Cybermachina, a game bar in its broadest sense
On a 10 min. walk from central station you will find Cybermachina, Katowice’s only esports bar. The bar is hidden in an ‘inside building’, but you will see the sign outside. Just go in and take the elevator to the 2nd floor to find game paradise. Why game paradise? Because it’s a bar where you can’t only play esports, but almost every boardgame you can imagine, in fact, they’re more boardgames than the 4 PlayStations and 1 guitar hero that are there for esports. Still, the bar has been opened because of the love for esports. All the other games available are there because Michal and Raphael simply love games. It’s an excellent concept though! It is the busiest bar I’ve visited so far on a weekday afternoon. Michal said it’s actually not so busy because the weather is really nice. In winter, it’s always busy.
Cybermachina is a chain of esportsbars around Poland. Without realizing it, I was meeting with the founding fathers. They’ve started the first bar in Katowice. Lateron, a friend of theirs wanted to do the same in another town and that’s basically what happened 6 more times after that. Each new bar has been set up as an improved version of the bar before. Cybermachina is a franchise in the sense of the name, the goal (playing games) and the interior that has the same basic appearance. All the bars have the same lamps and the same beertap (including the same sorts of beer, 3 kinds, called dragons!) but other than that, the bar owners in the other cities are free to do what they want. However, since offering esports together with other games seems to be a success formula, why should they change it. When I asked why they opened an esportsbar, the answer was simple: we love video games and we love alcohol, so it’s logical😊
This way of looking at things is also the way they set up new bars, it’s always a friend of a friend and they don’t ask a lot their formula. The newbees are helped with their expertise, like what’s the best way to place the tables, which games are most popular, administration and so on. It’s always more a friend’s deal than a business deal. These guys are super relaxed and happy because they get to live their dream; setting up esports bars.
The 2 afternoons I was there, I saw all kinds of people, anime too. Some just sitting at the bar, but all the others playing games, either esports or board. It seemed like there were quite some first dates happening and that’s actually a perfect way to get to know the other. Instead of having awkward conversations, you engage while doing something, in this case, a game. You can find out how fanatic the person is as well or if he/she is a sore loser or cheater, stuff like that, and in case of characteristics you don’t really like, dump them the same evening.
Cybermachina counts 4 PlayStations that are occupied most of the time and in the hallway there’s a guitar hero set up. This is done on purpose, so the other guests can’t hear the bad guitar playing going on. There’re some big screens as well to show tournaments and the interior is totally esports based. The lamps, the beertap, the posters and art, everything is esports, even in the toilets. Guests are mainly locals, except when the Intel Extreme Masters are happening, the place is than stacked with everybody that couldn’t get a ticket, tourists and locals. This is the highlight of the year. All the people sharing their love for esports watching it together is something that can’t be matched with any other event. So next time you’re in Katowice for the IEM, or anytime for that matter, visit Michal and Raphael and enjoy the absolute relaxed vibe of Cybermachina.
Watch the signing of the flag and the interviews with Michal and Raphael: