Nintendo was doing competitive gaming before competitive gaming was cool—and now the company’s bringing its original tournament back one more time.
The Nintendo World Championship will be held for only the third time this October.
Typically an event that the gaming world would rally around, this year’s tournament could cause some grumbling among players. For one thing, it’s not exactly a “world” championship, as qualifying rounds will take place at eight Best Buy stores around the U.S. and only citizens of the U.S. or Canada (though not Quebec) can compete. In fact, this installment of the tournament feels more like a marketing event for the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey (which hits shelves on Oct. 27) than a celebration of the Nintendo culture.
The original Nintendo World Championships spawned what’s considered one of the most valuable video games of all time. Sharing the same name as the tournament, only 90 copies were made and given to finalists after the tournament ended. Twenty-six a “gold” copies were given away in a separate contest. Today, those games are worth upwards to $15,000 each.
In 2015, the company brought the tournament back during the E3 video game trade show, riding a wave of nostalgia and attracting tremendous crowds.
Qualifying rounds for the 2017 Nintendo World Championship begin Aug. 19th and run through Sept. 10. Two players from each location (one under 12, the other 13 or older) who have the best time on a course in Mario Kart 7 will then be flown to New York to compete against other qualifying players.
Nintendo will invite eight other attendees directly, though it hasn’t specified how it plans to do that.
From there, players will battle it out in a series of unannounced games, striving to win the bragging rights of best Nintendo player—and a trophy worth roughly $2,800.
They also earn a spot in gaming history, but given how big esports is becoming these days, they might not be as happy as competitors of the International Dota 2 Championships, who will split that tournament’s $20 million purse later this month.