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By: Scott

The BarCraft phenomenon is a curious thing. Entirely community driven, their continued existence is a testament to the fans and the games that inspire them. They are springing up worldwide, with BarCrafts in many countries like Germany, UK, Sweden, South Korea and Australia. There were over 25 BarCrafts in the US alone. The weekend of MLG Dallas found me at Biergarten, a gastropub located in Los Angeles, eager to experience a BarCraft for myself.

I arrived around noon, and entered the bar. There were a handful of people already situated and chatting among themselves. The far side of the room contained tables covered in goodies ranging from stickers to PC hardware. These would later be given away to the fans that soon began sprinkling into the bar. Given that the pub was located in Korea Town, I found a comfortable table towards the front and ordered the kimchi fried rice and a glass of Hite beer. By the time Life vs Flash showed on the screen, there were already a good number of people crowding the front and the place was getting lively.

For the handful of you that didn’t watch MLG Dallas, the games were exciting and a few people were really getting into them. For those of you that have had the privilege of attending a live tournament, there is something special about watching Starcraft with others. Attending MLG Anaheim was one of my most memorable experiences for this reason. I still remember when Flash, Bisu, Jaedong and Fantasy came on stage for the first time ever outside Korea; the crowd’s excitement was palpable and the hype was contagious. BarCrafts offer a similar, bite-sized experience for those that don’t have the luxury of flying across the country (or world) to attend an event. You can be loud and cheer for your favorite player, you can discuss strategy with others, or you can just lean back and take in the atmosphere. Either way you will have an enjoyable experience.

The games lasted from noon to about 6 pm, but the event didn’t end when Life emerged from his booth as an MLG champion. Throughout the day, spectators had been prompted to give their predictions for each match. A correct prediction warranted a point on the leaderboard, as did correctly guessing the score. As the tournament ended, the points were tallied and the gifts were given out in order of placement. I somehow predicted the correct results for every match (all those late-night GSL viewing sessions came in handy), and received a NZXT PSU, a J!nx T-shirt, and a Heart of the Swarm beta-key. Also up for grabs were stickers, a PC case, Blizzard authenticators, coolant fans, and other PC parts and shirts.

I had a great time and plan to attend many more in the future. You can find a BarCraft near you at the Team Liquid BarCraft page, or by searching your city on Facebook and Google. I highly recommend it, and bring a friend!

Thanks to the guys at BarCraft LA and SoCal BarCraft, as well as Biergarten, Blizzard, NZXT, and J!nx for making this event possible!

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