Georgian Quarter – a legacy of Liverpool’s former wealth, sporting some of the most beautiful houses in the city, great pubs, theatres, restaurant and a gamer cave. But, of course.
Blending a traditional and atmospheric décor with high end gaming technology, Horizon is set to offer the city’s E-Sport community a hub for social gatherings, gaming and tournaments. How many times have you snuck to the library, under the guise of being productive, only to end up playing Helicopter all afternoon. Well now there’s a place where not only will that kind of behaviour not be judged, it’s encouraged. Say hello to Horizon – much more than the average gamer cave. The chandeliers and fine artwork juxtapose the forty modern gaming computers housed in banks on long tables on the top two floors of the beautiful Georgian style building on Pilgrim Street, creating a unique albeit strange visual experience. The cafe area on the first floor is decorated the same, reminiscent of a traditional Victorian gentleman’s club with its ornately framed oil paintings, Chesterfield sofas and wingback chairs.
The 40 high-end gaming computers are capable of running anything on the market and are particularly useful for students or owners of less powerful computers that don’t have the means to play the latest games – at Horizon you can essentially rent a computer and play Overwatch underneath chandeliers. This hardware is combined with friendly, knowledgeable and attentive staff and a table service that offers the full complement of the downstairs cafe. You can order food and drink from your computer to be brought to you, with no need to get up. As if we weren’t already worried about how inactive our lives were, we may never move again. We’re sorry pedometer.
It’s a far cry from what used to be here. A derelict building for 30 years before coming into ownership of a local student property developer, rather than gentrify the area with more student accommodation he began a yearlong labour of love to create his vision of an “E-Sport Club” to add to Liverpool’s cultural melting pot. Gaming cafes are hugely popular in Asia and across Europe – it is as engrained in the of young Chinese population as the drinking culture is here in Britain. There are only a handful of places even vaguely comparable to Horizon in the UK at the moment, and none of them offer the facilities and the aesthetic of Liverpool’s first bespoke gaming lounge.
Located just off Hardman Street on Pilgrim Street, opposite the Fly in the Loaf pub, the side entrance gives a sense of cool exclusivity for an afternoon coffee stop. Indeed, situated between several of the city’s main universities and student accommodation, it provides an attractive alternative to the chain coffee shops as a place to relax in between lectures and catch up on essays, for lunch breaks at work or for business meetings. Of an evening, when not hosting viewing parties for the biggest E-Sports tournaments, local gaming communities use the cafe area to host meet ups and events. You can drop by most Sundays to see the Merseyside Fighting Game Community beating each other up on Street Fighter.
It is this aspect of community where Horizon really shines. The cafe area is a great place to meet up with friends to watch and partake in events and the facilities lend themselves to networking with people of similar interests. Facebook matchmaking groups and weekly tournaments help people form teams and compete against others locally. Get out the house, bring a couple of mates, line up on the computers and have a great gaming experience without having to interrupt it to make drinks and food or clean up the mess the day after. Horizon is looking to ride the wave of a growing E-Sports market and bring it to mainstream UK culture. Liverpool’s existing gaming community can benefit from having a hub to branch out from, and the city’s ever broadening and varied list of things to experience gains a new addition.
We’ll be down for a game soon lads but only if we can be Ryu.
Address: 1A Pilgrim Street, Liverpool L1 9HB