Kappa bar Goteborg Sweden, it’s an esports restaurant!
After leaving Tanya and Thomas from awesome DSrack in Copenhagen, I headed for Gotenborg Sweden to visit Kappa bar. Was a day or 2 too early though, so did some camping in the wild, made my first ever campfire and burned a sausage, but it all tasted fantastic on the sandwich. Probably because it took me 1,5 hours to get the fire going for which I used all the paper I could find in the car, including the carton box from Esports with Friends Hamburg. When I arrived in Gotenborg, so did the rain and it kept raining the whole week I was there. Team Kappa made up for the weather though, cause they’re a good set of people. Ton and Simon, thank you for all the coffees and the warm welcome.
Kappa bar is something different, it’s a bar, but foremost, it’s a restaurant where you can have lovely meals (club sandwich is big and needs a huge stomach) surrounded by pc’s, big screens and (VIP) game rooms. The restaurant is owned by a small group of people who figured gamers need to eat too, so why not open an esports restaurant? And so they did. All the staff is into gaming, in fact, if you’re not a gamer, you can’t work there. The interior is uniform and comfortable and the gear of high quality, which is the reason why this successful gaming restaurant is having its doubts on franchising the concept. They’ve opened another esports restaurant in Stockholm themselves because that way, they can guarantee the same quality. With franchise you never know if someone will keep up the standard, something that is very important to Kappa bar.
I arrived on a Saturday night, perfect night for streaming, however, as you can read on my frustrated Facebook posts, my camera failed, or, I failed to reset my camera somehow. In the end I just set up my laptop and videotaped for about 2 hours and uploaded them to https://www.twitch.tv/esportsroadtripchallenge where you will find the DSrack vids as well.
It doesn’t give a good impression of the evening though. It was crowded, you can see that, but the fun part is the clientele, they are absolutely not what you expect of an esportscafé or -restaurant. Close to 50% of the guests where tall, bearded men, covered in tattoos and the same goes for the girls. This is not something I’d ever seen before in a game bar. The atmosphere was happy, all the pc’s were occupied, people who were not gaming were talking and having fun. It was a mixed audience of pure gamers, sometimes gamers, friends of gamers and friends of friends of gamers who were there simply to meet up. During the following days I went to Kappa and saw some of the regulars. People that just come in to have a drink and talk and then do some gaming, or not, whatever they feel like. It’s a relaxed crowd and it seems that you can come as you are.
Just like in Denmark, esports is far more recognized here than in most countries. Ton and Linus (pr-manager) explained that when they were 13, 14 they were being ‘bullied’ or at least considered nerds, for being gamers. Now, the same friends that thought them strange in high school visit Kappa bar, the bar they run. In Sweden too, more schools have esports in their curriculum and also business wise there are far more investments in esports than in the average European country. Kappa bar is for adults, but I went and had a look at a gaming house just around the corner, House of Games, where kids aged 10 get dropped off by their parents, something you see happening all around the Nordic countries (am already in Norway and it’s the same here). The reason schools choose to add esports is the need to work together, form teams and connect kids that would never have connected without gaming. In the early days of gaming, the only gamers were the nerds. Nowadays, every kid is more or less a gamer, which gives the unique common factor between different groups: gaming, and the unique opportunity: connecting. The need to work together to be able to win and therefor the need to get to know the person you would otherwise never have been interested in, is a plus that schools embrace. What can I say but a great shout out to the schools in the Nordic countries that recognize this effect that has already been happening online since the ’90’s.
KAPPA SWEDEN VS DSRACK DENMARK
On Thursday it was finally time for the start of the LoL competition. Unfortunately, my Dutch connection couldn’t provide a stand in for Esports with Friends in Hamburg, so we only had one game that night: Kappa vs DSrack. I found out it was serious business when Kappa requested my laptop not to be that close to them and the screen, otherwise DSrack has the advantage of seeing what Kappa’s doing. I really like that attitude, never thought of that of course, and took some steps back, which is also the reason you can’t really see anything on the twitch stream. So spectator mode for coming Tuesday. Both DSrack and Kappa bar had done their utmost to compose a team with the best players available, Kappa having the advantage of Ton Bokedal who is in the top 7% of the world LoL players. It was a close call actually and Kappa bar won the first round. Thank you DSrack for being part of the opening of the European esportscafé LoL competition and Tanya for having done all you could to form a team, I know it hasn’t been easy!
Right after the game, Erik Nordin (manager) received DSrack’s chain of gift present, which is a headphone signed by all the DSrack employees and 6 bottles of drinks you can’t get in Sweden. Sweet gift DSrack! Watch Tanya from DSrack read a personal message to Kapa at: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/151069772 It was then time to end my visit at Kappa bar by letting Eric sign the victory flag. You can see all of it on https://www.twitch.tv/videos/150411746 The game starts at 01h00 and the chain of gifts and signing of the flag at 01h44.
Doing this roadtrip I thought it’d be a great idea to let people express themselves on my twitch channel, just stand in front of the camera and say whatever you want. You can say hi to your grandmother, give a statement on world politics, tell you friend you love him or your ex you hate him/her or simply flip your finger, anything. Excellent idea, however, in the Nordic countries it’s not something that works. As Eric explained: the Swedish will talk to you if you approach them, otherwise, they won’t. This I found out, with 2 hours of filming on 3 camera’s I got about 5 minutes of 3 guys doing tongue tricks. Maybe at the opening of the Stavanger House of Nerds coming Saturday something interesting will happen.
But first, House of Nerds Oslo!
Peace, caro & evi
Interview with Linus Engdahl – Kappa Bar: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/150167603