Fans of the video game StarCraft II can take their passion to a new level this Sunday.
On Feb. 26 the first BarCraft event in Victoria will take place at Hecklers Bar and Grill, 123 Gorge Road East.
“The game is not much more than a year old, it was released in Summer 2010,” said event organizer Tristan Clausen.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a military, science fiction, real-time strategy video game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. “This is the first game that really exploded on the spectator scene,” said Clausen. “And it’s only recently that technology has caught up to the point where we can do this.”
The Victoria BarCraft event will broadcast Major League Gaming tournament, StarCraft 2 Winter Arena from New York City. Thirty-two of the world’s top online competitors will battle head-to-head for the top prize of $10,000.
Due to the time difference, locals will watch the games on-demand beginning at 4 p.m.
“You have to purchase a pass to be able to watch the event,” said Clausen but there will be no charge for fans at this first BarCraft event. “Major League Gaming posts them online the following week all the time. But they want those who want to see the event, but maybe can’t afford to buy a pass, the ability to enjoy it – it’s a way to pool our resources.”
Clausen likened the game to digital-age chess. “The typical game can be over in as few as seven minutes or up to a half-hour or 45 minutes,” he said.
The first version of the game was released in 1998, when Clausen was a younger man. “Now I’m a gown-up, married with a job, but I still like to watch a match here and there. As the interest has grown and it has increased in popularity, I saw some interesting possibilities.” He had always wanted to attend a BarCraft event, but none had been held in Victoria. “Then it occurred to me if I wanted to go to one, I would have to organize it myself,” he said.
While he’s not worried about attendance, he does want to make sure those who have never seen the game don’t feel as though they can’t drop by to watch for a bit. “Anyone who has a passing interest is welcome to come. All the games have live commentary. They do a wonderful job so you know what’s going on.”