WATERLOO REGION – Three local esports enthusiasts can win a combined total of $750 in prizes at an upcoming charity tournament.
The Waterloo E-Sports Commission (WREC) is hosting the event starting at 10 a.m. on April 10, where players will compete in four rounds of Rocket League.
Each ride will last approximately one hour and prizes include gift cards, tickets and passes to local events.
“This is a small step towards a bigger goal of hosting these bigger tournaments and competitions, but also growing the (esports gaming) industry as a whole,” said Jeremy Dueck, president of the Commission.
This includes college programs and the creation of regular events and leagues.
Rocket League is a game where players use cars to play football in a virtual arena.
The final two rounds of the championship will be broadcast live at 2 p.m. so viewers can interact with each other.
Registration opened in early March at $10 per person, allowing those of all ages, both local and those from out of the region.
“There’s this phenomenal grassroots level of esports,” Dueck said.
“Finding out who likes to play esports, who likes to make games, and getting those people involved – I think it’s really about participation and community engagement.”
Participants will play from their homes, the use of video cameras being encouraged.
Local esports commission vice-chairman Allister Scorgie hopes this event, as the commission’s first tournament, will be one of many. He looks forward to doing in-person events in the future.
“One of the things we’re trying to do is build community using esports.”
“It went from being something that a lot of people were doing alone and playing at home, to something where there’s a social component to it,” Scorgie said.
The group hopes to reach 120 players who would register to join the event. The commission partnered with the City of Kitchener to host it.
All proceeds from the tournament will go to the Every Kid Counts program, which provides children with disabilities access to summer camps in the City of Kitchener and the City of Waterloo. Dueck said a $400 donation would put a child in summer camp for a week.
To register for the tournament, go to www.challenge.wrec.gg.