Video games and weed both just got serious. Gamers now have a great reason to get off the couch and into a proposed Los Angeles arena with a league created specifically for weed smokers.
Zeus Tipado, CEO and founder of the Stoned Gamer League (SGL), melds marijuana with video games to create a safe haven for gamers to play competitively against one another without being penalized — but rather rewarded — for being high. He has plans to open a 30,000-square-foot venue in downtown Los Angeles in October 2018. It will operate similarly to a private club and host all SGL events and tournaments.
It’s with special appreciation for Tipado that we note that National Video Games Day is observed annually on September 12 by gamers everywhere. In a survey conducted by National Today, a website that chronicles days devoted to a food, an action, or an event, a majority of Americans use Playstation and Xbox over Nintendo yet “Super Mario” was voted as the best game franchise. Sixty-six percent of the survey participants play mobile games when they’re bored.
Like cannabis, playing video games has been marred by assumptions that its participants are lazy and unintelligent, but, also like cannabis, studies have found otherwise. The American Psychology Association published a study, “The Benefits of Playing Video Games,” in January 2014 that found that video games can improve cognitive skills such as navigation, reasoning, memory, perception, problem-solving, and even keep the mind sharp.
The Stoned Gamer League
The SGL hosts worldwide e-sports tournaments that combine cannabis and competition. The idea took off in October 2015 in San Bernardino, California, where the SGL held its first-ever stoned gaming event at the XO Gold Cup, a cannabis cup hosted by Caviar Gold. The SGL hosted a second gaming event at The Blazer’s Cup, also in 2015. The began to hold tournaments starting on April 20, 2016.
Today, the SGL is now in its third season.
Players can participate as a team or as individuals on PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. The tournament games feature the latest sports games such as “Madden ’19,” “NBA 2K19,” “NHL ’19,” “UFC 3,” “Overwatch,” “Rocket League,” and “Battlefield” games. SGL players can also throw virtual jabs and roundhouse kick opponents in fighting games such as “Injustice” and “Street Fighter III: Third Strike.”
To participate in the SGL, players must go to the SGL website and create an account. After they receive an email with a confirmation link, players can log into their accounts and start accumulating points to reach different levels of play, complete challenges, compete against one another, and monitor their friends’ activity. Registered players can pre-register for teams, become eligible to attend events, and play in qualifying tournaments to advance and build up their SGL profile with points. Streaming tournament events live via Twitch will also boost players’ account profile.
To attend an event, players pay $10 for general admission and $30 for a backstage VIP access that includes a weed box filled with products from SGL sponsors. Frequent event goers can subscribe for a $60 monthly pass that allows them to attend 10 events, complemented with a special gift box from SGL sponsors. SGL has players worldwide with domains from countries including Canada, Denmark, and South Africa.
A New Meaning to ‘High Score’
In order to participate in an SGL tournament, online players are required to perform and send in proof of elevation (POE). This three-part process involves:
- Choosing your material: bongs or dabs.
- Ingestion and holding — players must hold their hit for at least five seconds. Coughing past five seconds is allowed.
After the arena is built, players also have the opportunity to earn bonus points by increasing their hits. Teams can earn up to two bonus points for each player who clears a Level 1 (0.25 gram dab or a half-gram bong rip). Players who take a Level 2 hit can earn 10 points for their team if they finish a half-gram dab or full-gram bong rip. Individuals with lungs of steel can earn 30 points if they pass Level 3 and clear a full-gram dab or 2-gram bong rip.
But there is a catch: Players only earn bonus points if their team wins. The rule forces teams to strategize how much they want to risk impacting their performance against earning the most points possible. SGL players can also rank higher amongst online peers by earning more points and decorating their online profiles with medals.
In California, adults can gift up to 1 ounce, or 28.35 grams, of dried cannabis or 8 grams of concentrate to another adult 21 or older. During tournaments, players will be smoking wax and flower provided by SGL sponsors. This is also to regulate consumption in the arena, and to ensure players are consuming products with the same potency.
SGL also hosts nights called Bongnite to connect buds with buds, as well as the popular shooter or building games. The next Bongnite is Oct. 5, 2018, for squads to compete on PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One; and duos on Nov. 2, 2018, for PlayStation 4 players. Upcoming tournament dates can be found on the season schedule.
Photos are courtesy of Stoned Gamer League.