How it all formed
Back in 2012, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty was a raging smash-hit within the global eSports scene, seeing the birth of numerous American, European and Australian professional gamers joining their Korean brothers in the full-time gaming scene.
With some huge events being conducted like GSL and their quarterly $87,500 US first place league - Code S, the way viewership was happening was about to change. Back in 2009, my friends and I would sit in Ventrilo channels listening to the netGameRadio Battlefield 2 shoutcasts together, and discuss what was going on, alongside sitting in Mumble during the birth of CS:GO in 2012 and doing the same thing with live tournaments viewed on Twitch.Tv.
Now think about your local or international sports, what happens when there's a FIFA grand final? A Cricket World Cup? A Super Bowl spectacular show? Either people will invite over their friends to a house to have a BBQ, 'knock back a few coldies' and watch the game together, or they'll all head over to the local sports bar to mingle with other similar-minded fans.
Why not do this for eSports too? So that's exactly what happened. Funnily enough, the Australian eSports audience got extremely behind this notion, creating two of the biggest 'Barcraft' events in the world, seeing 450 people attend the Victorian contingent run by Silicon Sports, and up to 600 people across two bars attend the Sydney version - run by the Sydney Starcraft Society.
Where did it end up?
Unfortunately, Starcraft II has lost a lot of its appeal, however, Silicon Sports is still running successful 'Barcraft' events for every single major final, alongside trying to kick-start SMITE in their region by running an event for the SMITE world championship series.
The focus has now moved on to Dota 2, seeing numerous 'Pubstomp' events pop up for Valve's biggest competition yet, The International 2014, featuring $10.6m in prize money. The mainstay for this is Ministry of Gaming and their Melbourne events, held at the famous Crown Casino.
Their showing of The International 2014 saw around 450 gamers cram into a small sports bar, ending up with people sitting on benches and floors just to get a space near the screen, and what's even more crazy? The finals didn't start until after 2am local time!
The latest event that I attended of theirs was very recent, held for the Dota Asia Championships 2015, in which I watched the 15 year old superstar Suma1L wreak havoc on his enemies during the grand final games. Due to this being on a Monday, only 150 gamers were in attendance, however, they sold out the VIP areas fully (with tickets being priced up to $60 AUD), and were granted access to one of the main sports bars on the casino floor.
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- Page 1 [Games, in public, with mates, at a bar - yes, I'm serious!]
- Page 2 [Why are they so popular?]
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