Superstars you’ve never heard of are playing a professional sport you never knew existed… and video game geeks everywhere are staying home because you decided to show the ball game instead.
Some restaurateurs are finally starting to catch on, like Mad Dog in the Fog in San Francisco, and those that do have tapped a nice extra revenue stream for their business.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, a little background:
Starcraft I was released in 1998 by the same software company that brought us World of Warcraft. The video game allows players to build and command vast armies of space creatures against other players in real time.
Starcraft I became immensely popular in South Korea, and over the last decade an entire network of competitions, leagues, and fans has sprung up around the game. Korea even has two TV channels dedicated to broadcasting Starcraft competitions. Top players even have the same status as professional athletes.
In the U.S., Major League Gaming (MLG) started holding live competitions for a variety of head-to-head video games like Halo, Call of Duty, and of course Starcraft. These events have attracted a growing following, especially among the under 25 set.
Until recently fans of MLG competitions could only see the action by either attending a live event or streaming to a home computer. That’s where barcraft comes in.
The Rise Of Barcraft
Barcraft refers to broadcasting a Starcraft or similar video game competition in a bar. The establishments that have tried it see scores of young and enthusiastic patrons filling seats even on normally slow nights like Sunday.
The best part about broadcasting a live video game competition is the costs are a fraction of the costs of common professional sports packages like NFL Sunday Ticket. Any restaurateur wanting to host a barcraft event will need a fast internet connection and a little technical know-how to get the ball rolling however.
It’s worth the effort, however. The finals of a Los Angeles tournament logged 85,000 viewers across the country. Chances are at least 50 of them live near your establishment – and getting them up off the couch and into a barstool shouldn’t be too hard.
That’s because gamers are excited about being able to share their passion for these tournaments with other gamers for the first time. Experiencing a thrilling moment with a bar full of like-minded people has long been the reason why thousands of restaurants started drawing football fans every Sunday or baseball fans every October.
Now gamers are getting their moment.
For more information on streaming MLG events visit their website.