GosuGamers Barcraft World Tour
Where - A bar called Deez in the City Center of Derby.
How much - About once a month, as long as there’s a big event such as MLG.
Running since - November 2011 - MLG Providence.
Attending - On average around 50 people but we get close to 100 on big events.
Contact - Facebook
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Ian Mason, 25 and I'm a big gamer. I’m a door supervisor at Deez, and I also do a lot of odd jobs.
So what’s your barcraft story?
Before November of last year I was looking around the blizzard website when they just put up their barcraft section. I saw there weren’t much around the UK and wanted to do more. It took me 3 weeks to get everything together. I had a week’s worth of advertising, which wasn’t much. I contacted the local university and got in touch with their gaming society. Pretty much started from there. We had 25 people the first barcraft, which is quite phenomenal after a week, and ever since that we just keep growing.
And how are you doing today?
We’ve had to rely on the surrounding towns and villages for people - Leicester, Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham, Tamworth and more. People come from 50-60 miles away to our barcraft. We’ve become the third largest in the UK, we actually had 3 guys from Liverpool and Tamworth come to one of our events, that’s a long way from Derby.
With Deez being a long narrow bar, we had to juggle where we have our streams. Since March we’ve had a projector and a large TV in the back. The last barcrafts we got a new system in place where we can start streaming in 720p. Tech issues are something every barcraft has to deal with, but Deez has really helped us.
The place has recently had a new manager, he’s quite open minded, he was a bit skeptical at first but after our second event his eyes were open. They do pretty much everything for us. They paid for new streaming capabilities, all the tech stuff and HDMI cables. Deez takes good care of us. They also allowed me to plug in my computer to the sounds system, for music and stuff. Deez has really been brilliant with this barcraft, they’ve become our main sponsor.
Robert the co-founder is from Derby Uni. I started posting on the standalone forums of the uni’s gaming society - will people be interested in coming to town and having a barcraft. Even since then Deez has payed for posters and Rob put them up around the Uni. We also got friends in the student union so we send them posters and they put them up. Other then that we use Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Blizzard’s website (We <3 BarCraft) for advertising.
Many barcrafts have raffles and tournaments, what about you guys?
We have a lot of things. We’ve created a couple of our own drinks, Derby Barcraft is the home of “The Mule” - you get a glass, put a splash of lime, ice, double vodka, and then orange juice ⅔ of the glass and then lemonade and stir with a straw. It mixes in all the flavors. A Mule is yellow colored, and when you use a mule it kicks in eventually. The drink kicks in after a while, it has a sharp taste and it’s refreshing so it get’s the job done. Just like a Mule. The recipe for a "Creep Tumor": Use a tall glass - 25cl Blue Cuarcao, 25cl Gin, Third Full of Ice, Two thirds Lemonade, Top off with some Cranberry Juice.
For the last 3 barcrafts we started doing raffles. SteelSeries Headsets and Team Dignitas hoodies. We sent Team Dignitas our contact details and they sent stuff over. In return for that we’ve been advertising them on our posters. The headset and other things we payed for ourselves. We get a cut from Deez for each barcraft, and we put that money back in. We also had ESL premium membership codes to give out. We sell raffle tickets for a pound each instead of charging entry. We never had and never will charge entry.
We do a lot on our own, the people who do the posters for our events - I went up to fix their computers and they’ve given me a discount on our printing. We approached some big sponsors but they don’t see us as big enough yet. I guess we need to make the event bigger to get serious sponsors.
Derby Barcraft is also part of the ESL barcraft league. We face London and Manchester regularly. It’s in the actual event across B.Net and it’s a lot of fun. This isn’t just a game, it’s a whole community. We hold events for the love of the game and not profit. Initially I lost money but that was my investment and it’s paying off with this wonderful community.
What’s your thoughts on expanding?
I’m always thinking of more things to do and any idea we come up with goes up to discussion with everyone. I’ve had the idea of making 1v1 matches where the loser buys the drinks and stuff like that. We can’t expand until we’re ready.
We got a team, a Derby Barcraft team and we play in the ESL. Our eventual aim is to go to the some bigger tournaments, that’s where we’re looking to take our barcraft. We also got our own teamspeak server and we regularly talk on facebook. A website will also be launched soon. We’re just practicing though we have some strong players and are really thinking of the big tournaments. We actually got people for the Blizzard UK open qualifiers.
Rob deals with the social things, I deal with logistics and the technical aspect of running the event. Things like making sure the streams are working, making sure the bar is ready and what not. I get up extra early just to help out at the bar.
Any advice you can give out?
Never give up. Things get hairy and can sometimes really get you down. It’s not the easiest job but make sure you have open communication with the bar, make sure everything is transparent, and have a passion for what you do. The atmosphere that we have is just wonderful and something I just wanna experience over and over. There’s nothing quite like sitting down with the community after you got them all there.
Thanks a lot! Got shoutouts?
I’d like to say a big thank you to our community. Barcrafts in the UK in general - we’ve had a lot of help with people around the whole UK - people with more experience than ourselves, their help was invaluable. Huge thanks to Deez as well. Big thanks to everyone who has made this possible including my parents who have saved Derby barcraft on more than one occasion.
Run a barcraft event? Leave us a comment with a facebook link and we’ll contact you.
Mash Bar, Tel Aviv, Israel
Good Life Bar, Boston Massachusetts, USA
C-base Club, Berlin, Germany
Replugged club followed by Kringers bar, Vienna, Austria
The Corporate Box bar, Auckland, New Zealand
Oliver Twist bar, Zürich, Switzerland
This is a GosuGamers weekly feature by Eyal "KOKOStern" Stern, that is published every Wednesday.