The 2nd annual GigaZone Gaming Championship, was held Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30 at the Sanford Center George W. Neilson Convention Center. The event featured free gaming on various console and arcade games, numerous tournaments, virtual reality, door prizes, and more.
This one of a kind regional gaming event showcases Paul Bunyan Communications’ IT and web development team which custom built and integrated much of the online technology and leverages the speed of the GigaZone one of the largest rural all-fiber optic Gigabit networks in the country. The entire event was run off a single residential GigaZone Internet connection.
Go Next from Duluth won the 2nd annual GigaZone Gaming Championship and $2,500 defeating the defending champion ProFreakz from Deer River who won $1,250 for second place. The Iron Range Legends took third place for the second straight year and $750. A total of 22 of northern Minnesota’s best League of Legends teams competed online with the top four teams making it to the Championship rounds in the GigaZone Championship Arena.
In addition to the League of Legends Tournament, there was several other open tournaments include three Magic the Gathering Booster Drafts, Street Fighter V, Mario Kart 8, Overwatch 3v3, Madden 18, Super Smash Brothers, Ms. Pacman, and Galaga. Admission was free and there were a lot of door prizes given away including the grand prize of an Oculus Rift – the incredibly immersive virtual reality (VR) headset which was won by Anthony Belgarde of Grand Rapids.
“There is a large gaming community in our area and GigaZone Gaming Championship not only showcases some of the region’s best League of Legends teams but it gives everyone a chance to get in on the action! It was great to see this unique community event grow so much in its second year!”
Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager
“Our cooperative continues to expand one of the largest rural fiber gigabit networks in the country and that brings many advantages to our members. The GigaZone provides extreme speed and low latency which are critical for the best online gaming experience and the GigaZone Gaming Championship showcases just that.”
Leo Anderson, Paul Bunyan Communications Digital Services Supervisor.
“It is a great chance for people experience the growing eSports phenomenon locally. This year was even bigger and better and we look forward to next year.”
Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.
The event is made possible by Paul Bunyan Communications and local, regional, and national partners including Pierced League Gaming of Grand Rapids, NLFX of Bemidji, Accidently Cool Games of Bemidji, Northern Amusement of Bemidji, the Sanford Center in Bemidji, ESPN, Fox Networks, Turner Networks, Viacom, and many more.