Kore Meltdown announces Hard Rock Cafe partnership

Kore Meltdown, the US-based esports bar franchise branch of the newly-formed Kappa Meltdown Group, has announced a partnership with global hospitality brand Hard Rock Cafe.

The partnership will see select Hard Rock Cafe locations play host to Kore Meltdown esports-themed monthly events — debuting in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago.

Kore Meltdown x Hard Rock Cafe
Image credit: Kore Meltdown / Hard Rock Cafe

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According to a release, the initial activation of the partnership will see all four locations host ‘The Origin of Esports: The Games That Rocked the World’ themed events on April 13th. The activations are said to feature prizes and collaborations with ‘top-notch local and international gaming organisations’.

The news comes hot off the heels of Swedish-based Kappa Bar acquiring Meltdown Bars to form Kappa Meltdown Group, becoming the world’s largest esports-focused bar franchise with 28 locations across seven countries.

The partnership promises live tournament broadcasts and watch parties; meet-and-greets with influencers, players and streamers; PvP tournaments; free-to-play computers and consoles; inter-bar tournaments; rewards programmes and more. 

The announcement also stated that additional locations will be revealed in the coming months. If the Gamer Night – Kore Meltdown @ Hard Rock Cafe, Hollywood Eventbrite page is any indication, future events could include a League of Legends Spring Split finale watch party, with monthly events into August.

“It’s an honour to partner with a global brand like Hard Rock to continue to bring the success of our esports bars to the US,” Meltdown Europe Co-owner Felix Lahaye said. “I have always been a huge fan of the brand and we are thrilled to bring unforgettable events and experiences to the most passionate fans in the world.

“Kore Meltdown knows how to take gaming entertainment to the next level, by partnering with Hard Rock, we look forward to burgeoning a new generation of entertainment fans, with the content and world-class hospitality they crave.”

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LaHaye was added to the Kappa Meltdown Group Board of Directors following the company’s acquisition. He is also the Founder & CEO of North American esports media organisation United Esports, with investments in PSG Talon and Beastcoast.

“We’re incredibly keen on seeing the development across the Atlantic,” Kappa Meltdown Group President Robert Dragovic told Esports Insider over email. “Spearheading our North American expansion is shareholder Felix LaHaye, with the goal of opening two restaurants under the Meltdown brand this year already. Our mission is to be wherever gamers are — everywhere.”

Restaurant franchises have activated esports audiences before. Major eatery Buffalo Wild Wings was named ‘the official sports bar of the LCS’ in 2020 and, according to a report from The Esports Observer, filed a trademark to become ‘The Official Bar of Esports.’

Esports Insider says: The Kappa Meltdown group certainly isn’t wasting any time getting after their goal of operating 100 restaurants worldwide in 2027. The partnership is looking to pick up where GameWorks left off. With Hard Rock Cafes located in major cities across the world, this partnership could lead to rampant expansion for the brand.

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