Players were on hand Saturday for an NBA 2K22 tournament at the Strong Future Technology Center in North Las Vegas.
“Ward 5 Councilor decided this was a great opportunity to introduce esports to the community here,” said organizer Edward Wells Thompson. “From there it was a hit, so we decided to do another one.”
Organizing events has been a passion for Thompson for over a decade. It all started with a Call of Duty tournament.
“It was an event we had at a sushi bar and we had a TV,” Thompson said with a laugh.
Fortunately, things have changed, even if his mission has not changed.
“I’m reaching out to people who I know are like-minded and think outside the box on how to get people to an esports event,” Thompson said.
Saturday’s tournament featured a youth and adult bracket, raffle prizes, food and drink and gave people the opportunity to learn more about how esports can expand beyond- beyond the game.
“It’s not just for playing esports, but there are so many other aspects to it,” Thompson said. “The production of this, the setting up of events, we leverage not only the game, but the opportunity to learn all the other employment opportunities that esports provides.”
Several local organizations attended the event, including Vegas Inferno, Storm Rush Gaming, Nevada Esports Education League, and Critical Care Comics.
“We’re all community driven and Ed is a really good guy, so we wanted to show our support and interact with the community,” said Storm Rush founder Salvador Villa. “I think it’s important to highlight the different types of competitive games that exist.”
Las Vegas Inferno brought a number of people to the event and were eager to support the cause.
“We’ve been invited and with the city involved, we want to do more,” said Las Vegas Inferno founder Jairo Urcuyo. “It’s not an obligation, it’s a goal. Whatever they try to do, we want to try to help.
Las Vegas Inferno, which will be holding a blood drive in April, was happy to partner with other local organizations to promote esports in Las Vegas.
“It’s very important,” Urcuyo said. “Whether it’s competitive or casual, it’s all about getting the word out about esports. There’s a lot of kids out there struggling and they don’t have an outlet. Gaming can be this outlet.
Thompson will also host a tournament during EVO, which is scheduled to take place August 5-7 in Las Vegas. And, after more than a decade of organizing events, Thompson is excited to continue showing communities what esports can offer.
“I was all in,” Thompson said. “I knew I wasn’t going to make money right away. The idea was to introduce it to children and parents and show them what their children are doing. That’s what’s important to me. »