Esports Bar (The Ultimate Guide and Toplist 2020)

The modern esports bar premiered around the launch of  StarCraft 2,  people desired to find a way to watch events together. Having a local dedicated esports bar is on track to become as popular as the traditional sports bar. As the industry grows, companies start their ventures to capitalize on the growing demand for different gaming activities.

The Ultimate Guide to Esports Bars

What is an esports bar?

While these viewing party style events started off with Barcraft back in 2010, the future is probably in dedicated esports bars. The owners can focus on building a brand and establish a loyal customer base.
We do however find that many event organizers work together with esports bars to bring the concept to a specific venue. This could be a perfect fit going forward, as different people can invite their already established community.

Where can I find the best esports bar?

Finding the best esports bar is a lot easier today than just a few years ago. Going to a bar to watch competitive gaming. Local esports bars are showing up in many major cities and many of them are very popular.

What is an esports franchise

The concept of an esports bar can be two things. It could be an event organized on an already established sports bar, it can also be a bar setup from the beginning with esports in mind. Click here to read more on how Kappa Bar in Sweden has found succes in the esports restaurant space.

How to start an esports franchise

Founding a franchise can be a great way to start your venture into the world of business. This way you can work together with other franchise owners under a common brand.
The specific rules and guidelines you as a location manager need to follow can be found over att respective esports franchise’s website.

What is the best esports franchise

So far we believe the competition for esports franschises has only just begun. For example we have another guide covering individual esports bars around the world.

What is a esports viewing party?

Esports viewing party is a concept where a group of fans gather at a chosen venue to watch esports together. The venue could be anything from a dorm room, to a large cinema establishment. These viewing parties are the perfect fit for the younger audience, who also want to watch tournaments together but may not have the appropriate age to enter a bar. This has become a growing phenomenon and we have seen a widespread application of this viewing parties during the OWL season in 2018.

Franchise Esports Bars

The first esports franchise we have found started back in 2011, thanks to the booming market for the so-called Barcraft’s. The concept of franchising businesses is certainly not something new and now the esports universe has caught up. This complete guide for franchises in the esports market is aimed to give you an overview of the concept and the current competition.

meltdown esports franchise

Meltdown Bar Franchise

Meltdown is an esports bar franchise established in France during the era of StarCraft 2’s prime. The franchise has since spread to North America as well as the rest of Europe. Meltdown now has 32 esports bar under their name. A few are now under construction but most are open for business and enthusiastic gamers can have drinks, play and watch esports events at the highest level.

kappabar esports franchise

Kappa Bar Franchise

Kappa Bar is an esports restaurant and bar chain doing business in Sweden. They have one site in Gothenburg and another one in Stockholm. Kappa Bar also has a big focus on food. They serve hungry esports enthusiasts meals during long tournaments, effectively making them a restaurant chain.

barcraft esports franchise

Barcraft Esport & Geek Bar

Barcraft Esport & Geek Bar franchise is a Hungarian company based out of Budapest. They currently have 5 open esports bars around the country. They have adopted the original term coined almost a decade ago, and have expanded to new locations since they first opened.

BarCraft SC2 viewing party

The term BarCraft was created as a play on the words Bar and StarCraft. This was during the second wave of esports back in 2010 when people needed a way to tournaments with all the new streaming technology.

Barstrike CS:GO viewing party

View this post on Instagram

Lördagshäng med #barstrike och #fnatic

A post shared by Linus Feldt (@linusfeldt) on

Watching events for CS:GO is called BarStrikes which is also a registered trademark and founded in Sweden. The concept called BarStrike made deals with already established sports bars in Sweden.

They invited people from the CS:GO scene and the community to fill bars all over Sweden. BarStrike focuses on major CS:GO tournaments such as the Major’s, as well as most of the Dreamhack events.

Pubstomp Dota 2 viewing party

People with interests in other games have created their own concepts for IRL-gatherings to watch tournaments. Dota 2 calls their events Pubstomps and they are most commonly organized around The International in the middle of the summer each year.

Locating The Best Esports Bars

Sweden has proven to be an amazing country to visit to fulfill your gaming bar needs. Quiz nights are a common activity at many esports bars. Challenging with time zones and business hours. A few esports bars have become chains and franchises already. Gaming themed food and drinks are common on the menu. There are also gaming consoles available to borrow, along with board games and gaming pcs.

  1. GG Bar – Gothenburg, Sweden
  2. Kappa Bar – Gothenburg, Sweden
  3. Kappa Bar – Stockholm, Sweden
  4. Guildhall Bar, Burbank California
  5. BarCraft Esports Pub – Budapest, Hungary
  6. Meltdown Bar – Budapest, Hungary
  7. Outrage esports bar, Portland US
  8. Next level esports bar and gaming club, Houston
  9. The hive esports, Toronto
  10. The Summoners, Glasgow
ggbar esports bar

1. GGBAR Gothenburg

In the last few years, handful of dedicated esports bars have opened in Sweden. GGBAR is the first dedicated esports bar to open in Sweden and Gothenburg.

“Sweden’s first dedicated esports bar”


2. Kappa Bar Gothenburg

Soon another company opened its doors, also in Gothenburg and it was called Kappa Bar. Click here to read more about the Kappa Bar franchise and its many local esports bars around Sweden.

“The Kappa Bar-chain’s first location”

kappa bar sthlm esports bar

3. Kappa Bar Stockholm

They have since opened another bar in Stockholm, and are now calling themselves Sweden’s first Esports Bar chain and franchise. The restaurant has grown to be a popular place for people to go for after works and quiz nights. They also have a selection of consoles visitors may place, as well as a handful och gaming computers for teams who want to practice together.

“One of the first esports bar franchises in the world”

Kappabar Sweden
Guildhall Burbank California

4 Guildhall Bar, Burbank California

The whole venue is available for rent for larger parties

Guildhall Bar is one of the most active esports bars when it comes to social media. Almost every single day they have something to announce on their schedule and they have a lot of activities throughout the week. The age limit is 21 in order to serve gaming themes drinks. In addition, they have an extensive craft beer selection along with sports bistro-type food. They host an array of events like quiz-nights, and board game nights in their lounge meaning you don’t have to be an esports fanatic to enjoy a night at the Guildhall Bar. Passionate gamers may plan and host their own tournaments at The Summoners.

“An extensive craft beer selection along with sports bistro-type food.”

Guild Hall Esports bar
barcraft esports bar

5. BarCraft Esport & Geek Bar

One of the first dedicated bars in Europe and it’s called BarCraft Esport Pub. Despite being named after the viewing concept for StarCraft, BarCraft Esport Esport & Geek Bar has not limited themselves to just one game.

6 Meltdown Budapest

So far we have found 2 esports bars in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. The first one is a franchise, Meltdown Budapest is part of the French esports bar chain. In addition to viewing events for various tournaments, the venue also has a few gaming computers customers may use.

7 Outrage Esports Bar, Portland US

Outrage is located in Portland and is a bar for people of 21 years of age. People are encouraged to make an online reservation before attending one of the events. The bar has a high score from attendees based on the reviews found on Facebook. The menu consists of tacos, burgers and sandwiches and Outrage has an extensive selection of craft beer along with gaming-themed drinks to choose from. The Portland bar also hosts various gaming tournaments inside their venue.

8 Next Level Esports Bar and Gaming Club, Houston

Next level esports bar and gaming club have a large focus on gaming at the venue. They have the newest games and equipment including PC and Playstation, but also a large selection of table-top games. Other than playing yourself it is possible to watch streams and tournaments on any of the large screens present in the venue. They also serve snacks and microwaved food to hungry esports supporters. Since Next level esports bar and gaming club does not serve alcohol fans under the age of 12 may attend the bar in company with an adult, after 10 pm, however, the venue is reserved for attendees of the age 18 and above.

9 The Hive Esports, Toronto Canada

The Hive Esports in Toronto Canada hosts regular “Fight Clubs” which is gaming-focused gatherings and tourneys. They have a high score from reviews on facebook. Like so many other esports bars The Hive offers an exotic collection of craft beer along with a full kitchen. The esports bar also has a membership program that regular visitors can subscribe to in order to get benefits such as discounts and free time with the venue’s game consoles.

The summoners esports bar

10 The Summoners esports bar – Glasgow

The Summoners is located in Glasgow, Scotland and they present themselves as a “game cafe, traditional pub, and esports match view arena”. The venue is a place where you can play games (even your own ones that you bring!) and they broadcast most major esports leagues.

11 Connect Esport Bar – Umeå, Sweden

Another concept was founded in Umeå, in the northern parts of Sweden. The people behind Connect Esport bar have since been overwhelmed by the huge interest in watching esports tournaments at their venue.

Esports bar conclusion

We have found many esports bars in Europe, but also a growing numbers in the United States and Canada. The concept has spread all over the globe, and the rest of the world is slowly catching up.


  • No comments yet.
  • chat
    Add a comment