Caffeine Lounge in Sudbury will be largest e-sports gaming venue in UK, says founder
A new online gaming lounge heading to Sudbury believes it will be the largest venue of its kind in the UK, when it launches at the end of this month.
Caffeine Lounge, an e-sports venue containing 50 gaming stations, plus a modern bar and lounge area, is set to open in the Borehamgate precinct on Saturday, November 30, after receiving the green light from Babergh District Council’s planning committee.
The business, which takes over the unit formerly occupied by Thing-Me-Bobs, aims to offer a social setting for people to play video games together, as well as host events where e-sports teams can compete in national and international online gaming tournaments.
Founder William Ward, who set up the gaming news website caffeinegaming.com three years ago, said he has been working full-time on Caffeine Lounge since September 2018, after deciding Sudbury would benefit from an e-sports lounge, citing a lack of entertainment for younger people in the town.
“I was involved with nightclubs for several years and managed Infinity Nightclub in Sudbury, so mixing both worlds for me was easy,” he told the Free Press.
“I am aiming to use this venue for multiple things. Firstly, it is a gaming venue with a heavy focus on e-sports, so we will be running weekly competitions internally and externally with other partners.
“We also have interest from universities to come to the venue and chat to prospective students, put on guest lectures and workshops on various topics, like coding.”
Mr Ward stated the business has already partnered with drinks maker Monster Energy to stage sponsored events, and is planning to broadcast a monthly show live from the venue starting in the new year, building on a pilot programme called The Caffeine Gaming Show, filmed in London last year.
If the Sudbury venture is a success, he explained his goal is to open more venues under the Caffeine Lounge brand in the future.
He added that he believes the business can also help rejuvenate the precinct, which has drawn concerns in recent months over the number of vacant units, and support Babergh District Council’s wider regeneration plans for the Hamilton Road area.
“Local businesses are vital for our success,” he said.
“I have already been chatting to my neighbours in Borehamgate and helping sort major issues with the precinct on their behalf.
“They are excited that I’m opening, as it will bring more footfall to the precinct, which will increase their trade.
“The reason for choosing the location was down to size and location. Being a shopping precinct, it can really be a social hub.
“Being next to the bus station and very close to the train station, access to the venue is fantastic.”
“I chose Sudbury because of a lack of entertainment for under-18s and the fact I have worked in the town for years.”
For further information about the venue, go to www.caffeinelounge.co.uk.
More by this authorThomas Malina