Esports infrastructure startup Nerd Street Gamers (NSG) — formerly N3rd Street Gamers — announced Thursday that it had closed a $12 million Series A round of financing lead by Five Below.
Included in the deal with Philly-based Five Below, NSG will build 3,000-square-foot Localhost esports facilities connected to select Five Below stores in 2020.
With the $12 million in fundraising, NSG will also be building 50 larger regional and university-based Localhost spaces, it said.
“Too few have access to the type of equipment and internet connections required to compete at the top levels, and by addressing that at a national scale we can increase real-life opportunities for millions of people,” said NSG founder and CEO John Fazio said in a press release. “Having one of the fastest growing and most successful retailers support our mission takes us one step closer to making it a reality.”
While Five Below lead the round, it was joined by existing investors Comcast, SeventySix Capital, Elevate Capital and angel investor George Miller, NSG said.
“The partnership with gaming expert Nerd Street Gamers is a unique opportunity to engage with an important and growing community of gamers in many of our locations across the country,” said Joel Anderson, CEO of Five Below.
The move for more physical space for gaming facilities further solidifies Philly’s commitment to esports, Fazio said. The news comes just a few weeks after the city broke ground on the Philadelphia Fusion esports arena in the south Philly Sports Complex. NSG also sponsored a Localhost facility in the Wells Fargo Center, which opened during the international Overwatch Finals held in Philadelphia last month.
A few weeks ago, the 2019 RealLIST startup changed its name from the “N3rd Street” moniker to Nerd Street Gamers and revamped its overall look. Here’s what the company wrote about the name change in its announcement post:
We began as “N3rd Street Gamers,” a small community of dedicated gamers who founded the organization on the burgeoning North 3rd Street technology corridor in Philadelphia. But now, our reach is growing nationally, and we wanted our name to reflect that.
To reflect this change, but still remain true to our roots, our logo will use three horizontal lines instead of the “3.” The pronunciation won’t change. We will always be N3rd Street Gamers in our hearts. But we are equally excited to now officially be Nerd Street Gamers.