This new Toronto gaming lounge is a player's dream come true
If you're going to spend eight hours playing Fornite, you might as well do it surrounded by friends and snacks, in an X-Rocker pedestal chair, with top-of-the-line head sets, monitors, and radio communication channels.
LAN Lords Gaming Centre, a brand new 1,500-square-foot e-sports and gaming venue in Koreatown, is the best friend's basement of your wildest dreams.
Billed as the first experience of its kind in Toronto, the space has 12 Playstation 4s, 12 Xbox Ones, Nintendo classics (SNES, N64, Switch) and a Group Play area that can host parties of up to 8 people, as well as a confectionery serving snacks and drinks (though parties are welcome to bring their own fast food, too.)
"We cater to both casual and competitive gamers alike," says Rodney Valerio, who c-founded the space with Clemens Kim. "Games are better played together in one room and we wanted to bring this experience to Toronto."
The concept is a modern take on old-school LAN (local area network) parties, where people would meet up in one room with their computers or consoles to play multiplayer games together.
The purpose of this was to form a solid connection between every gamer's machine and eliminate lag — but it also brought like-minded folks together for hours of fun and collaboration.
Better, more affordable Internet access has largely eliminated the need for building local networks like this. You can kick someone's butt in Tekken from across the world, in real time, without either of your devices skipping a beat.
You can't see their face when you beat them, though, or high-five a teammate in FIFA 18.
As Polygon's Ben Kuchera put it back in 2015, "Watching people physically react to every kill, or become frustrated when you dominate them in the scoreboards, is a delight you don't get with online play."
Valerio says that LAN Lords is looking into getting a liquor license to serve alcohol in the near future, but stresses that they're focused on providing a gaming experience (as opposed to a bar night experience with games in the mix a la Power Up or Meltdown.
A grand opening event is set to be held between July 6 and 8, but the space is already open for business at 703R Bloor Street West.
You can book a chair for $7 an hour and pick from dozens of sports, fighting, shooter and group play games, like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Kirby All Stars.
"We purchase all our games digitally to prevent theft but also ease of access for our gamers," says Valerio. "After an hour of Horde Mode on Gears, they can easily switch to a squad run on Fortnite with ease."
"We are continuously updating our library of games and if we find a need for a particular game that our clients want, we will gladly purchase and download them for our consoles."
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