Let’s face it: Nintendo’s never quite been at the forefront of the eSports scene. Competitive, fast-paced shooters and complicated MOBAs are far removed from the casual, family-friendly nature that Nintendo has so emphasized in its products over the years. Of all of the company’s most popular franchises, only Splatoon has ever seemed to make any headway into competitive eSports, and even that has faced some criticism for its relatively low skill ceiling.
Yet today’s announcement may be heralding a change of heart with regards to the intense, high-adrenaline genre. In a media release over the company’s YouTube channel, Nintendo revealed that the World Championships would be returning for 2017. Check out the trailer:
The championship will begin with qualifiers taking place at eight select Best Buy stores across the U.S. over four different weekends. The specific dates and locations are available below:
- New York
- San Francisco Bay Area
- Los Angeles
The actual competition will be over Time Trials in Mario Kart 7 for the DS, in which players will be expected to complete the match as quickly as possible in order to qualify for the final event. Players of the age of 12 and under will be assigned the character of Mario with standard kart setup on the stage Luigi’s Mansion, while anyone over the age of thirteen will be playing as Bowser with the same kart setup on the stage GBA Bowser Castle 1.
Even those not interested in competing will have a different sort of incentive to attend; players will have the unique opportunity to try out the upcoming titles Super Mario Odyssey and Metroid: Samus Returns. There’s also going to be QR codes for 100 free Platinum Points on My Nintendo for the first 200 people to arrive, as well as a shiny new pin.
For a more comprehensive list of details regarding the event times and locations, visit the official announcement on Nintendo’s website. You can also follow Nintendo’s official competitive Twitter account to receive immediate updates about the World Championships.