Two months ago, Eric Tee, 27, head of an investment company, decided to give the running of a full-fledged games café a go, having been a pretty active trading card and all-round gamer for many years.

Tee acquired Classroom Café in Subang Jaya, Selangor, a place that serves food and drinks, and also functions as a hang-out for board and card gamers around the area.

“I always had an interest in running a games café. Classroom Café was originally a board game cafe, but I brought in the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game (WoW TCG) because I have been interested in TCGs since I was young. It has turned into a table-top gaming establishment, so it can cater to the different types of gamers out there,” said Tee.

WoW’s the word
The WoW TCG factor is certainly a big one for Tee’s café, as fans of the card game flock from as far as Sri Petaling and Cyberjaya to play there.

He has big plans for Classroom Café, setting out some pretty specific goals for the place.

“My long-term plan for the cafe is to expand our menu, start running major WoW TCG tournaments on a regular basis – including the Darkmoon Faire events (considered top-tier events for the game), and possibly even franchising,” explains Tee.

Nats a-go-go
Classroom Café had its first major event last week with the WoW TCG Nationals 2012.

“We only had about 25 players, as the timing and short notice of the event probably affected the attendance. I firmly believe that we have plenty of WoW TCG players in the country, and am already looking forward to organizing the next event! All in all though, the Nationals was a decent start to begin with,” he said.

According to Tee, the top decks of the day were mostly Monster decks, with the top eight having three Monster Hunters, two Monster Druids, one Monster Rogue-Warlock, one Horde Mage and one Horde Rogue. The champion of the day was a Monster Hunter deck, piloted by Imran Hidayat Ahmat, 29, who works in a recruitment firm.

A long-time WoW TCG player since October 2006, Imran was also a fan of MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role playing game). A regular at Toybox, another game shop that heavily supports WoW TCG, Imran spends time honing his playing skills and exchanging ideas with his gaming buddies there.

“It was exciting and very stressful at the same time, as I’ve already been practising since July but went away during the Hari Raya holidays for two weeks. By the time I came back, Nationals was only one week away and felt a little rusty. Fortunately, I was still able to pull through it,” he said.

Imran credits “a combination of luck and experience” for his win.

“In any TCG, luck is always a factor, because believe me – you do need a decent run in order to win. Experience helps as well, since the more experienced player is more likely to make better play decisions. I can’t say I’m a very experienced player myself, but I am constantly learning to improve myself when playing,” he said.

Imran only started out playing “for fun”, when a close friend of his encouraged him to try competitions. He’s never looked back since, and looks forward to attending a major tournament in the Philippines in the coming months.

When asked what kind of advice he’d give to new gamers, Imran said: “Practise plenty and always look back to analyse your mistakes to see what you could have done better.

“Be confident in yourself but don’t get too cocky. And never, ever, stress yourself out too much. At the end of the day, it’s still a game and the most important thing is you have fun and enjoy yourself.”

If you’re eager to get your gaming fix, check out Classroom Café’s Facebook page ( It is open from 12pm to 11pm daily, except Mondays.

CHEE YIH YANG is drooling at the new Blood Bowl Team Manager Card Game expansion already, Sudden Death. Email the esoteric gaming nut at if you have comments, questions, hot gaming news and tips, and trading lists and deck ideas for both Magic and World of Warcraft. Check out his blog at, and follow him on Twitter at

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