The UK's first esports café outside of London is hosting a 1v1 League of Legends competition with a rising prize pool.
eDen eSports Bar, which opened in Leeds last month, is hosting the tournament on Sunday August 6th. Matches will be best-of-one, first blood, first tower blood or first to 100cs, and the grand final will be a best-of-three.
It has a £3.50 entry fee and all the proceeds from this go to the winner. To enter, players must be 18+ and send a message to eDen on Facebook with their name and number.
"We don't keep any of the entry fee money," owner Jamie Nelson told Esports News UK. "We don't have a cap on the number of participants either.
"We have 12 custom-built PCs that run all the time, so we can have 12 people playing at once. It depends on the amount of people that want to participate, and what time we'll have to start or finish the competition!"
'Den of geek
eDen is billed as the North's first esports bar. There are other bars in London, such as Loading and Meltdown, but this the first in Leeds (a cosplay cafe was aiming to open in Newcastle, but it failed to meet its funding target).
Tournaments at eDen will take place in the section upstairs, which has 12 gaming PCs, three PS4s, two Xbox Ones and a smattering of retro consoles like a Nintendo 64.
Downstairs there's a bar and kitchen with a seating area for around 30 people, and a new cocktail stand is coming soon.
There will also be viewing parties. For example the bar has already shown the League of Legends Rift Rivals and others in store.
eDen has a unique look too, owner Jamie Nelson told Esports News UK.
"It's in a railway arch, so the bar's been built out of the red brick the archway is made out of," he said. "The bar top is made from railway sleepers. So apart from all the modern equipment, it has a rustic look.
"The reaction since opening has blown me away - the feel-good factor and the camaraderie and everything. It's just been unbelievable."
Jamie Nelson, eDen eSports Bar
"[The reaction since opening] has blown me away to be honest, and I don't mean the business numbers, I mean the feel-good factor, the friendliness and the camaraderie and everything. It's just been unbelievable."
So why did Jamie decide to open an esports bar?
"What are we, ten years or so behind the other territories?" he said. "My daughter has been playing League of Legends for five or six years. She's at university in Aberdeen - that's where I first saw it. When she played it I tried it and couldn't get along with it - maybe I'm too old!
"But the whole thing fascinated me. And then when I heard about the 2022 Asian Games, I thought wouldn't it be great to take some people there and give a good account of ourselves? That's in the back of my mind all the time now to be honest.
UK scene takes an interest
eDen has already caught the eye of UK esports players and organisations.
UK esports personalities Harry "Pommey" Crawford, Charlie "Pickles" Pickles, Jamie "Gizmo" Harris and Kalvin "KalKal" Chung recently visited the bar.
eDen will be hosting a CSGO tournament soon, with the winners taking on Pommey and Pickles in a special 5v2 match.
— eDen eSports Bar (@eDen_eSportsBar) July 15, 2017
eDen hosted its first tournament on FIFA the other week, and as well as the upcoming LoL 1v1, has more plans for competitions in the future.
"In-house tournaments and streams will be a regular feature," owner Jamie said.
"We will be hosting regular gaming tournaments which anyone is welcome to sign up for, be it by yourself or in groups, depending on what's on at that time.
"We have a CSGO tournament to arrange after I've heard from Pommey and Pickles and KalKal on dates they can do."
Have you seen my 9ft bear Tibbers?
It's clear eDen is taking a different, interesting approach to esports bars.
For example, the bar is getting a 9ft model of Tibbers made to spice up the place (and keep customers in check)!
While it might not be exactly like the model above from Riot's Los Angeles office (it's not yet complete), it will surely be a talking point in the bar and a cool visual slice of League of Legends.
eDen is also doing lots for the community outside of the usual, too.
"We're getting under-privileged kids in outside of opening hours, and giving them a free run on the games and giving them breakfast."
"We're getting under-privileged kids in outside of opening hours, and giving them a free run on the games and giving them breakfast, and stuff like that," Jame explained.
"We're also meeting with Leeds City College, they want me to come down and see if I can help there."
It's great to see an esports bar take a different approach and try something different. The interest it's received so far seems encouraging - it's already drawn interest from locals, the UK esports scene and publications such as Leeds List.
We look forward to seeing the bear and the bar in person when we next venture beyond the wall and visit the North.