Starcraft Viewers are a Key Revenue Source for Sports Bar Owners

 In Industry Trends Blog Archives

The thrill of competition, the enjoyment of being in a crowd of like-minded fans, and the pleasure of having a few beers while watching a game with friends…these are all reasons why people flock to sports bars to watch their favorite games. You might be surprised, though, to find out that these perks don’t just apply to customers who are watching football, basketball, or baseball. It’s becoming more and more common for customers to watch video games in bars.

Video games? That’s right! Some sports bars are thinking outside the box by showing live broadcasts of particularly popular video games. And, what’s more, customers are flocking to bars to watch! These spectator sports can be just as popular as traditional games, but they tap into a whole new audience.

Take the game Starcraft II, for example. Mega-fans organized “Barcraft” events to watch Internet broadcasts of the popular game. One Barcraft event took place at San Francisco sports bar Mad Dog in the Fog. Customers watched a vicious match between “MC” and “Puma,” two Korean Starcraft II players. Although there were armies of aliens and humans fighting each other instead of two teams throwing a ball around, the fan enthusiasm was just as crazy as it is for any typical sports match. There were even announcers that described every play, just like with any other game.

Bar owners are realizing that video game spectators can be a huge source of revenue. While game fans used to content themselves with watching their favorite games in their own homes, they’re loving the social aspect of watching in sports bars—and the bars are loving the increased revenue. By using websites like Twitch, bars are able to stream live games—not just Starcraft, but other popular games like Halo, Call of Duty, and League of Legends. In fact, the League of Legends finals recently sold out LA’s Staples Center in less than an hour! Clearly there are a lot of people paying attention to games.

Although the viewers of games like Starcraft and League of Legends haven’t necessarily hit the mainstream just yet, it’s obvious that they’re a market worth paying attention to. What do you think? Would you consider showing games in your bar?

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