Quasar Gaming ‘LAN party’ will bring eSports to Fort Smith

by Aric Mitchell (amitchell@talkbusiness.net) 1,014 views 

ProPak Corporation and Pinnacle Communications have signed on to help sponsor Fort Smith’s first large-scale LAN party.

LAN refers to a local area network in the technology sector. But in the gaming world, it (a LAN party) means a gathering of gamers who bring their own computers or gaming consoles to a set location, primarily for the purpose of playing multiplayer video games together. This particular LAN party, organized in part by ProPak employee Denver Dodd under the Quasar Gaming banner, will be a weekend-long event from Nov. 2-4 from ProPak’s 1100 Garrison Ave. location.

It will feature a 24/7 gaming center for more than 60 players at a time. Players will have the ability to come and go as they please. There also will be a two-day long Overwatch tournament. Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It released in May 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows-based platforms.

Additionally, there will be a final watch party and after-party in the historic New Theatre and the adjoining Garrison Commons park on Garrison Avenue. Quasar envisions the event as a chance to bring “people from the region, state, and neighboring states to game, network, and join in the friendly competition,” according to the group’s website.

The event “celebrates gaming in all of its forms and allows users to have a fun environment for a weekend-long gaming bash,” the website continued, noting the 24/7, three-day runtime is designed to “take the adrenaline rush of gaming, competition, and camaraderie to a new level.” There also will be an opportunity to check out games from local indie developers.

“This may be the first time that Quasar Gaming is being hosted, but it won’t stop here. We aim to make this a yearly event that will grow with every iteration,” the site states, adding that the target audience will be “everyone who embodies and celebrates gaming.”

In addition to the Overwatch tournament, there will be console gaming booths featuring tournaments, as well as Magic the Gathering tournaments and a giant LAN center for individuals to bring their own setups.

“We provide the electricity, internet, and tables; you provide the gamer.”

The tournaments will be free and open to the public, and it will be alcohol-free and family-friendly, “so sponsors are key” in its success, Dodd said.

Worldwide, the eSports industry has grown from a niche hobby to a billion-dollar industry in the last several years. Previous reports estimated it would cross the billion-dollar revenue mark by 2019, but that happened in 2017 with Asia leading the way ($406 million), North America a close second ($392 million), Europe in third ($298 million), and the rest of the world accounting for $29 million.