E-sports have reached a new level of legitimacy, a place from which there is no turning back. They’ve invaded the bars!
A group people gathered in Denton, TX to watch Major League Gaming’s event in Raleigh, NC from August.
The first generation of Nintendo lovers is well past legal drinking age and it was only a matter of time before they gathered en masse, plugged a laptop in to a giant flatscreen TV and started watching video game competitions in a watering hole for all to enjoy.
The rising popularity of games like Call of Duty, Halo, Super Smash Bros. and Starcraft 2 have given way to competitive leagues with hundreds of thousands of viewers. And Starcraft 2’s massive popularity in South Korea is spreading to the US and Europe. Over the past six months Korean players even graced our soil to compete in Major League Gaming competitions (where they inevitably took all of the top spots on the podium).
The latest phenomenon in competitive gaming is cutely labeled ‘Barcraft’, after Starcraft 2, the game that started the trend. Fans of this competitive, real-time strategy game are meeting up in bars all over the United States to watch live-streamed competitive events. Most of these gatherings are scheduled around Major League Gaming (the largest competitive league in the US) or GSL (the largest competitive gaming league in South Korea) tournaments. These mini-events are gathering so much steam that the Wall Street Journal even wrote a piece on them last month!
Fans gathered to watch the competition at MLG Anaheim in August.
For those who are hesitant to watch a gaming tournament, the competitions run just like any other sporting event, with top players competing and advancing in a bracket system, eventually crowning a champion at tournament’s conclusion. And play-by-play commentators make it easy to follow the action.
And it’s not just Starcraft! If the games you enjoy have a competitive mode, there’s probably a tournament out there somewhere! SO if you’re interested in starting up a Bacraft event, head on over to the official Barcrafting page at Reddit.com. There you can find out if there’s an event in your area and get advice for setting up your own. Game on!