Esports company Nerd Street Gamers (NSG), which recently announced a new HQ on North Broad street a few blocks from City Hall, today announced it will roll out a subscription service to “level the playing field” in the industry.
The service, called Nerd Street+, will offer unlimited live and digital weekly competitions, discounts on larger monthly tournaments and camps and monthly training time at its network of esports venues across the country for $20 per month.
The subscription will launch with nationwide access to all of NSG’s Localhost facilities in Philadelphia, Denver, Austin and St. Louis, as well as partner venues including Esports Stadium Arlington, HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, Axis Replay in Atlanta, Balance Patch in Boston and Digital Battlegrounds in Orlando. More additions are coming soon, the company said.
The new $20-per-month subscription includes gaming PC and console hours at all participating nationwide locations, unlimited free access to weekly tournaments, discounts on larger tournaments and camps, and a variety of other exclusive subscriber benefits.
It will also offer a $5-per-month, digital-only subscription for gamers who want access to compete in NSG’s digital tournaments and camps from home. Both subscriptions, plus some discounted options for students, will be coming “in the near future,” the company said. (Those interested in learning more can sign up for alerts about the drop.)
The rollout coincides with toughened gathering and business restrictions in cities across the county as COVID-19 cases spike. A new localhost facility opened in North Philly last month, but will temporarily close later this week under the City of Philadelphia’s new coronavirus restrictions. NSG’s Denver and St. Louis Localhost facilities will also close until further notice, while the Austin location is open and following safety guidelines, a spokesperson said. Digital access and tournaments are still available.
Nerd Street CEO John Fazio has long talked about the high barrier to entry of traditional sports and esports, citing the company’s offerings as a way people could gather and game together on high-end equipment without needing the make those purchases for themselves.
“It’s a privileged industry,” Fazio told Technical.ly earlier this year. “I think the reality is there’s a lot of folks who would love to get involved but they can’t afford consoles.”
And that’s the motivation behind the company’s subscription service now, he said. A career in esports is becoming more and more a reality for those looking to join the industry, but not if they don’t have funds to keep up with the latest consoles and games.
The company and industry has grown during the pandemic: The company saw a level of membership growth somewhere around 900% this spring, as thousands more people signed up to play from home. But the pandemic also highlighted vital digital equity issues throughout the city, Fazio said.
“The pandemic demonstrated a serious technology gap as students across the country lacked the equipment and internet to connect for remote learning,” he said. “As we figure out how to get back to normal, this subscription will help to ensure esports are accessible for those who need it most when they need it the most.”-30-