Aug 15, 2012

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BarCraft: One Small Step for the eSports Community

BarCraft: One Small Step for the eSports Community

“And there’s the ‘GG’!” The commentator shouts as the crowded bar erupts into cheers. “GG”? Bar? Where is the “touchdown” or the “home run” calls? This doesn’t sound like something you normally hear at a bar. Looking at the television screen, you realize everyone is watching a video game. Welcome to your introduction to professional eSports; you just walked into a night of BarCraft.

In 2011, a redditor, o_Oskar, created a post inviting StarCraft 2 fans to join him at the Chao Bistro to watch professional StarCraft 2 with other fans over a few drinks. While they were expecting up to thirty people, over 120 people attended the event. They exceeded the bar owner and o_Oskar’s highest expectations.

Since that infamous day, StarCraft 2 viewing events in bars, now known as BarCraft, have been popping up all over the United States. Professional players and the community all take part in coordinating the events to make them more available throughout the country.

The inception of BarCraft into the StarCraft 2 world has brought the community closer than ever, as well as helping it expand. People not only get to speak to other fans on forums and blogs; they now can meet, have a beer, relax, and watch their favorite eSport. It has been beneficial to eSports as a whole and is not exclusive to StarCraft 2, either. Viewing events at bars are now becoming popular for League of Legends and other eSport games.

StarCraft 2 has been featured on CNN, ESPN, and other local and national news mediums in the states; its popularity continues to grow. It’s not unreasonable that nationally televised professional eSports will exist in the future in the United States; look at South Korea where StarCraft 2 has been a nationally televised sport for years.

Finding a BarCraft near you is not difficult. Team Liquid hosts an international database of BarCraft events making it easy for anyone to find a BarCraft. Many other databases exist, too. If you have any friends that just started playing StarCraft 2 or have never heard of BarCraft, take them to one. If you don’t have any events near you, it is not hard to set one up. Speak with your local bar owner or manager and see if they are interested. Once a date is set, start spreading the word.

Going forward, as the number of eSports fans continues to grow and BarCraft grows in popularity, you can see that this is not some passing “nerd” fad. eSports is being taken more seriously in the United States and before long it will be a regular feature on television. Do your part by attending a BarCraft event, have some drinks and meet new people. You might have more fun than just watching from your computer.