OCEANSIDE — The city’s videogaming community now has a new hub for e-sport tournaments, training and access to high-tech equipment and fast Internet speeds.
On April 3, Localhost Oceanside held its grand opening as a brand new e-sports facility, welcoming gamers from all over the city and region to check out its collection of powerful PCs (personal computers) and other gaming consoles.
Localhost is an e-sports facility owned by the national e-sports company Nerd Street Gamers. Headquartered in Philadelphia with regional and smaller locations located throughout the country, Localhost Oceanside is the first of what will soon be several locations on the West Coast as part of the national company’s westward expansion.
“Oceanside by nature has a big gaming community,” said Store Manager Ashley Carter on why the North San Diego County city was selected as the first West Coast location.
Localhost is where Nerd Street Gamers hosts tournaments and training opportunities for gamers of all experience levels. Soon another location similar to the Oceanside one will open in Bakersfield followed by a much larger regional location in Los Angeles where even bigger tournaments will be held.
“Localhost Oceanside is a great place where you can start training for those tournaments,” Carter said.
Along with its 36 PCs and a handful of consoles, such as PlayStation 4s, Xbox Ones and Nintendo Switches, Localhost even has its own tournament stage. Currently, tournaments are held online only, but once more COVID restrictions are eased the facility will be able to start holding those competitions in person.
Localhost aims to provide a level playing field for guests of any age, gender and level of gaming experience.
Even Carter, who manages the new facility, considers herself an amateur gamer when it comes to PC play.
“I’m definitely a spectator,” she said. “I just don’t have that eye-hand coordination, but I get to watch all these great gamers and be entertained while working.”
While the facility includes both consoles and PCs, it’s more aligned with computer gaming, which typically has higher graphics and resolution, faster gameplay and a wider variety of games to choose from than consoles.
Amateurs like Carter can come to Localhost and learn the proper skills it takes to be a PC gamer.
“We’re going to offer training, boot camps and summer camps along with hosting tournaments,” Carter said.
According to Carter, e-sports are growing in popularity.
“It’s a social interaction kind of like when you’re in marching band,” she said. “You’re going to forge those same kinds of relationships, same kind of camaraderie here.”
Localhost is a place where friends can come and hang out for a few hours and play games together, like Darrius Addison and Antonio Avalos who played “Rainbow Six Siege” at the grand opening.
Neither Addison nor Avalos have a PC at home that they can use.
“This is one of our first experiences with PC,” Avalos said.
Both young men have been interested in getting to PC gaming for some time, but buying or building your own PC setup can be extremely expensive. For them, it’s far cheaper to visit Localhost and rent a spot at one of the PC chairs with all the proper, top-quality equipment and high-speed Internet they need already provided.
Carter noted that visiting Localhost can help amateurs determine if PC gaming is for them and if it’s worth investing into their own equipment, which they can also bring in to use at Localhost.
“Even if I do get my own PC, I will still be sure to come here,” Avalos said. “This is our new chill-out spot.”
Localhost Oceanside is located at 459 College Blvd., Suite 9, within the doors of the plaza’s new Five Below store, a partner company to the new e-sports facility.