Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
It’s no secret that the video game industry is rapidly growing and changing. Stephen Gheysens, 25, realized this when he sat down to play a new video game a few years after graduating college.
As he started to play, Gheysens realized that even a little time off from video games had left him much worse at gaming then he used to be.
“I turned to my friend and said, ‘I would literally pay for a lesson so that I could enjoy this,'” said Gheysens.
Thus, GamerTrainer — which is based in Arlington — was born. Even though eSports, the professional competitive gaming industry, is constantly expanding (it even has its own page on ESPN), there was no formal platform for one-on-one video game lessons, according to Gheysens.
“There are pro gamers out there that already give lessons but they’re very informal,” said Gheysens. “Why would you watch a YouTube video of someone playing the piano when you could take a lesson?”
GamerTrainer differentiates itself from just watching an online tutorial in that every lesson is personalized to the gamer.
“When you learn from somebody and have that direct feedback from someone that’s spent years perfecting the craft of the game, they’ll be able to see ‘Okay, you’re making this mistake, here’s how to correct it,” said Gheysens.
Anyone can take a lesson through GamerTrainer, whether they are just a beginner trying to get better for fun or a serious player wanting to sharpen and perfect their skills so that they can compete professionally through eSports.
“The market is really out there,” said Gheysens, “There’s a lot of money being pumped into eSports, and just recently a game called Overwatch launched a league of players in eight different cities.”
The GamerTrainer platform hasn’t officially launched yet but is expected to within the next couple of weeks. Lessons will take place over the popular online game streaming platform Twitch.
The person taking a lesson will have an online video chat with a trainer, and the trainer will also be able to see their game on the screen. This allows anyone to take lessons from the comfort of their own home.
Gheysens is aware that there are hundreds of video games out there and that no one can have a versed knowledge of every single game.
“We’re focusing on the top fifteen or so competitive games across PC and consoles such as Xbox One and PS4,” said Gheysens. Popular games include Overwatch, Call of Duty and the Madden NFL series.
“Train with the Best to Become the Best,” is GamerTrainer’s motto on Twitter, as the new startup makes its way through a rapidly expanding industry.