It’s seems like a cliche to say that the year went by fast, but in our case it’s the truth. 2018 was a flurry of events, boot camps, and milestones that have left us out of breath. We even opened our second esports arena; the biggest in the state of Colorado. It’s been one hell of a year for N3rd Street Gamers, and we want to go over a few of the highlights.
Arguably one of the biggest pieces of news for us in 2018 was the strategic investment that Comcast Spectacor made in our team. The partnership linked Comcast Spectacor’s venue management and professional sports experience with the region’s most powerful amateur esports pipeline and marked the advancement of a national framework for in-person esports competition and player development.
Comcast Spectacor’s expertise as an owner and operator of professional sports teams, as well as top-flight venues that elevate the live event experience, this year decided to integrate with our proven ability to engage and cultivate the nation’s rapidly growing esports culture. The partnership with Comcast Spectacor was the catalyst for an avalanche of events and announcements we made throughout the rest of the year.
— SportTechie (@SportTechie) July 2, 2018
At the end of 2017, we announced the Eastern Conference Championship, a unifying circuit that showcased games such as CS:GO, Street Fighter V, Hearthstone, and Rocket League. It featured stops in Philadelphia and Chicago, and culminated in the championship event in Atlantic City. All in all, the ECC boasted more than $200,000 in prize money.
Some of our most iconic events of 2018 were part of the ECC, such as The Philadelphia Fusion Overwatch Showcase and Cheeseadelphia. The Fusion Showcase in November saw a huge crowd turn up to Localhost Philly with names such as Kephrii, Gale, HU Storm, Magna, and Drexel making the level of game play intense to watch–and sometimes hilarious.
— N3rd Street Gamers (@N3rdStGamers) November 11, 2018
Cheeseadelphia also saw great turnout, with 64 players packing into Localhost Philly at Cheeseadelphia 8 to compete for the event’s largest StarCraft prize pool ever.
— N3rd Street Gamers (@N3rdStGamers) December 10, 2018
CS:GO is always going to draw some of the best esports athletes around, and that held true for the CS:GO tournaments in the ECC. The Cougar Open presented by Linode resulted in a $30k tournament held in Atlantic City the Ocean Resort Casino.
— N3rd Street Gamers (@N3rdStGamers) December 24, 2018
Even Bigger Events
HCT Tour Stop at Localhost Philly
One of the most notable event milestones of 2018 was the fact that Localhost Philly was chosen as a rare east coast tour stop of Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone Championship Tour.
The Hearthstone World Championship is the largest Hearthstone tournament in the world, where 16 players from around the globe come together to duel for a share of the $1 million prize pool and the title of World Champion. The HCT stop in Philadelphia hosted 128 players who battled it out for their piece of the $15,000 prize pool and precious Hearthstone Competitive Points.
Registration opens Oct 27th 10AM EDT!
— Hearthstone Esports (@HSesports) October 23, 2018
The HCT wasn’t the only big name to make a stop at Localhost Philly. Redbull also chose us as a stop on their Conquest FGC tour. Red Bull Conquest is a circuit of regional events that focuses on the fighting game community, and we were proud to be the location for the Philadelphia stop — one of only 15 cities across the nation who hosted qualifiers where local players faced off against each other to: RISE. RALLY. CONQUER.
Who will rise, rally, and conquer @localhostphilly?
— N3rd Street Gamers (@N3rdStGamers) October 13, 2018
And when we’re not hosting big events at Localhost, we’re always finding ways to improve the events we organize. There are many that we directed and even more that we hosted at Localhost, but sometimes we get invited to be tournament operators for events that don’t necessarily bear our name. We always approach these with the same professionalism and enthusiasm as we do our own, and HUE Fest was a prime example.
Showcasing Overwatch and League of Legends, HUEFest was a whirlwind of competition. There were favorites and surprises, but ultimately MaryvilleGG won the Overwatch tournament and Columbia College took home the League of Legends trophy.
The #HUEFest Finals start now!
Catch the best collegiate teams competing for glory now at https://t.co/GUutOpLAmr.
— N3rd Street Gamers (@N3rdStGamers) September 22, 2018
2018 wasn’t only about running events, though. We also worked hard to connect and give back to our fantastic community. One example of this happened in July when NSG partnered with Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs to run a 4-week long summer camp for aspiring esports athletes. We firmly believe that the road to a professional career in esports is a holistic venture that encompasses physical wellness and hours of technical coaching.
Another example came in the form of the #PHILLYESPORTS Charity Stream. Running from August 13th to September 7th, the campaign raised over $5,000 for the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. This was the first time NSG had organized and executed a charity streaming event at this scale. All in all, nine players participated, including three from the Philadelphia Fusion and three from Team Dignitas. A couple of our own N3rd Street Gamers even hopped into the mix, while Doolsta proudly represented Philadelphia Union from right inside Localhost’s walls. Each streamer came equipped with his or her own unique personality and flavor.
Toward the end of the year, we wanted to do something to help aspiring esports athletes who don’t have access to the kind of equipment necessary to train and advance. So, we decided to bring together some of the most influential players in the esports industry, including Esports Arena, Esports Stadium, NYXL Shop & LAN, ULT Studios, Novastar Gaming, Game Gym, and Balance Patch. Under the name of the #esportsgives hash tag, The Holiday Esports Drive collected gently used consoles and equipment for charity.
The #esportsgives Holiday Esports Drive is accepting your gently used gaming equipment for a few more days! Help us help disadvantaged kids
by dropping off donations at @balancepatch @NovaStarGaming @GameGymEsports and more.
— N3rd Street Gamers (@N3rdStGamers) December 17, 2018
Colorado’s Largest Esports Arena
The opening of Colorado’s largest ever esports arena was months in the making. Denver’s NSG team chose a prime location and oversaw weeks of construction development in order to finally open on December 7th.
The grand opening was attended by local statesmen as well as esports and traditional sports celebrities.Pro Bowl Wide Receiver and Super Bowl Champion Emmanuel Sanders, although recently inured, event took a few minutes to deliver a live video from the comfort of his home. Sanders will act as a brand ambassador for NSG, making scheduled appearances and promoting on behalf of the esports company throughout 2019 and 2020.
Welcome @ESanders_10 to the @N3rdStGamers family and big congrats to NSG on the Denver opening. Doing big things in esports. Gamers..remember to donate your used equipment to kids in need for the holidays at @localhostphilly and @localhostdenver drop offs. https://t.co/KHoPkQl5H3 https://t.co/DxO9CeTesV
— Ryan Howard (@ryanhoward) December 11, 2018
The National Championship Series
Last but not least, we announced the creation of the National Championship Series. Similar to the ECC we announce around this time last year, the NCS will serve as a unifying series that will showcase a number of titles.
At its core, The National Championship Series provides a platform for any esports players to compete on an even playing field, build and refine their skills, and showcase their talent to colleges and professional team organizations. Hundreds of tournaments and weekly training events held throughout the country under the NCS umbrella will offer an unprecedented scale of access to in-person competitive gaming opportunities. With full access to high-quality gaming equipment, competitors will experience the new standard in esports tournaments.
@N3rdStGamers, a development-minded esports network, is launching a National Championship Series in 2019 for younger players with prizes of $50,000 per video game!
— SportTechie (@SportTechie) December 31, 2018
As you can see, 2018 was certainly a milestone year for us. Everything we did, we did big: from events to esports arenas. You can bet that we’re going to try to make 2019 even bigger.
From everyone at N3rd Street Gamers, thank you and have a safe and happy new year!