Sweden, June 2 2017
Slept like a baby in a 100% opposite surrounding to Denmark. My view consists of 3 horses in a meadow, the only sound you hear are birds, exactly nothing is happening here. As a city person I know I’ll go crazy if this lasts for more than 3 days, but for now it’s perfect. Am rested, got a shower, Evi is having a ball in horse shit/hay piles and avoiding the 2 farm cats that are bigger than she is. It’s hard to imagine I was at the truck stop in Copenhagen only yesterday, visiting DSrack.
First of all, thank you Tanya and Thomas for having me! You did such a wonderful job making the most of it, because DSrack wasn’t packed with gamers like it usually is. The Distortion (such an appropriate word for this situation) Festival was happening in Copenhagen and all the normal customers were out partying. The 15+ something that were in when I left didn’t fill up the place at all cause it’s a big bar. They’re only closed on Christmas- and New year’s eve and opening hours are 10 am until 6 am, so 20 hours a day, which tells you something about how busy it normally is. Because of these opening hours the bar provides in food as well and they offer playtime-meal menus.
Nighttime is the busiest of course. People use the bar as a place to go out, like a traditional bar, only they play games. Thomas explained how that gets gaming and esports much more socially excepted. The nerdy image of gamers up in their rooms changes now that they’re ‘out in the open’. Today, being a gamer is a cool thing in Denmark and that’s great! It’s even that much accepted that parents stimulate their kids to develop gaming skills. During day time, children aged 8 come to DSrack with their parent’s consent. However, grown ups in their 40-ties come here too. They have several PlayStation areas and (VIP) lounges and 80+ pc’s ready for you.
DSrack has a partnership with a local public gymnasium, so financed by the state, that has esports in its curriculum. This year it started with 50 to 60 students that come here 1 school day (day, not hour!) a week, next year it will double. It’s not serious gaming that’s being played, like for instance biology lessons in a game, but actual games, like Counter Strike and League of Legends. The choice for these games is based on the team building aspect that is necessary if you want to win. The school has also hired game instructors (coaches and trainers) who teach the kids what the game is about and how to win it.
The school’s motivation is that it’s a bounding process. The students have the same interests in gaming and develop more social skills towards each other. Different types of students come together this way that would normally not. For instance, the geeks and the sporty types would normally not interact, but in gaming, they will. Socializing like this develops respect towards each other which will pay itself back in society when they’ve left school. According to Thomas, more schools are adding esports in their curriculum each year. So much can be learned from this great educational initiative, the rest of Europe and the US as well are so far behind on their position on esports.
After these nice talks (you can watch them on Twitch and Facebook), see links below, it was time for the handover of the gift and officially make DSrack part of the European Esportscafé Chain of Gifts. Again, timing sucked, the bar being empty there wasn’t cheering and happiness all around that would have been appropriate for the gift Esports with Friends had made. They gold painted a Nintendo controller and put it on a gold painted wooden platform with an inscription on it. It took a lot of hours to make this awesome gift and Tanya was a bit overwhelmed by it. In need to say the Chain of Gifts is a chain of friendship and not about how much a gift costs and about topping the gift from the former bar, cause Esports with Friends outdid themselves. Tanya presented DSrack’s gift on video, which will be shown next week at Kappa and then she signed the Dutch flag which will be given to the winner of the LoL competition at the end of the roadtrip.
I’d already taken up 2 hours of their time, customers were coming in and Tanya needed to attend them. I have to say it was kind of nice having this time in a quiet bar, getting some good inside information and 1 on 1 talks. Tanya was a lovely host that took all the time to answer all my questions and Thomas gave some nice info on esports and business. Distortion messed up the LoL esportscafé competition so next week at Kappa we’ll have two games played, Esports with Friends vs DSrack and the winner of that game vs Kappa. Game on Thursday evening June 8! (until further notice). Team DSrack are Thomas, 2 customers and 2 employees.
It’s time to leave this lovely farm. Tonight I’ll be camping in the forest, making a campfire and trying not to burn whatever I’ll have for dinner. Facebook pictures will follow!
You can watch the DSrack interviews, the handover of the Esports with Friends gift and Tanya’s signing of the flag on:
Thank you Sarah at Kaffebarn Havnelyst for a lovely evening after work talk (go to Jutland!) and Thomas for my morning cup of coffee in my car and your friendliness!
Thank you Tanya and Thomas at DSrack for all your time and the great gift I’ll present to Kappa next week!
Caro & Evi