“Compa” is the love of childhood. Cellars, Ball Mice & Nightly Discounts – Best of the Best – Blogs


Let him drive him away!

In the late 90s, few people could afford a computer. The lucky guy, whom he appeared at, immediately became a local streamer – the whole yard gathered at his house to watch him play and wait for his turn. And those who did not have such friends went to computer clubs – a place of power for gamers of all ages.

The first “computers” appeared in the early 2000s. More often than not, it was a basement room, which crammed more people than the computers themselves.

The computers were on chipboard tables that could be broken by inadvertently touching. Sometimes there were partitions between the monitors so that the players would not spy on each other’s positions if they were playing on the same server – and if someone noticed that the other was peeping, then they could break him. Although usually the punishment for “camping” or “rat” was verbal.

There were no toilets, but there were smoking rooms – another place of power. The stuffiness and clubs in the unventilated room watery eyes, and the smell forever eaten into clothes. This smell must have already resurfaced in your memory – the rollers were sweaty in every sense.

There is not a single backlit keyboard in the photo – the players rolled on ordinary office ones, with the cheapest mouse. They are the cheapest way to replace them – some took home everything that was not nailed.

Gopniks lived in the clubs themselves and around them – yes, the real ones. They wrung out small change from the schoolchildren at the entrance, and in the club itself they drugged over the ear: “Let the life roll.”

The police also visited the clubs – but not to disperse the gopniks, but to find young truants. The admins themselves had to disperse those who weren’t playing and watch what was happening.

The admin is the most respected person in the club, everyone tried to make friends with him in order to get an additional free half hour – or saved the save in the game to his computer.

However, for those who did not have the opportunity to spend about 20 rubles per hour, there was a night discount – from about 11 pm to 7-8 am the club was packed even more densely than during the day. Since the administrators were afraid of police checks, the club was closed until the morning, along with all the minors inside.

The night was enough to play enough CS, Warcraft, Quake or Diablo. It was impossible to play singleplayer games – firstly, your save was deleted after you left, and secondly, advisers gathered around the monitor, pointing their fingers.

And if the brain refused to think at night, it was always possible to look at the cutting of the pros.

Almost everyone came to clubs with friends – this is how “clans” were formed. These clans formed non-professional stacks and the first tournaments for amateurs. The most popular prize was the free watch at the same club – according to legendary player CS Hooch, this was considered a good reward.

There were so many people who wanted to watch the tournaments that they simply could not fit.

The history of eSports in Russia is counted from the moment of the foundation of the first computer club in the country “Orki” – August 1996. The founder of the club, Mikhail Lomidze, recalls that it was there that players who played well in StarCraft gathered – Asmo, Elisey, Ghost and Flash. The photo below shows Ghost and Asmo.

A mouse with a ball, ordinary headphones and an office keyboard – this is how the best Starcraft from Russia at that time trained.

Mikhail considers the year 2001 to be the sunset of the Orcs, when the Internet became a little better, and computers became cheaper and more accessible.

20 years later, the business has been reinvented – now the owners are focusing on training cyber sportsmen of all levels. The clubs have become cleaner and quieter, but have lost the charm and atmosphere of childhood.

When was the last time you visited a computer club? Let us know in the comments.

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