Is it worth it opening a gamer bar?

Jul 19 2019 6 min read

Is it worth it opening a gamer bar? — Interview with Meltdown Malaga Bar owner ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

Joris Introini, originally from Paris, have been living in Malaga for five years already. One day, he decided to open an esports bar in this city and picked Meltdown Esports franchise to do it. He opened this beautiful place on 30th March 2019. This bar is the first Meltdown in Andalucía and the fourths in Spain. Joris is a kind man with a wide smile. He starts with explaining what Meltdown is: a French franchise of Esports Bars, which exists since 2012. The first Meltdown bar was built and opened in Paris. Today, there are more than 20 bars of this franchise in France, a few more in Europe (England, Swiss, Belgium, Hungary,) and in America (Canada and Panama). And, well, we are speaking of one in the middle of Malaga city centre.

Meltdown bars map

You've started working just a few months ago, and it's too early to make verdicts. Still, you do expect great success, don't you?

Yes, and there are two reasons for that. First is that Malaga is a city of nightlife as it is. People like hanging out in the evening, visit various places and get drinks. That's why, first and foremost, Meltdown is a bar with a great choice of drinks and services.

And second – we think that Malaga is a good place to run an Esports business. This is a home town for Vodafone Giants, famous organisation who owns successful teams in LoL and CS:GO. Also, Malaga is a place of two huge gaming events, Gamepolis and Freakcon. There is a big audience in Malaga that would be interested in spending time in a place like Meltdown.

Our local University runs a program that teaches people to work in the esports industry.

How does Meltdown work? Is it like an anti-cafe where people pay for the time they spend in the bar?

No, that's how a cybercafé works. We are a bar with an ad-value to play PC, console and arcade games. We serve cocktails, shots and drinks in general. To get access to games, people just have to grab drinks worth 3.5 euros minimum and then keep to taking drinks or snack to continue their journey in our Meltdown Bar.

So you are confident that there are a lot of people interested in Esports in Malaga.

Yes, and this is the result not only of Giant's success but also work of Malaga University. Our local University runs a program that teaches people to work in the esports industry. They also run scientific researches to find out how people can benefit from Esports mentally and physically. All these people work to generally promote pro-gaming all around Andalucía.

Do professional players come and visit your place often?

Sure, sometimes professional players do come to visit Meltdown. There are also several streamers to mention.

The obvious thing to do when you have such a place is running tournaments. Do you have those?

Yes, we do, and not only local events that use our environment. Thanks to the franchise, our place can be a part of a tournament series between the bars, which is called Inter-Meltdown. And on our way to success, we don't want to be alone. We want to be a part of a group of people that pursue one common goal. That's much more fun and efficient in terms of doing business and developing gaming culture.

How often do you run local tournaments and how do they work?

Usually once a week, a different game each time, because, as we are young, we are looking for new communities. Soon we will hold our first big event, which is a 5-day championship in fighting games: Tekken 7, Street Fighter 5 and others. This tournament will attract not only Esports enthusiasts but also players close to professionals in terms of skill.

Also, we sometimes run small tournaments and challenges. For example, if you beat a bartender in Super Smash Bros. battle, you'll get a free shot.


Are there other places like your's in Malaga that could be called your competitors?

There are some, but not much. We are not the only Esports Bar in this city. Our closest competitor called LevelUp works similarly but doesn't have computers in its premises, only consoles and arcade machines. Also, there are several cybercafés in Malaga, who own a lot of computers and there's a small bar.

I didn't have real Bar business experience

How much will it cost to open a place like this?

Hard to say exactly, it depends on the concept. But if you want to create something with real value (e.g. worthy decorations, concept, etc.) you should have 150,000 Euros at least.

That's a sum. Are you sure it's worth investing? 

I cannot tell you the expected income but will advise on how to plan it for a startup example. You have to calculate how much income you need to have every week to pay you fixed cost, your bank loan, your initial investment repayment and miscellaneous. If you are sure you can earn more than that – go ahead and open your business!

Did you have any experience in bartending before?

Before this, I was a salesman on the Swiss market for an American IT company, so I didn't have real Bar business experience. That's why we have decided to join a franchise that helped and trained us in this new world.  My experience makes me capable of managing a complex project (Business plan, finance, work management, marketing, etc.). What I was missing is the bartender side, the stock management and, obviously, having a bar to run!


Seems like Malaga is actually a good place for Esports startups, and you are doing great in making your own idea come true. Let's switch to personal questions. Joris, are you a fan of esports yourself?

I was a big CS 1.6 player when I was younger. But not a professional, because then there was yet no professional scene at all. Esports in France consisted of small groups of people, who sometimes gathered to play tournaments for a small reward. Internet wasn't developed well enough; ADSL was being just developed. We did it for fun.

How close do you follow esports?

As an owner of an esports bar, I have to follow multiple disciplines pretty close to be able to choose the most appropriate streams for the place. For example, we had a pub stomp during one of the latest ESL tournaments. We are using a mobile application called "Strafe" to stay in touch with all the tournaments.

Do you have a favourite team or organisation?

I don't have yet a favourite team, but I like Fnatic in League of Legends.

Do you feel that you want to help to expand esports globally as an industry?

I don't feel I want to help to expand the Esports because I believe that Esport is expanding by itself as an industry. But with our bar, we help to make the industry-recognized and are giving the opportunity for everybody to explore the world of esports and video games.

You can hit Meltdown Malaga via Instagram and Twitter. See you there!

Are there any esports bars in your city? Do you think it's a profitable business? Share your thoughts in comments!

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