News, Views, and Reviews
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Last Monday was exactly to the date, one year after I sold my LAN center, the Virtual Arena, and it was the day I began working for eBash in Indiana. I couldn’t have picked a better place, or a better time, to resume work in the LAN center business I’m so passionate about. eBash is opening a brand new location on the north-east side of Indianapolis, and l jumped on board to help finish around-the-clock preparations for a massive pre-opening Call of Duty tournament. Describing the preparations, the tournament itself, and what happens next at eBash, is a great topic for My View Screen, because it’s all about video games!
The Set Up
eBash is already a well established LAN center business, with one location in Terre Haute, Indiana and a franchise location in Charleston, Illinois. They had a third location in Indianapolis, about ten miles from the new location, which closed in favor of opening the newer, bigger building. It’s such a big building! For this new location, eBash is cooperating with a high-end electronics vendor called Ovation. Ovation sells and installs massive home theater set ups, the kind you’d see in big, expensive houses, as well as installing car audio systems. eBash has taken over an unbelievable 7,000 square feet of their main showroom, and is turning it into the most impressive, state of the art LAN center I have ever seen.
The main entrance is now a giant lobby/spectating area, with rows of chairs facing the main stage. This stage allows two teams of five to compete with each other, facing the audience, with each of their displays split to their own monitor and a bigger screen that also faces the audience. For the Call of Duty tournament, we accommodated 4 v 4 (four versus four) matches, and also streamed two players on each team on a twitch.tv broadcast. This main room also contains the staff desk and concession stand, as well as a few couches and tables and chairs.
To the left of the main room is a wide hallway that now contains three “islands” or dual-sided counters that can accommodate up to five people on both sides, for a total of thirty stations. Again, for the tournament, we only needed four stations per counter, so these three islands supported twenty-four players or six teams at once.
Also to the left of the main room is the entrance to one of two separate rooms, each supporting two more counters and two more teams. The second room is at the end of that wide hallway that contains the islands. There are two more rooms at the end of that hall, plus two more rooms to the right of the staff desk, but we didn’t use any of those rooms for gaming stations during the tournament. There is one MORE room at the end of the wide “island” hallway that we left as-is from its previous use in the Ovation show room as a “home theater” room. I mean it has six giant “lazy-boy” chairs facing a big projector screen, THAT kind of “home theater” room. We streamed the twitch.tv broadcast to that room, as an overflow of the main lobby/spectator room.
The Big Tournament
In the future, those four additional rooms will contain more gaming stations, but for the Call of Duty tourney, we had a total of forty-eight Xbox 360’s supporting twelve four-player teams, playing six matches at a time. That may seem pretty big, and it was. The final count was thirty two teams and about sixty spectators, or nearly two hundred people in attendance. The top three teams divided a $4,000 prize pool, and additional door prizes were donated by vendors like Modjunkiez and Astro. At its peak, the twitch.tv broadcast had about one thousand viewers.
The teams came from all over the country, with the three finalists representing that diversity: In 3rd place, the “Mod Junkies” represented “the home team” from Terre Haute; in 2nd place, “Team Kaliber” contained members from Canada, New York, New Jersey, and Kentucky; and the champions “Team Chicago” also consisted of players from different cities. Even though it lasted until almost 5 am, several teams and spectators stayed behind to see the epic resolution between “TK” and “Team Chicago.”
With technical issues still being resolved at the very last minute, there is room for improvement, so I can’t wait for the next big event at eBash. I am super proud of being involved in such an amazing event! I feel like I’ve “moved on up” to a new level of the LAN center business, and it was fun to participate in the “eSports” scene. eBash is scheduling their annual “48-Straight” event for the Thanksgiving Day weekend, and that should also include the new Indy location. Just like it sounds, customers can pay to play from 8 am Friday morning until 8 am Sunday morning, or 48 hours, with pizza and donuts provided. Beyond that, the new location will be open for regular business, and plans include an “eSport” tournament at least once a month. I love that stage. I love the look of the building and how it can accommodate so many people at once, players and spectators, and I’m sure it will be a go-to-destination for families and gaming enthusiasts of all ages!