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‘Largest ever’ video game tournament coming to Philly

This weekend, Philadelphia’s N3rd Street Gamers will host the largest gaming tournament they have ever presented.
N3rd Street will be hosting a video game competition. (Old City District)

This weekend, on a 33-acre lot just outside Philadelphia, hundreds will die, hunted down by their friends and fellow competitors, over the course of three days.

That’s just what happens in a video game tournament.

Over three days, July 28 to 30, N3rd Street Gamers will present its Summer Championship, an event featuring hundreds of gamers – both professional and amateur – as well as four different games and more than $65,000 in prizes.

“This is our largest event ever. It went from being overwhelming to seeing the pieces fall into place,” said event organizer Robert Hilsky. “Now, I’m just excited to see it all come together.”

Hilsky said that organizers are expecting a turnout of about 1,000 to the upcoming event, which will be held at SunCenter Studios in Aston. The event will include separate tournaments for four different games – Fragadelphia 11, a tournament for teams playing the military shooter, Counter-Strike; Cheesadelphia 5, a player versus player competition on the real-time strategy game, StarCraft; Boostadelphia, a two on two event for players playing the car-soccer game, Rocket League and finally, the Brotherly Brawl, a one on one tournament in the card-battle game Hearthstone.

It is the eleventh Counter-Strike tournament and fifth StarCraft tournament that N3rd Street Gamers have organized and, Hilsky said, as the popularity of gaming grows, they wanted to add new tournaments for Hearthstone and Rocket League as well.

There will also be a virtual reality arcade, a player and spectator lounge and a food court.

As gaming grows in popularity, real-life spectators seem to flocking to e-sports to cheer on their favorite player or teams. Hilsky said that in just the last three Fragadelphia tournaments alone, he’s seen spectatorship grow three-fold.

“This went from being a local, hobby event to something that is practically international,” he said.

In previous tournaments, he said, teams from Brazil, England, South Korea and Germany have attended to participate in the events.

“We have guys from South Korea coming in to beat up on North America,” Helsky said.

Already, he said, 40 teams of five have signed up for this weekend’s Fragadelphia event, while 60 players are set for Cheesadelphia, 16 teams of two are expected for Boostaqdelphia and another 64 players for the Brotherly Brawl.

And, there’s room for more.

While professional gamers will be part of this weekend’s event, Hilsky said that the goal of these tournaments, since the beginning, were always to be inclusive affairs that can act as a way to help casual players enter into the world of competative gaming.  

“We saw an empty hole,” said Hilsky. “We saw this hole where you were either just playing on your couch or you were a professional making a million dollars. We wanted to bridge that gap... Our event is essentially one big training field.”

Also, during the Summer Championship, each separate tournament will be livestreamed online to allow fans from around the world to watch the East Coast’s largest open competitive gaming event.

Read more at n3rdstreetgamers.com.