eDen is the North’s first eSports bar, bringing together video games and craft beer in one place.
eDen is unlike any other bar in Leeds. It’s an eSports bar, which means it’s all about video games, whether you’re playing in the family-friendly space downstairs or joining the organised competitions upstairs. From Call of Duty to Counter-Strike and FIFA, gaming just became a social event – and this is the place to do it.
First and foremost, eDen is a bar and it’s a place for everyone, whether you’re a video game whizz or not. They’ve got Amstel and Heineken on tap, with three more pumps to be fitted soon – expect a guest cider, guest ale and guest lager. They’ve also got an extensive selection of craft beers in bottles and cans in the fridge, as well as a full array of spirits to choose from. Keep an eye out, because they’re adding cocktails to their offering in the coming weeks, and each one will be given a cool, gaming spin.
You can grab a bite while you’re there too. They serve food from 11am until 8pm, with a simple menu of burgers, salads and sides to keep you going. Whether it’s Jamie’s favourite, the halloumi burger, or his daughter’s more adventurous choice, the peanut butter and jam burger, it’s all sourced locally and tastes great.
Of course, there’s a gaming element to the downstairs bar. They’ve also got a PlayStation and XBOX One to keep you entertained on rainy days, and they’ll be adding a retro games system in the coming weeks, so you can relive your youth or introduce the kids to classic games like Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter.
“My daughter played League of Legends, an online game, and I first tried it about 5 or 6 years ago when she was playing,” owner Jamie Nelson told us. “I got talking to other people and realised that it was quite a popular pastime, and that everyone was doing it in their own home. From there it was an idea for somewhere to go and meet other people that have the same interest.”
The first floor is where the real gaming action happens though. They have space for 32 gamers, with a choice of two XBOX Ones, three PlayStation 4s and 12 custom-built PCs that are specially made for online gaming, all kitted out with the biggest and most popular games in the world.
You can come and play as you please or join their own in-house competitions – the latter of which is a real coop because eDen is the only venue outside of London to offer it. They’ve already hosted a FIFA evening, which went down a storm, and now have plans to follow that up with a one-on-one League of Legends tournament and a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition, which may just feature a couple of well-known professional eSports players. You have to pay a small fee to enter, but all the money goes into the pot and the competition winner takes it home at the end of the night.
It’s not just their own eSports activities that eDen offers. They’ll be streaming the biggest competitions from across the globe live, showing as many games as possible, so you can see the world’s eSports legends at work. Catch FIFA, Delta and League of Legends, all free of charge – just grab a beer and watch the action unfold.
Games are at the heart of eDen’s concept, but it’s more than just a place to play. They’ve created a community here, where the city’s gamers can come together and share their passion with like-minded people.
“The overwhelming feel good factor is the fact that we have had people in that by their own admission don’t normally go out, and they have walked in, and said things like ‘I have found friends, I have found a home’,” Jamie told us. “You walk in, you can turn around to the person next to you and spark up a conversation because you just know that they are interested in the same thing as you are. Even the staff, they are all gamers first and staff second.”
So, whether you want to challenge your mates to a game, catch the latest eSports competition or meet like-minded gamers over a beer, eDen offers the lot. Next time you’re down by Leeds Minster, pop in and let us know what you think.
eDen eSports Cafe, 3 Church Walk, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EG.