In February 2014, a new bar opened in Brackenfell, just outside Cape Town.
New bars open all the time, but this bar was different. This bar is an eSports Bar. The pioneer and owner Braccianos eSports Lounge, Rick Stassen, describes the venue as the first of its kind in South Africa. It’s a Pubstomp venue and hosts live streaming and console gaming and most importantly, it’s a gamers hang out!
We caught up with Rick to ask him about Braccianos and his experiences owning an eSports bar in South Africa.
nAvTV: What made you decide to open an eSports themed bar? How did you know South Africa was ready for it?
Rick: I decided to open an e-Sports bar and Lounge after I started playing competitive dota in SA. I read some articles about Barcrafting in the USA and it immediately grabbed my attention. South Africa was not entirely ready for it in my opinion, but it was fresh and new and exciting.
nAvTV: What did you have in mind for the bar – what were you planning on hosting and showing there?
Rick: I wanted to have a streaming bar, that gamers can come to, to watch their favourite gamers play online. I added consoles shortly after that to cater for more gamers, and to have something social for them to do while they enjoy a drink.
nAvTV: How well has your vision come to life?
Rick: In most ways, my vision was met with similar gamers that had the same passion as I have. Shortly after opening, i had locals visiting the bar every week and we started to form friendships which led to the Bar forming it’s very own e-sports team, which we entered into DGL. My vision has expanded since and I’m working hard towards getting Gaming Pc’s for clans to play at the bar.
nAvTV: As one of the first eSports venues in SA, do you think the gaming community has come together to support the idea?
Rick: Yes, and no. I’ve had events that covers most platforms of the e-sports scene, some with success, and some with less success. I have realised that some gaming communities explore more and want to meet likeminded individuals as themselves, but other gaming communities not as much. To some up the question, I have had heaps of support from the community, more than I can ever wish for and I’m thankful for that!
nAvTV: Tell us what people can expect when they visit Braccianos.
Rick: Braccianos e-sports lounge prides itself in being a non biased gaming lounge. We do not discriminate against any games or their players, and welcome everyone. A Good vibe and insight to the world of gaming today makes it enjoyable for gamers to visit.
nAvTV: Any plans for the future?
Rick: Right now my goal is to get PC’s into the bar to have clans able to bootcamp and/or practice. The next step will be to get a bigger venue. The future is bright for e-sports and I am excited to be part of it!
You can find Braccianos eSports Lounge:
Corner de Bron Road and Brackenfell Boulevard, 7560 Cape Town, Western Cape
Thanks to Rick from Braccianos eSports Lounge for spending some time with us!
He also hosts the nAvTV podcast and this here website is his domain.