Esports is a growing business, and players who stream or play in organized tournaments have different needs than those playing at home for fun. The gaming PC company iBuyPower is aiming squarely for the Esports market with the Revolt 2, a gaming system with some fairly unique capabilities.
"A big pain point [for tournaments and streams] was that a lot of players had their own settings, and they were flipping out the solid state drives, but doing that you had to take off the side panel, unscrew it all, so we just thought to put it right in front and make it a 20-second process," Tyrone Wang, the company's manager of esports development told Polygon.
The window on the top of the PC's case actually flips up, and the SSDs simply slide in like a cartridge. You can bolt them down if you need to move your case, but the design allows the system to be set up and SSDs to be swapped in and out in a matter of seconds, not minutes. It's not a hot-swap, you still have to power the system down, but it's much faster and easier than any other case I've seen.
The image on the top of the article shows the system closed, while the picture below shows what it looks like with the window flipped up to allow access to the two SSDs and the graphics card.
The window on top also allows you to show off all the money you spent on your GPU.
"We wanted to focus on the graphics card, that's what makes a gaming PC so different than a regular PC. So we decided to highlight it with our RGB smart lighting," Wang said. So when the system is running you can see both the graphics card and the SSD through the window, and you can set up any variety of lighting effects so the colors change slowly, or you can make it look like the system is breathing. But, you know, while being purple. Or any other color you'd like.
The design of the case and how the components fit is also interesting. With the graphics card on top of the system, you can fit a mini-ITX motherboard in the system, along with full-sized cooling solutions. This allows for a more compact system even though the components are all geared for hardcore gaming.
The sides of the case, with their opaque white plastic, are also perfect for personal branding. Esports teams of players can put their own logo or color scheme on the system, and then adjust the lighting near the SSD and GPU to match. iBuyPower showed us several custom cases, and said that in future you'll be able to add your own branding during checkout. I was shown a custom branded MSI case, shown below.
As well as a case with an image of toast, due to someone's feedback on the case, saying it looked like a toaster.
You can pick up the systems in a variety of configurations, with pricing starting at $899, and iBuyPower even selected models of SSDs and graphics cards for their aesthetic value through the window as well as power. Why have a window to a component if it looks boring?
While the number of professional gamers may not be huge at the moment, the Revolt 2 is also aimed at being slightly aspirational ... if you're interested in one day becoming someone who plays for a living, why not have a system that looks the part?