These gamers are now in a league of their own.
A new competitive video-game league gave Brooklyn gamers a taste of what it’s like to play on the big screen at Regal Sheepshead Bay Stadium 14 Movie Theater on July 7.
Super League Gaming has devised a way to rig game servers to allow up to 100 gamers in the theater to all play together on the same local network, with each player using their personal laptop to play in the first-person, while the movie screen offers everyone a third-person overview of the whole game.
The league does offer backup computers for those who may have forgotten theirs, but players are expected to bring their own gear.
“The theaters are the field for our gaming league,” said Brett Morris, the creator of the league, which held a showcase of the technology at the Sheepshead Bay cinema. “Much like a volleyball court or a basketball court, now your court for gaming is the theater itself.”
The plan for Super League Gaming is to have a full six-week season starting on Sept. 15, according to Morris with teams meeting on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday to play — not only against each other, but also against teams all around the country. And Stadium 14 would be Brooklyn’s home court, hosting each meet up. And Stadium 14 would be Brooklyn’s home court, hosting each meet up.
“This Regal here in particular has been super great in actually wanting to participate and getting more involved in the league,” Morris said.
Parents and kids alike turned out to play the wildly popular “Minecraft” — a building game that offers a creative mode, in which players can design their own worlds, and a competitive survival mode, not unlike the “Hunger Games.”
“My daughter loves ‘Minecraft’ and it’s pretty cool that we get to play it on a big screen, so she’s excited,” said Gary Encarnacion, who was spending some quality time with his little girl, Sophia.
Even hardcore gamers came out to try and best one another. Screams of “Who killed me?” and snarky retorts of, “It was me!” echoed through the darkened theater.
Competitive gaming has become a big business and a spectator sport, with some gamers making a living from prize money won at tournaments organized by Major League Gaming that fill arenas and charging players as much as $290 to participate.
Super League Gaming is much more reasonably priced, charging just $20 to play in its “Mincraft” games — less than Major League Gaming charges for a spectator pass. But that’s the point, according to Morris.
“There’s no league that exists for gamers today unless you’re a professional at the serious level of Major League Gaming,” said Morris. “So to become the minor league of gaming is where we want to be.”
Christopher Bilgore, a regular “Minecraft” player, said he planned on signing up in the fall for the full gaming season.
“It’s cool and it’s exciting. I’ve never gotten to do anything like this,” he said.
But more than just creating a fun atmosphere for gamers, or a new avenue for parents to relate to their kids, Super League looks to give gamers a sense of camaraderie.
“Giving the kids and young adults a sense of belonging as a gamer is the key here,” said Morris.
The league currently only offers “Minecraft,” but has plans to branch into others — including “Clash of Clans,” “League of Legends,” and “Starcraft” — depending on fan demand.
Players can sign up for the fall season, and vote for the next game the league will host, at the Super League Gaming website superleague.com.