|Carlton Beener/SoCal eSports|
This weekend, a bunch of guys will be heading to local sports bars to watch the big game.
Who's competing, you ask? The lineup includes MarineKingPrime, viOLet and Heart, all professional video-game players.
Buffalo Wild Wings in Lake Forest and Player's Sports Grill in Laguna Hills are gearing up for BarCraft, an event at which Starcraft II fans can gather and watch a live tournament on big-screen TVs. There'll be special menus and freebies, including signed items from Blizzard Entertainment.
The atmosphere of the event could be likened to that of any mainstream sporting event, although with its own unique flair. There was an air of excitement as people sat at their tables or wandered around, all chatting sociably or with their eyes glued to the televisions. At one point, the crowd erupted in uproar when one player lost a large portion of his army to a well placed "baneling landmine." It was refreshing to see such a large and animated gathering of e-sports fans. There were even a number of notable Blizzard executives in attendance, including Tony Hsu, the associate producer of StarCraft 2. The fact that Blizzard came out and supported the event means a lot to the community, and shows that they really support the advancement of StarCraft 2 as a legitimate e-sport.
In between the excited cheers and exclamations, attendees ordered food and drinks from fully customized BarCraft menus, featuring such treats as "Psi Blades" (mozzarella sticks) or the "Bloody Marine". My favorite drink on the menu was the "Idra GG", which was actually just an empty shot glass with the description "so BM". There were even sheets of paper laid out at each table defining and explaining StarCraft terminology for those who weren't familiar with the game. The combination of the great atmosphere, epic games, and excited fans made for an incredibly successful event.
Friday, April 20: 2 p.m. to about 9 p.m at Buffalo Wild Wings, 23600 Rockfield Blvd., Ste. 3F, Lake Forest.
Saturday, April 21: noon to 6:30 p.m. at Player's Sports Grill, 24401 Ridge Route Dr., Laguna Hills.
Sunday, April 22: noon to about 6 p.m. at Player's Sports Grill, 24401 Ridge Route Dr., Laguna Hills.
24401 Ridge Route Drive, Laguna Hills, CA