The hunt for Toronto’s best Street Fighter is beginning
By: Corey Martinez
For a second year in a row, Toronto will be looking for it’s best video game fighter at the Raiders eSports bar next weekend.
The event is bigger this year and will send three winners to Red Bulls’ Santa Monica studio in California to compete in the Street Fighter V finals which will be streamed on Twitch.com
“There’s a huge online population playing games. We’re looking at a multi-billion dollar industry and a passionate community, so it’s about bringing everyone together,” said Alexander Hope, who will top 8 finals at Raiders.
“With Raiders being one of the first eSports venues in Canada we thrive off having these events. There are a multitude of different organizers for different games that are trying to grow their respective communities and make this industry succeed,” Hope said.
The Red Bull Proving Grounds has doubled in size. There are now 12 Regions to last year’s 6 and they’ve been split into Divisions of East & West
Last years qualifiers saw a variety of players from North America and the world vying to earn the reputation as Toronto’s best fighter. The styles that the city’s diverse culture brings to the contest earned Toronto a video on Red Bulls Youtube page.
eSports have been on the rise lately and major corporations have noticed. Sony and Adidas have sponsored major gaming events while Yahoo has recently started their own streaming service to compete with the wildly popular Twitch.com.
In areas outside of North America, such as Seoul, Korea, players and fans alike fill stadiums just to watch their teams play to become pop culture icons.
To some this became a lucrative business. In 2013, a player named Carlos ‘Ocelote’ Rodriguez made almost one million dollars playing the online League of Legends. Other players could earn up to one hundred thousand dollars a year playing professionally.
The Toronto qualifiers will also include Guilty Gear XRD: Revelator (PS4), Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 (PS4), and The King of Fighters (PS4) tournaments.