California-based gaming company to host tournament in Gilbert

Super League Gaming, a company based out of Santa Monica that brings gaming competitions to movie theaters, is launching a Minecraft tournament here in the Valley. The company has partnered with Harkins Theatres, and will be using the theater in the SanTan Village shopping center in Gilbert to host the event.

This tournament is open for kids and teens, and local team Phoenix Blaze will be competing. This event is a great opportunity for kids to be able to play face-to-face against local competitors. It also promotes a sense of community among those interested in eSports.

Ann Hand, CEO of Super League Gaming, said, “We’ve looked at Phoenix and long believed it was a great city due to its family-friendly focus— we partnered with Harkins, and they helped us decide that Gilbert’s audience in particular would be a great place for this offering.”

Super League Gaming participants playing in a tournament inside a movie theater. Image by Gearcraft.

The eSports industry is made up of electronic sports and professional, competitive gaming through the use of electronic consoles. Asia was the first to see the boom in this market, but North America and Europe are starting to see an influx of participants in eSports tournaments.

The eSports industry is growing rapidly, and it doesn’t look like it will stop any time soon. With over 205 million viewers and players in 2014 alone, this industry was expected to become even bigger come 2017. With the tournament coming to the Valley and dozens of other cities across the country, this prediction seems to be coming true.

Last year, the eSports industry made $493 million dollars in revenue, and is expected to reach far past $1 billion come 2019.

The types of games involved with eSports include Minecraft, League of Legends, Call of Duty, Super Smash Bros. (for Nintendo/Wii U), Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, and many more.

Super League Gaming has raised $5 million dollars in a series C round of funding. Since the companies launch in 2014, they have now successfully raised over $20 million dollars.

“Inspired by the world’s biggest eSports events, Super League Gaming’s mission is to make those experiences accessible to everyone who is passionate about their favorite games, strong-yet-supportive competition, and sense of community,” said Ann Hand, CEO of Super League Gaming.

Since their company took off, Super League Gaming has hosted over 9,000 children in what the company calls “friendly competition” in five league seasons of play.

A Harkin’s Theatre representative said that the company is always looking for unique ways to create memorable experiences for their guests. “The in-theater Minecraft tournament is just one more opportunity to use the state-of- the-art technology and larger-than-life screens to bring fans together to share in an experience unlike anything available at home,” said the representative.

It is always an exciting time when companies from other states decide to branch out into Phoenix; and this unique event is sure to create a buzz in the city!

Super League Gaming will be hosting four events in the Valley: April 29th, May 6th, May 13th, and May 20th.  All events will be from 10:15 AM to 12:10 PM.

Grab your tickets here, and see what the eSports industry is all about!

Katherine Sorensen

Author: Katherine Sorensen

Katherine is a writer who studies English Literature at Arizona State University and works for Coplex, a local startup studio. In her spare time, Katherine can be found writing poetry, reading graphic novels, and watching Friends on Netflix for the 8th time in a row.

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