Kappa Bar and Meltdown Bars merge as largest esports bar company

by Adam Fitch  · 
Updated
Kappa Bar and Meltdown Bars merge as largest esports bar company

Swedish esports bar and restaurant company Kappa Bar has acquired French competitor Meltdown Bars to become the largest company of its kind.

The basics: Much like the newly formed ESL FACEIT Group, the now-merged companies will be collectively known as the Kappa Meltdown Group.

  • Following the transaction, which was completed on March 15, the group operates 28 locations across seven countries.
  • Venues in the Nordic region will retain the familiar Kappa Bar branding, whereas future international locations will be under the Meltdown Bars banner. The company is aiming to open 100 venues by 2027.
  • Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed at the time of writing, though BreakIt has reported that it was an "eight-digit amount" paid through a combination of cash and shares in the merged entity.
  • "The roads leading to greater markets are always challenging, especially emerging out of the Nordics, making the search for an international partner the top of our priority list," said Kappa Bar CEO Robert Dragovic.

The larger picture: The very premise of this company is a bet on esports' position in the future of entertainment.

  • As esports becomes more integrated into mainstream culture — as has happened with casual gaming, especially over the past few years — Kappa Meltdown Group will aim to be well-positioned to capitalize on the influx of social viewership, much like we already see with sports fans going to bars to support their teams over drinks with friends.
  • Kappa Meltdown Group's bars may even serve as a means of converting gaming fans to competitive spectators too, feeding the industry's growth and adoption, if there are esports events being broadcasted as people play games. This is a similar ethos behind BELONG Gaming Arenas, which is undergoing a mass expansion into North America.