The Capital City's esports scene is heating up with a training camp and tournament next month.
The Outbreak '23 eSports Camp and Tournament features a five-day esports camp focused on popular video games like Super Smash Bros., Minecraft, Fortnite and Rocket League. The week culminates in the tournament featuring games like Mario Kart, Smash Bros. and Mario Party Superstars.
The event, hosted by local event organizers Toxic Tournaments, Sports Crusaders and Freshwater Church, is set to begin Nov. 13, according to a news release.
"We're thrilled to bring this unique opportunity to Jefferson City," Toxic Tournaments co-founder Caleb McGennis said in a statement. "Our goal is to nurture local talent and cultivate a thriving eSports scene in our community."
The camp will cost $50 and run 6 p.m.-8 p.m. daily from Nov. 13-17 at Freshwater Church in Jefferson City. Participants will learn strategies, teamwork and game mechanics in a friendly setting.
The tournament, which is free to those who participate in the camp, will follow, beginning at 10 a.m. Nov. 18.
The tournament features amateur and competitive brackets for various age groups; the amateur bracket is for players age 12-18, but participants who are older and have no real experience with the games can join.
The competitive bracket features a $500 prize bonus on top of 100 percent of the total bracket entry fees, with payouts to the top eight players. Mainly for those 18 and older, younger competitors can join if they're up to the challenge as well.
The event is also set to feature a capture the flag scavenger hunt.
McGennis launched the event-organizing operation with fellow Jefferson City native Chance Shepherd in 2019. They hosted a similar event at the Concord Baptist Church in August, according to a news release, and greeted 150 attendees. This time around, they say they're expecting around 500.
The duo hopes to bring the esports scene to the area while creating a supportive and decidedly non-toxic environment for gamers of all ages and skill levels.
"This is our hometown, and we wish we had a competitive video game scene when we were growing up, so we are making it happen for future generations," Shepherd said.
Learn more about the Outbreak '23 eSports Camp online at www.start.gg/tournament/outbreak-23-esports-camp-toxic-tournaments/details.
Learn more about the Outbreak '23 Tournament at www.start.gg/tournament/outbreak-23-500-pot-bonus-toxic-tournaments/details.