UCF Gaming Knights to play host to 1st Paragon tourney
To be a part of the next big video game smashdown you needn't dodge any turtle shells or slippery banana peels.
Gaming Knights, the only gaming club at UCF, will be teaming up with Versus Gaming Center to host the first-ever video game tournament Paragon Orlando.
The Apex World Circuit event will run from Jan. 17 at 9 a.m. through Jan. 18 at 11 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld.
Twitch, the world's leading video platform and community for gamers, is providing a $1,000 pot bonus for the top eight winners of Super Smash Bros. Melee; it has also promised to feature 11 qualifiers on its front page. It will also be providing the winner of Melee with a flight and hotel room for Apex 2015, a Super Smash Bros. tournament that has drawn hundreds of attendees in past years.
With more than 132 playing members, Gaming Knights is one of the largest organizations at UCF and hosts events one to two times per month.
Previously run by Alex Chiricosta, a UCF 2014 graduate with a radio and television production degree, Gaming Knights formed in 2013 after a merger between LANKnights and Console Knights. Patrick Riley Warren, a senior psychology major, has taken over as president of Gaming Knights.
"Gaming Knights is known for having a prominent Super Smash Bros. community," Chiricosta said.
As the event director of Paragon, Chiricosta will be running Super Smash Bros. at the event.
The games that will be played are Super Smash Bros. Melee Singles with a $1,000 pot bonus, Super Smash Bros. Melee Doubles, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Singles with a $500 pot bonus, Project M Singles with a $500 pot bonus and League of Legends with a $500 pot bonus.
League of Legends will be run by Jacob Perez, a sophomore engineering major.
Perez has been part of Gaming Knights since its founding in 2013.
"I would definitely encourage a UCF student to sign up [for the event] and join Gaming Knights," Perez said. "The event will be extremely exciting and if you have never attended a large scale video game tournament before, this is definitely the time to come out."
The event, which will be streamed live by VGBootCamp, has drawn gaming talent from all over the nation to compete this year, including six of the top 10 players in the country.
"Even if you don't play the games, going in for a spectator experience is going to be insane," Chiricosta said. "It gets pretty hyped with the players. The atmosphere just gets unreal."
The registration deadline has already passed, but a $60 venue fee, plus $10 per game, will be accepted at the door for late registration. Those who wish to attend the event for viewing are asked to pay a $20 spectator fee at the door that covers the entire weekend.
Rachel Stuart is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSage or email her at RachelSCentralFloridaFuture.com.