SPRINGHILL – In a galaxy much like our own, in a time not too far away, button-mashing warriors will descend on this former mining town to decide who is the fiercest hand-to-hand video game combat champion.
There no easy way to describe the Three Game Tournament that will see players vie for top honours in Mortal Kombat 9, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Street Fighter AE 2012, than to simply follow the organizers’ lead and colloquially say “Springhill tournament, bud.” It marks the third event the community will host in as many years in the still-underground scene that draws many from far and away. It is, however, growing and the venue has expanded to an all-ages event that gives a nod to the younger game players who want to pit their skill against their peers.
Don’t be fooled. This is not a bunch of guys getting together to high-five each other while they play video games. It is a competitive tournament where concessions will be made, disses will be thrown down, losers will be disqualified and only the most skillful will walk away with the prize money. Players will have to adhere to the Xbox format and drop any Sony Playstation bias (except for controllers - adapters will be provided) when they walk through the doors of the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre on Saturday, Feb. 2.
“You have to adapt,” co-organizer Andrew Dobson says. “If you’re going to play in a competitive game you have to adapt.”
Choosing the platform was as important as the venue. Xbox offers all the game updates players will demand while the community centre offers both the space and technology the tournament needs. Some of the best tournament players from the Maritimes are expected and slow Internet speed; poor visual graphics and delays of any sort will not be tolerated.
“If you’re going to play in a competitive game you have to adapt.” - Andrew Dobson
“The main thing was to find the best location with the best Internet,” Lacey Lemmons said. “It’s high quality streaming.”
Springhill, Lemmons said, also offers a central location for many challengers. Participants from Prince Edward Island are expected but video game heavyweights from afar are expected.
“The demand is there and people are going to attend because [Springhill] is central,” Justin Adams said. “A large percentage is from St. John and a large percentage is from Halifax.”
“These guys are highly ranked in the competitive scene,” Lemmons said. “It’s only right they have the opportunity to show what they can do.”
And there’s audience demand for such a showdown.
Halifax sponsor Ralston Arcade is onboard to stream the event online (www.twitch.tv/ralstoninstall) while a venue fee of $5 will be charged to those who want to rally behind their favourite competitor – of which between 50 and 60 are expected.
Tournament entry is $10 and the format is a double-elimination process. Prize money will be 60 per cent to first, 25 per cent to second and 15 per cent to third. Sponsors and door prize sponsors for the event include The Last Game Store in Halifax, Moncton’s Spin It Records and the Comic Hunter and Amherst’s The Gaming Edge.
Online, tournament details can be found on Facebook by searching for “Springhill Tournament Bud.”