Fitness technology company Garmin have designed a smartwatch that they believe will elevate the performance of esports professionals.
The Garmin Instinct Esports Edition has been manufactured to help players optimize their habits for improved performance by giving feedback on things such as heart rate, stress level, and sleep.
The watch is said to have a “dedicated esports activity profile” and allows users to share their biometrics to gaming live streams through new tech called “STR3AMUP!”.
Players can broadcast their heart rate and stress level while gaming to show how intense moments affect them, and perhaps how they handle increasing pressure.
This is Garmin’s first esports-dedicated smartwatch.
While Garmin’s latest move into esports may shock some, the company actually partnered with an organization in February 2020. x-kom AGO — a Polish team who competes in CS:GO, League of Legends, and Fortnite — wears the Fenix 6 line of watches through their sponsorship deal.
It’s unknown whether the partnership helped to inform how Garmin designed their first watch tailored to gaming. However, the collaboration does include the collection of data from the org’s players so it would not be surprising if it did indeed inform the tech company on what features gamers need the most.
“Elite athletes around the world depend on Garmin products to monitor and improve their performance,” said Garmin’s vice president of sales, Dan Bartel. “With the Instinct Esports Edition, esports athletes can tap into that same technology to track and examine how their body responds to intense competition.
“Players can also use Instinct’s data to make adjustments in their daily lives, whether it be altering sleep patterns or activity levels, which can result in increased cognitive and physical performance during play.”
Though the Instinct Esports Edition has been officially announced, there is no word on the availability or price of the watch at the time of writing.
Queens Gaming Collective, a gaming lifestyle company led by women, has launched with $1.5m in investment.
Founded and operated by women, the collective has assembled to amplify accessibility and opportunities for their content creators, streamers, and competitors so they can “build equitable and profitable careers in gaming.”
Queens Gaming Collective launched to “level the playing field in a crowded, competitive, and male-dominated industry” and have a roster of prominent figures to boot. Each have ownership in the brand and will be given tools and guidance to “unlock economic upside.”
The collective initially houses musical acts CRAY, Sharlene, Coco and Breezy, Erica Nagashima, Sunzibae, bunnymightgameu; content creators AvaGG, Kiera Please, demisux, Bloody, Kayla Delancey, BlackKrystel, xmiramira, SavEdgeDoll, HelloIAmKate; influencer Carrington Durham; cosplayer Maid of Might; and WNBA champion Alexis Jones.
Queens Gaming Collective members Kiera Please (left) and AvaGG (right).
The aforementioned members will create collaborative content and activations for platforms owned by Queens Gaming Collective. They’re also joined by an ambassador network, dubbed the Queens Court, that includes former NBA star Baron Davis and media figure Karen Civil.
Dexerto asked CEO and co-founder Alisa Jacobs why it was important for Queens Gaming Collective to exist. “Because it is wildly shocking that it didn’t exist. Nearly half of the world’s gamers are women,” she said. “Nonetheless, through the lens of representation, especially in streaming, where are all the women? For every Pokimane or Valkyrae, there are a dozen men — Ninja, Shroud, Myth, TimTheTatman, Dr. Disrespect, Dr. Lupo, etc.
“Our Queens have built their own dedicated, engaged audiences, but all want and deserve additional support to elevate and expand within the industry. This is where we come in. We are an arsenal. We provide the professional weaponry required for battle, including heavy artillery like meaningful resources, platform and opportunities. While there is plenty of white space to develop and celebrate these gamers, it takes a village. There is a more resounding, industry-wide issue that we are adamant to address. It’s an immediate call to action for all of us.”
Cloud9 announced the first all-female Valorant roster on October 25.
“We love seeing top-tier esports organizations putting action behind their words, and are sincerely rooting for each team and initiative,” she said. “It sets the precedent. However, there is still a lot of work to be done here. We’re just scratching the surface when it comes to broader areas to tackle in esports and gaming. This is why we are so purposeful in selecting our Queens. Our inaugural class, as well as our investors, executives, staff, and vendors, for that matter, are diverse in terms of background, gender, race, talent and thought.”
The collective have launched with support from investors and endemic gaming companies alike. Razer have joined the company as a partner, providing them with peripherals like mice, keyboards, and headsets to use when creating content.
BITKRAFT Ventures, a firm launched by ESL and G2 Esports co-founder Jens Hilgers, led the investment in the company. Other contributors include Muse Capital founding partners Assia Grazioli-Venier and Rachel Springate, former MTV executive Amy Finnerty, Kappa USA president Dre Heyes, Sugarfina co-founder Rosie O’Neill, and seven other businesswomen.
“Our seed capital is going into critical resources necessary to bring Queens to market and foster our roster’s long-term growth,” Jacobs said of such support. “Razer will provide our talent with the peripherals they need to better create content, and connect with other Queens and their respective audiences.”
With the ethos and approach of Queens being made clear from the get-go, Dexerto asked their CEO as to the ultimate ambition behind the venture.
“Our primary goal is to help create and equalize opportunities for women in gaming and gaming culture,” she answered. “We’ll do that by providing our Queens increased access, management, guidance, and resources they need to be successful. Collectively, all of these can help empower meaningful personal brands and careers, and affect change. We seek to inspire the next generation of culture-makers and young women in gaming.”
Queens Gaming Collective will host a celebratory launch stream on December 5, with team members being joined by the Queens Court on Twitch.