Value retailer Five Below and Nerd Street Gamers, a national network of esports facilities and events, have opened esports facilities connected to two Five Below stores in Georgetown, Texas, and Philadelphia, with a third location, in St. Louis, slated to debut later this month, and additional sites in the pipeline. The Nerd Street Gamers Localhost locations enable gamers of all skill levels to take part in esports competitions, bootcamps, training sessions, summer camps and hourly play in a wide range of video games.
Customers can enter the facilities, which offer live in-person events played on professional-level equipment, from either outside the store or through a portal within the Five Below location that connects to the Localhost.
“Nerd Street Gamers’ mission is to increase access to the equipment and technology required to be successful in competitive gaming,” noted John Fazio, founder and CEO of 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 move comes a year after Nerd Street Gamers revealed Series A funding led by Five Below. Under that deal, the Philadelphia-based companies agreed to open these initial locations as a pilot this year and, based on its results, determine future rollout plans that could include as many as 70-plus 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,” said Joel Anderson, CEO of Five Below, which caters to tweens and teens. “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.”
Founded in 2002, Five Below has more than 1,000 stores in 38 states.