Esports Embraces Subscription Model as Covid Decimates In-Person Events

December 14, 2020

Esports facilities providers have long been searching for the right business model — a feat made more challenging by Covid-19. Now one esports company is following the likes of Netflix Inc. and Inc. into subscriptions.

As the pandemic lockdowns hit, Nerd Street Gamers shut down all its esports facilities between March and July and vastly expanded the number of online esports tournaments it offers to stay afloat. The bet has paid off, said Chief Executive Officer John Fazio, with the company posting some year-over-year revenue growth.

Wednesday, Nerd Street is introducing a $20-a-month subscription service, called Nerd Street+, that offers gamers access to live and online tournaments and monthly training time at facilities around the country. Nerd Street operates five locations — ranging from 2,000 to 40,000 square feet in size — in places like Philadelphia and Denver. An outpost in Los Angeles is coming online in the first quarter. The locations are outfitted with $2,500 PCs, $500 gamer chairs and gaming systems like PlayStations and Xboxes.

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