Could the Sault become a Gaming Hub?

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Sault Ste. Marie could become a gaming hub according to Cynn Smith, event lead at UMG.

The Sault was host to a first ever UMG Pro-Am tournament Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The E-sports tournament was streamed live on Twitch.tv and the new Microsoft platform, Beam to a global audience over the weekend at the Machine Shop.

The marquee event from the weekend featured amateur teams against one another in an elimination tournament format. The top three teams shared in the $10 000 prize pool, taking home $6000 (1st), $3000 (2nd) and $1000 (3rd).

Teams were mostly local, however the tournament also attracted out-of-town teams including SetToDestroyX, leading champions who ended up keeping its title and 1st place winner.

“E-sports , which is competitive video gaming ,¬† competitive sports , such as e-sports or hockey is something the Sault embraces, the Sault wants it” Smith told SaultOnline.com

The tournament drew 200 to watch and 16 teams competed locally with players around the world. “this is a billion dollar industry right now and by 2019 it could be a two billion dollar industry, this is how big as it gets, we’re already bringing in as much money as the motion pictures industry and we’ve surpassed professional sports”

Corporate sponsorship are driving the revenue for the sport said Smith.

The event also serves as a platform to generate interest around the opportunities available in lottery and gaming in Sault Ste. Marie.

The tournament kicked off with a screening of the documentary film League of Millions, focusing on the world of eSports and competitive gaming. The screening  was followed by a panel discussion featuring professionals from the eSports, gaming and entertainment sectors, focused on competitive gaming and the eSports industry.

The 38 year old video gamer from Georgia says other e-sports events are in the works.

“we can’t say too much, but we are dedicated to this area” Smith said.

 

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Craig Huckerby
Craig Huckerby is a seasoned broadcast and media professional with over 35 years in local media. Starting in television, Craig became known as "the weather guy" on local television before pioneering internet media in the Sault. Craig is credited for bringing local television back to the Sault via the internet in 2003 with LTVNEWS.COM and was instrumental in launching SooNews.ca and Local2.ca. Craig is happy to be part of the Sault's newest media team and website, SaultOnline.com