Ultimate Gamer semi-finals to be held at Westfield Tuggerah on May 25

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog

THE rise of e-sports as a spectator phenomenon will be on show at Westfield Tuggerah this Saturday.

That's when the semi-finals of Central Coast Council's inaugural Ultimate Gamer tournament will be played.

The grand final of the event for young people aged 12 to 24 will be held at Erina Fair on June 22.

Both events will feature a side of giant games, DJ workshops and chillout zones.

"This is council's first Ultimate Gamer tournament and altogether 60 young people have made it through to the semi-finals from heats at six shopping centres across the Coast," council's community partnerships unit manager, Glenn Cannard, said.

"It's been really rewarding to see so many gamers connect with each other, and a privilege to create opportunities where all young people feel welcome to participate in community life.

"Because it is our first Ultimate Gamer tournament, we are welcoming any feedback from the community to help us shape next year's event and feedback can be provided via iPads at the final tournament events."

E-sports has had a meteoric rise since 1972 when the first known video game competition took place at Stanford University in the US. It is now a billion-dollar global industry.

The Central Coast's inaugural Ultimate Gamer tournament has offered participants a choice of two games - Sonic All Stars Racing and FIFA 17, the popular football game.

Games take place in a van transformed into a video gaming theatre that holds up to eight young people battling it out for the finals.

For the finals, a large screen outside the van will alternate between showing selected live games from the van and acting as a console screen for those playing games outside the van.

The Tuggerah semi-final will comprise a series of short 15-minute games to enable all gamers to participate.

Friends and family can try their hand at giant games including Jenga, UNO, Connect 4 and dice-rolling Yahtzee. Free snacks and drinks will be provided.

Ultimate Gamer is organised by Central Coast Council with support from partners Regional Youth Support Services (RYSS) and Ability Links.

Semi-finals will be held from 11.30am to 5pm this Saturday, May 25, at Westfield Tuggerah.

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