Parent-Child Duo Establish e-Sports Cafe, Makuhari Ace – Exclusive Interview!

A unique and unique e-sports cafe has opened in a convenient location just a 1-minute walk from Kaihin Makuhari Station.

Representative Shinichi Komazawa and store manager Shosei Komazawa are father and son. His son is an active member of the e-sports generation who aspired to become a professional gamer at an e-sports vocational school, and his father is the founder of the transportation company Cainz Logi and a businessman with a track record in the food and beverage industry.


This time, we interviewed the two of them not only about the appeal of the facility, but also from a business perspective, such as “Why did they create an e-sports cafe?'' and “What are the conditions for an e-sports cafe to fail?''

25 years of transportation business management, businessman father

──Thank you for your time today. This month, e-sports cafes are opening one after another near major stations. “e-sports place MAKUHARI ACE'' is conveniently located 1 minute walk from Kaihin Makuhari Station. Why did you decide to create an e-sports cafe at this time?

Mr. Shinichi Komazawa (hereinafter referred to as Shinichi Representative)I think the timing is a little late. We were actually aiming to open in the summer of 2023, but the property search didn't go smoothly, so we're here today.

Currently, I am the representative of the transportation company Cain's Logi, and have been in the transportation business for 25 years. Since I am planning to step down as president and become chairman in the near future, I have decided to plant the seeds for this by building a facility related to e-sports, a field that will carry the future of the company.


──I understand that you run a transportation company, but how did you decide to enter the e-sports business?

Representative ShinichiWhile the e-sports population is increasing, there were almost no e-sports cafes in Chiba Prefecture. I have experience in the food and beverage industry, and my son, who is the manager of our restaurant, has knowledge related to e-sports, so we opened the restaurant with the idea of ​​combining them to create something that is not available in Chiba Prefecture.

When my son was attending an e-sports vocational school, I was worried at first, thinking, “E-sports won't work (in terms of work),'' and “It won't make any money.''

To be honest, I thought it would be better for my son to go to university and get a job, and I was also considering having him help out with our business eventually.

However, as I heard various stories from my son, talked with professional gamers at a vocational school, and people at school, and gained more information about e-sports, my thoughts changed.The image of esports has changedYes.

My son was aiming to become a professional gamer.

──I would like to ask the store manager (son), do you remember that time?

Mr. Shosei Komazawa (hereinafter referred to as Shosei Manager)I studied esports at a vocational school with the intention of becoming a professional gamer, but as I neared the time of graduation, I started to worry a lot about how I should get involved in esports.

Representative ShinichiCurrently, there are not many jobs related to e-sports, and although I have tried looking for them, there are also very few e-sports cafes that are recruiting.

Recently, major companies have opened e-sports cafes, but none of them are run by young people, and the reality is that they are run by mid-career employees, so it is a good place to find employment for young people. I felt that there were still few.

So we thought, “Wouldn't it be better if we created an employment site instead?'' After about two years of planning, we“Whether or not it turns into a business, it's a dream-filled business.”With this in mind, we decided to build a facility.

We don't want to lose to other esports facilities, so we've built a big, sturdy box and prepared the equipment.

–So you're also thinking about job creation and human resource development.

Representative ShinichiI agree. Part-time employees can also learn how to use streaming equipment while on the job. Learning how to broadcast and manage events while still in college will expand your career options after graduation.

At this e-sports cafe, you will learn a lot more than just being a staff member at a restaurant, making food in the kitchen and serving it to customers.

──I got the impression that you put a lot of effort into human resource development and management. How many people have you trained in your company?

Representative ShinichiI think there are over 1,000 people.

Are there any e-sports cafes you used as a reference?

──Did you use any other e-sports cafe as a reference, or did you create it with an original concept?

Representative ShinichiI went to see a few, so I'm using the good ones as reference.

However, simply imitating them is not enough, so we put the most effort into making the entrance easy to enter. I felt that many e-sports cafes had the problem of being difficult to enter.

I felt that this “difficulty in getting into'' was putting a brake on the progress of e-sports culture. Therefore, we were conscious of creating an environment where everyone from small children to the elderly could enter.

Therefore, we designed our store to have a wide entrance, so that when you get off the elevator, you can see it right in front of you.

──What other points did you keep in mind when creating the facility?

Representative ShinichiIt's all about maintaining occupancy rates. For example, if you specialize as a facility for holding e-sports events, the occupancy rate will not be high (mainly on weekdays).

When there are no events, you can maintain occupancy by turning it into an e-sports bar that allows public viewing. I have experience in restaurants, so I incorporated the knowledge I gained there.

By creating a facility with a variety of uses, more staff can work. For example, if it was just a gaming area, it would only require a few people, so I wouldn't have built this facility just for that.

After all, we thought it was necessary to create an attractive facility by combining various categories with such a large facility, location, and abundant food and drink menu.

I love sports, so I created a public viewing element that is unique to sports cafes, similar to sports such as baseball, soccer, martial arts, and the Olympics. On the other hand, my son built it around e-sports-specific elements such as event distribution, team practice, and gaming areas, and successfully matched them.

In the future, we are considering holding classes on weekdays. In addition to coaching esports, you can also hold programming classes. With this in mind, we have chosen a location that is easily accessible, a 1-minute walk from Kaihin Makuhari Station.

Development of e-sports, human resource development, job creation

──When I heard your story, it seems like you have a variety of social significance and lofty goals, such as the development of esports, human resources development, education, and employment creation, rather than simply operating an esports facility. Ta.

Representative ShinichiThe origin of the company name “Cain's Logi'' is “a kind transportation company.''

I think that the transportation industry is also a service industry, and if you don't think about what the customer is thinking first, you won't be able to do good business. I think the key is “how kindly you can teach them.”

If you don't take care of the one customer in front of you, you won't be able to take care of the many customers.“Let each customer enjoy themselves”is the concept of our store.

──In a business like an e-sports cafe, there are many things that tend to be difficult to pay attention to in terms of operational details, but your company is determined to take on the challenge as a service business.

Representative ShinichiI agree. For example, when a customer (who is not familiar with e-sports) comes to our store, our approach is to always accompany the customer until they log into their account and start the game.

Our staff members are given plenty of time to play games during the training period. If you haven't experienced it yourself, you won't be able to convey it to your customers. If the staff can kindly teach me how to play esports, I think even people of my parents' generation will think, “Okay, I'll give esports a try.''

At that time, if you notice that they are not good at using a keyboard and mouse, you can try to be more considerate and let them know that you can borrow a controller for free. We believe that we should provide services tailored to our customers.

We will run our store with the stance of “conveying the fun of e-sports'' to this generation.

What are the conditions for an e-sports cafe to fail?

──Finally, I would like to ask you about a business perspective. It is likely that various companies will continue to enter the e-sports cafe industry, but are you thinking about the point that “If you start an e-sports cafe like this, you will fail?''

Representative ShinichiWhen operating an e-sports cafe as a company“Starting with a half-hearted sense of scale” increases the risk of failure.You could say that.

I believe that times change every two years, so I designed this e-sports cafe as a facility that can respond to changing needs.

Of course, if it is a private shop, it may be small enough to be run in one operation. However, for a company like ours, if we build a facility with a half-baked scale and equipment, we will not be able to respond to changes in the times and needs, and we will not be able to attract customers or monetize effectively, despite spending a lot of money. You'll probably end up giving up.

For example, instead of making the facility just a gaming area, we could also set up a cafe within the same facility, where we could serve alcohol, and create private rooms that could be used for team practice. Furthermore, an event space will be created to allow large-scale events to be held.

If you don't attract customers from all angles and meet their needs, you probably won't be able to make a profit.

A gaming PC will probably last less than 10 years, and you will need to upgrade to a PC with better specs after a few years. Because of the cost of regularly replacing equipment with new equipment, the store cannot survive on mediocre profits.

If you keep low-spec gaming PCs around for a long time, you'll probably lose a lot of customers. It will cost money, but don't compromise on that.

In order to incorporate the customer's point of view, I asked my son (who is of the working generation) for his opinion on this matter. It's a store we created together by sharing each other's perspectives and knowledge.

──What kind of perspective did you share with Mr. Shosei, the store manager?

Shosei managerWe hope that e-sports will become more popular among seniors and people who don't usually play games.

My strong suggestion was the size and number of monitors for public viewing. At other e-sports cafes, you may not be able to see the monitors from a distance.

At our store, the monitors can be seen from any angle, which is rare at other e-sports cafes. We plan to make it possible to enjoy watching not only e-sports but also regular sports.

For seniors and parents, we want them to have fun not only by playing e-sports, but also by watching e-sports.

Representative ShinichiI think that parents who have children who are gamers often say that their children play games until late at night and are noisy. I also saw my son practicing e-sports in the middle of the night and thought, “How annoying!'' (laughs)

──Thank you very much for your valuable talk. I learned a lot from the strategy of creating a wide variety of areas within one facility and responding flexibly to changing times. By the way, you said that “times change every two years,” but which sections do you think are particularly popular now?

Representative ShinichiWhat is most needed right now is a gaming floor. Demand for cafes and streaming services may increase in the future. Even among e-sports cafes, there are few that put a lot of effort into their cafes.

Shosei managerThere are many gamers who play for long periods of time without eating, so there is an impression that they are unhealthy.With the intention of dispelling this negative image, our store puts a lot of emphasis on food. I'm putting it in.

Representative ShinichiDispelling the negative image is also an important part of promoting esports in the future.

I think it would be a good idea to have moms and dads drink tea or beer in the cafe space while the kids play games. I also hope that fathers will occasionally go and watch their children play games and learn about them, which will serve as an opportunity for communication within the family.

By the way, this area is the home base of the Chiba Lotte Marines, but there is only one sports bar, and it is always crowded when there is an event. When watching sports, it's more interesting to watch it on a big, powerful screen like the one we have at home, rather than on a small screen, so I think that's another advantage of our store.

Interview postscript

Through this interview, it appears that the company has many missions, including “creating employment in the esports industry,'' “nurturing esports human resources,'' and “developing the esports industry,'' rather than simply operating an esports cafe. It was done.

It was also an eye-opening experience to learn about the “various mechanisms to establish a business'' within the facility.

There is a gaming area with 40 seats, a private room for team practice, a stage equipped with streaming equipment, a public viewing area where you can watch baseball and soccer on weekdays, and a cafe area where you can enjoy food and drinks. The five comprehensive sections designed to keep up with the changing times are sure to strike a chord with some customers.