The biggest eSports bar in the country

Why are so many eSports bars opening?
21 January 2020

Interview with 

Benson, BBC Essex


table football


Ben Fryer and Sonia Watson go in search of the UK's biggest gaming bar...

Will Ward - I'm the founder of Caffeine Lounge, which is situated in Submarine. And this will be the UKs largest eSports bar.

Ben - What is eSports, what is all that about?

Will - eSports is really the competitive side to gaming. So think competitions. Tthink like football but instead of football out on the field, you're playing FIFA. So it's just the competitive side to gaming. eSports is getting bigger and bigger. We're going to start seeing more and more of these kinds of venues on our high street, especially with kind of like the high street kind of dying at the moment... we need more entertainment, and it was kind of an idea that I had just over a year ago... to actually have my own venue.

Ben - You you're seeing, you know cause I've seen sort of computer shops at the moment that have a little gaming sector, but you think give it sort of two, three, four years there'll be... every town center will have a place like this?

Will - More and more venues are finding investment and finding that they are getting busier, and that there is a need for the venues and we are seeing that people do want to come and socialize together. You kind of got that multiplayer experience coming back from the living room where it's then gone online for your PCs and now it's come back almost in a way back to your living room. But you can play with your friends in a venue on high end PCs or consoles. And it's just bringing that community aspect back, which is quite nice.

Sonia - So it's almost like sports that we hear about... tournament's in all different sports around the world. But now this is, this is going to be right up there alongside it. Do you think there's a real future for this to grow even more?

Will - Yeah, just just over a year ago actually, there was a League of legends, one of the games, very, very popular game... the final game actually has more live views than the last two Superbowls put together. So we're talking more than 200 million live views. So yes. And it's getting, it's just increasing.

Sonia - And you've got just, just finally tell us about what's, what, how it's going to look in there. Cause at the moment it's still sort of being constructed. You've got some bright blue being painted at the moment, lots of monitors, how many different gaming points and screens?

Will - So we got kind of two gaming zones. We've got 50 gaming PCs going in and we've got two streaming booths, so... dedicated for anyone that wants to stream. We've got a big event space and in that space we've got a massive 98 inch TV screen going up there. So that will be used for all of our events, whether we're putting live streams on there, input a Switch on play, Mario Kart, um, maybe some, uh, retro games as well. Then we've got screens all around the venue as well, again, for live streams, um, and uh, with a bar that serves, um, a variety of drinks, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic. Arguably the best coffee in town as well.

Sonia - I think if there's a Tetris championship I'm in!


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