Esports bars are not a new concept by any means, especially in Europe and North America.
But when it comes to the Far East, gathering places for gamers are still dominated by more traditional gaming hubs, like PC bangs in South Korea, Arcades in Japan, and Internet Cafes in China.
However, things are about to change, at least when it comes to China.
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Tim Hortons, famous Canadian-based restaurant chain, plans to expand their business in China with more than 1500 outlets across the country.
Since foreign companies can't operate businesses in China without a Chinese partner, they've partnered with Chinese social media and gaming giant, Tencent.
Back in May, Tencent invested an unspecified amount into this joint venture.
At first, it looked like it will be a regular restaurant chain similar to Tim Hortons' outlets in other parts of the world, but new information surfaced this week, revealing more details about this project.
According to Daniel Ahmad, video game industry analyst specialised for the Asia market, these will not be regular Tim Hortons restaurants.
Instead, they will introduce esports themed coffee shops, which will offer things like "esports themed beverages, food and in-store activities."
Tencent and Tim Hortons will create esports themed coffee shops, including esports themed beverages, food and in store activities— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) September 5, 2020
- Tim Hortons opened its first coffee shop in China last year. Plan to open 1,500
- Tencent invested an undisclosed amount in the company this May pic.twitter.com/KdgH0S9I3V
The idea behind it is that traditional Internet Cafe businesses, which are very popular in China, are outdated for modern needs and gaming habits of the Chinese gaming community and so they need some innovation.
The focus will be on offline and mobile gaming, with things like "fast Wi-fi, Gaming chairs, fast charging ports, etc."
At the same time, they will offer traditional food and drink experience as you can expect from fast food, coffee, and doughnut chain.
Their goal is for this new esports coffee shops to become a go-to place for gamers in the real world.
Apparently, first esports coffee shop is opening in November, and they are planning to experiment and explore different types of content and events in order to find the best services which will attract Chinese gamers and drive customer loyalty.