Together, Nerd Street Gamers and Five Below are bringing esports experiences to life that connect the gaming community in certain cities through live in-person events played on professional-level equipment. Customers can enter the facilities from both outside the store and through a portal within Five Below that connects to the Localhost.
The esports facilities are connected to two Five Below stores in Georgetown, Texas and Philadelphia, Penn., with an additional location in St. Louis, Miss. opening later this month. Each of these Nerd Street Gamers Localhost locations operate for gamers of all skill levels to participate in esports competitions, bootcamps, training sessions, summer camps and hourly play in a wide variety of video games.
"Nerd Street Gamers' mission is to increase access to the equipment and technology required to be successful in competitive gaming," says John Fazio, founder and chief executive officer, Nerd Street Gamers. "Our partnership with Five Below is a key example of how we're working to solve this problem, by bringing opportunities to amateur gamers at a national scale. We're looking forward to seeing the success of these new Localhosts and the future of our relationship together."
This news follows Nerd Street Gamers' Series A funding announcement led by Five Below in October 2019. As part of that deal, the companies agreed to build these initial stores as a pilot in 2020 and, based on learnings from the pilot, determine future rollout plans that could include more than 70 locations over the next few years.
"Our customers are always looking for exciting, new experiences like Localhosts, and we saw the huge potential that Nerd Street Gamers adds to elevate the Five Below experience," says Joel Anderson, chief executive officer, Five Below. "Both of our companies are looking to drive innovation, and we align on so many values – a major one being affordability and accessibility to all consumers. We're excited to partner together to bring esports to everyone regardless of income and to power the next generation of athletes."