Nick Dobard and his better half Zoraida from the city of El Paso have opened a, video-gaming centre with the most sophisticated technology to tap into the growing fascination towards virtual reality and competitive gaming, or esports in the nation.
Glitch Gaming Centre was founded on the Eastside last August by these former employees of Best Buy who met on board in the early 2000s.The business promptly became a fascination for El Paso gaming community, which was up-and-coming. Glitch Gaming is now an epicentre for crowd between ages 27 and 50.
Nick said: “Virtual reality got really big really fast, I knew this would be the time to get into esports and get into gaming and open up a place where people could experience these things and see the technology and come and hang out.”
“Glitch Gaming hosts tournaments between competing teams in El Paso. The events provide an opportunity for El Pasoans interested in competitive gaming to become a part of the community”, Nick added.
As per the Market research done by the company Newzoo, the esports market made an estimated $700 million in revenue in 2017. There are anticipations that the market would reach an estimated $1.48 billion by 2020. Traditional media, including ESPN, have started to broadcast the tournaments.
Frank Prado, a customer and volunteer at Glitch, said: “A lot of the growth is due to the decline of arcades. Many who participate or watch esports, he said, grew up in the golden age of arcade gaming. If you get certain business owners that were there in the 70s and 80s when these were amazing places, they’ll remember.”
Prado said. “Instead of going to an arcade to play a one-player game, you’re now more connected and playing competitively with others online.”
Glitch is located at the intersection of George Dieter and Pelicano. The Dobards, also opened the Hive Java Lounge next door.
“I went back-and-forth,” Zoraida said. “I was scared to let go of a steady paycheck.”
At the end, she affirmed, She decided it would be a good opportunity to do something different and learn something new. It was an expensive venture for the two. The rent is $5,000 a month for Glitch and the coffee shop, according to Nick.
The Dobards, saw their opportunity to become business owners during a visit to California. The two came across a business called Howie’s Game Shack and realized what they could bring to El Paso.
Howie’s is a small California-based franchise that provides computer, console and virtual reality gaming.
Nick said he comes from a family of businessmen. His dad and uncles operate a landscaping business, a pawnshop and a trucking business.
Nick set up two $7,500 Virtuix Omni virtual reality stations towards the back of the gaming centre. A player wears an HTC Vive virtual reality headset and wears special footwear that allows their feet to glide on a stationary platform.
“It’s like walking on black ice,” Nick said.
The platform has a harness that wraps around the player so they do not walk off the platform. Players hold two controls in their hands to manipulate their digital characters.
Players see themselves walking around the virtual world while spectators watch their gameplay on a television on the wall.
Nick said the 24 gaming computers he built cost $12,000 each. It took him three days to build and set up the computers on his private server.
Games at Glitch stream daily on a Twitch feed.
Twitch is an online streaming service where people can watch other people play video games.

By Niji Narayan

Niji Narayan has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. He reports gaming industry headlines from all around the globe.