available everywhere.
As for gamers living in Singapore, the big news doesn’t stop with the furniture line. Perhaps to celebrate the new line, or maybe because someone at the company is a huge Dota 2 fan, IKEA is putting together a major esports competition.
The game is Dota 2, with the format being good old fashioned 1 on 1.
Registration starts November 4 and runs until November 15. There are two categories—professionals (which means you’ve got an MMR of least 3360), and casual (which means, as one might expect, an MMR of 3359 or lower).
The top dog in the pro category gets a US$2,000 IKEA gift card as well as a Republic Of Gaming Strix portable gaming monitor which retails for US$999). Casual-category winners get a US$1,000 gift card along with a ROG wireless keyboard and mouse combo worth US$620.
To take the sting out of claiming second place (aka first place for losers) there’s a US$500 IKEA gift card, while third and fourth place finishers each get a US$300 gift card.
On the IKEA website, designer Jon Karlsson describes the line as offering “Products that offer better ergonomics help gamers excel at what they do without wearing out their bodies—become better athletes, basically.”
And, as anyone who has ever assembled furniture bought from the Swedish furniture and lifestyle will attest, more proficient swearers.