Gamers and their fans will finally have a place to call their own with the opening next month of Valhalla Esports Lounge on a prime part of West Sixth Street. It will become Austin's first bar devoted to esports, or multi-player video games that are played competitively for audiences.
Moving into the former location of J. Black's Feel Good Lounge, Valhalla will combine bar food and booze with a considerable gaming setup — 12 PCs, six consoles and 26 television screens, all entirely free to use. According to Eater Austin, Valhalla founder Hans Goss plans to bring tournaments and watch parties to the lounge in addition to other events. He had decided to open a spot focused on esports after noticing gamers lacked that kind of physical space.
"Want to play the hottest video games? Want to watch your favorite esports team with fellow fans? Want to hang out and enjoy the unique, high-quality food and drink? All is possible in Valhalla," according to the bar's website.
Valhalla (which, according to Eater Austin, is not affiliated with the Valhalla dive bar on Red River Street) will officially open on Aug. 15 with a grand opening event that you can buy tickets to now. The grand opening runs from 6 to 10 p.m. that evening, at a cost of $20 for entry. It's 21 and up only.
Food at Valhalla will include bar snacks such as Funion-flavored onion rings and Doritos mozzarella sticks. And drinks, according to Eater Austin, range from local beers to boozy slushies.
Esports are on track to become a billion-dollar industry this year, according to the New York Times. Fans of esports are willing to spend money "to watch hundreds of events from all over," though they "typically view the matches from home on streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube." With Valhalla — which may have a Houston location as soon as next year, according to Eater — Goss is changing gamers' social experience here.
During South by Southwest in 2018, another local esports concept, Rekt, hosted a pop-up event at the Brewtorium, but since then, it hasn't yet opened a physical space.
Valhalla will be located at 710 W. Sixth St. For more information, visit valhallalounge.com.