As many as 300 people are expected to turn up to the Paragon Hotel tomorrow evening to watch the finals of the Global StarCraft 2 League in South Korea, according to the Australian Pro League.
The development of the Sydney Barcraft scene has been nothing short of impressive. Apart from marrying gaming with mainstream culture in a new and exciting way, it’s also been extraordinarily well received. Peter Du, one of the members of the Australian Pro League which is responsible for organising the Barcraft and MOBAR events held across Sydney, said yesterday that as many as 300 gamers were expected to turn up on Saturday night to watch 15-year-old Lee “Life” Seung Hyun take on four-time GSL champion Jung “Mvp” Jong Hyun.
300 players is an impressive enough figure and one that many LAN organisers around Australia would be pleased with. But it’s only a fraction of the numbers organisers have been able to pull. “Our largest event was Sydney BarCraft #3 which attracted over 750 patrons, making us the second largest BarCraft in the world after Montreal,” said Du.
One of the reasons behind BarCraft’s success has been its atmosphere, which is also helping to break down some key cultural barriers. “BarCraft is a way of showing the public that your typical gamer isn’t someone who dwells at home all day and is anti-social, but rather, shows gamers love to come out to events like these and socialise with other people,” Du explains. “It also serves as a demonstration to people saying, ‘This is why we love what we love’ and this effect is clear when you have members of the general public who stumble into our event unknowingly and end up getting caught up in the hype and staying for the remainder of the event.”
If you’re around Sydney’s Circular Quay, spending a couple of hours with a few hundred passionate gamers certainly won’t ruin your Saturday night. Food and Starcraft-themed drinks will be available from the bar. For more details, visit the Australian Pro League’s event page on Facebook.