Up until recently, only a few people in Budapest knew what e-sports are, and reveled in the experience of streaming an online-game match so that people all over the world could watch the pixilated proceedings unfold in real time. However, this is the future: games like League of Legends even have their own world championships, and the best players make a living exclusively by killing monsters onscreen. BarCraft, the first e-sports bar in Hungary, is now open to embrace this trend, and here we can watch live online matches while drinking flaming cocktails in the shadow of an orc statue.
E-sports, League of Legends, online streaming – most people in Budapest do not know much about these things, even though some online games have their own world championships with huge cash prizes. Until recently, our city really didn’t have a platform for this scene, and players did not have many opportunities to immerse in the world of role-playing and video games, with the exception of some small championships and conventions organized among friends.
But then this summer, Hungary’s first e-sports pub – BarCraft – opened at a rather surprising location: between the cheap dive bars and crumbling cellars of Ferenc Boulevard in District IX. Gamer-friendly bars are already commonplace abroad; now, we finally have a place to meet other fans of League of Legends, Warcraft, StarCraft, or Hearthstone here in Budapest. Additionally, compared with its neighbors, the arrival of BarCraft here will probably be good for the image of this neighborhood.
The location used to be a bakery, but there is no trace of that now: the walls and tables are adorned by pictures of our favorite soldiers, monsters, wizards, and elves, and live-gaming streams are screened nonstop on the big-screen TVs. For many patrons, it is a great pleasure to have video games broadcast live instead of soccer, and at BarCraft there are many exciting beverages available besides beer.
The alcoholic drinks at BarCraft match the spirit of the place completely: various geek cocktails were named after various characters and in-game items (Steampack, Queen of Pain, The Swarm, etc.), and the drinks somewhat resemble these virtual beings and accoutrements, as well. We especially liked the cocktail named Miss Fortune, which was inspired by a character from the game League of Legends. Since the lady’s weapons in the game are two guns, this drink consists of one long drink with two shots placed on top of it. We have to take one shot from the top and drink it, let the other shot slip into the long drink, and then down that, as well. Just drinking this cocktail is great fun, but be careful, because it is pretty strong.
In addition, they have lots of flaming cocktails (aka potions) too, which are exciting offers in and of themselves – especially for those who like to play Diablo.
The look of the place is not finalized, and there are a lot of plans for the future to make the most of this interactive locale: they would like to develop the design, work together with cosplayers, add some consoles to play on, and host various domestic competitions. Long story short, BarCraft is already a compulsory hangout for Budapest’s geeks and gamers.