Leeds Leading The Way In Innovative New eSports Bars
If you’re one of those people who simply politely smiles and pretends to know what’s going on whenever the topic of eSports rears its head then fear not – it’s not too late to get acquainted with what is currently one of the fastest growing global industries on the planet. Put simply, eSports is an umbrella term which is used to describe the sport of competitive and professional computer gaming. To get some idea of how quickly the industry is going, the global eSports market revenue was valued last year at almost $493 million dollars and that figure is estimated to rise to an eye-watering $1.49 billion come 2020.
The history of eSports is fairly straightforward – around the year 2000, computers greatly decreased in price and with the internet also growing exponentially in terms of speed and reliability, this culminated in the perfect environment to allow people to get more involved with computer gaming. Counter-Strike: GO and League of Legends currently lead the way as the most popular titles to feature in professional competition and the evolution of eSports, as noted by Lottoland, is such that we could well see it being featured in future Olympics somewhere down the line.
The city of Leeds has certainly picked up on this trend and is the first city outside of London to open an eSports bar – a place where gamers can relax and play against each other in a competitive environment whilst enjoying some bar snacks or the beverage of their choice. The eDen bar, which opened back in June, boasts 12 PCs, three PS4s, two Xbox Ones and a smattering of other retro consoles such as the much-loved Nintendo 64. Eden charge a modest £3.50 entry fee and all proceeds go to eventual tournament winners, the first of which took place on Sunday, August, 6 and saw a 1v1 first blood League of Legends competition which went down extremely well with the clientele.
Source: PS4 via Facebook
eDen has already caught the eyes of some of the most well-known gamers and organisations around the world, with UK personalities Jamie ‘Gizmo’ Harris and Harry ‘Pommy’ Crawford amongst the first eSports celebrities to recently visit the bar. Whilst there are similar eSports bar experiences on offer in London such as Meltdown and Loading, the opening of eDen is indicative of the population’s increasing love towards the sport and it will surely only be a matter of time before we see other establishments popping up outside the capital. Newcastle did, in fact, recently have plans to open an eSports and cosplay cafe via a Kickstarter campaign but it failed to meet the required £20,000 funding target.
With the success of the the already established cafes throughout London and the encouraging signs on offer following the opening of eDen, we could well see an eSports arms race of sorts developing up and down the country. eSports is currently the flavour of the month and there’s a pretty penny to be made if you can get the balance right between a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and the ultimate competitive gaming environment. Internet cafes went by the wayside because of readily available internet access from the comfort of your own home but how often can you invite 12 of your mates around to have a gaming tournament (and play for a good amount of £££)?