Revelstoke gamers filled the Knights of Pythias Hall for a 24-hour Spring Smash 2015 video game marathon this past weekend.
The RevyLAN group was created in 2014 with the goal of bringing e-sports enthusiasts together for live meets.
Organizer Jay Morrison estimates there are about 200 to 300 “very serious” gamers in Revelstoke who spend six to eight hours per day playing.
Getting them together offline is a bit of a challenge.
“It’s tough to meet local gamers unless you are friends outside of that,” Morrison said. Gaming’s done at home and doesn’t create as many social opportunities as public activities like, say, skiing.
“You never get the reverse, you never meet about games and then say, ‘Let’s go skiing,’” he said.
His goal is to bring the social aspect into gaming.
“There is definitely a community here,” Morrison said.
Over the weekend, this tournament focused on Super Smash Bros. and League of Legends. Players continued on other games until sunrise.
The age range of the 22 players went from early teens into their 30s, all tied together by a giant spaghetti monster of cables connecting monitors and computers in the hall.
The group hosts monthly meets and plans another big meet-up in November.
The gaming industry is huge, representing big numbers in sales and in players. The e-sports side is big and growing. There are full-time professional players. Popular tournaments can pack stadiums full of fans. There’s even a movement to bring eSports into the Olympics.
In B.C., video game studio Electronic Arts Vancouver employs about 1,300 people at its Burnaby campus.
“As we see stuff like the fibre network roll out [in Revelstoke], there is less and less reason to leave your house if you are a gamer,” Morrison explained. The RevyLAN group is trying to bring the online community together offline.