While most people in Philly were watching the events at the Wells Fargo Center this Summer, a far smaller sporting venue was quietly drawing competitors from around the globe. Headquartered in the Northern Liberties community center LocalHost, the N3rd St Gamers have been hosting a series of eSports tournaments, leagues, and other geeky events for going on five years.
On July 23-24 more than 50 gamers flocked to Northern Liberties to compete for a $4,000 prize pool at the latest edition of the Cheeseadelphia Starcraft II tournament series. The winners of Cheeseadelphia 1 and 2 competed and advanced to the second day. American pro player Bailey Thomas (Bails) made it as far as the semifinals but was unable to reclaim the title he had earned in the first Cheaseadelphia event. Diego Schwimmer (Kelazhur) the Brazillian winner of Cheesadelphia 2 amade it to the finals before being defeated by Tae Soo (TRUE) a long time veteran of the highly competitive Korean Star Craft II scene.
“At least at the moment,” said Cheeseadelphia commentator, Tim Connor, “they are essentially the only consistent major NA StarCraft LAN. So, North American StarCraft players flock to it. It’s a chance for the players to be a part of the community and make a living. N3rd Street Gamers is charging up the North American StarCraft scene.”
“Joe LoGuidice, the organizer, has learned an incredible amount about running tournaments/LANs. So, the event was not only run smoother but Joe also managed to double the prize pool. Those things brought spectators and players who had been to the first and second event and many more,” Said Conner.
“We keep saving money so we can do bigger events in the future,” said John Faizo, Co-founder of LocalHost and Jarvus Innovations, “We started off our first events with everybody lugging their computers and monitors in. Then we bought monitors so people didn’t have to bring monitors. Then we bought PC’s so they didn’t have to bring their PC’s, then we started buying our stream equipment. We’ve now spent almost as much on our broadcasting equipment as we have building every single computer and monitor.That’s where we have been putting all our effort and that’s where we think we’re going to get a wider level of exposure. We want our streams to feel more professional.”
Jarvus and N3rd St teamed up recently to create what John describes as a “Marketplace for streaming overlays” which will also provide controls to switch out overlays without coding. While N3rd St Gamers is currently using the overlay system for its tournament casts, once it is released, the system is flexible enough to be used for any type of streamed content, from cooking shows to home improvement tutorials.
“It was just sort of an organic collaboration,” said Faizo, “We didn’t go into it trying to sell goods or services to N3rd St. [Gamers] That was never in the plans, it just kind of happened. Now it presented us with a opportunity so hopefully we can take that money and funnel it back into our events.”