05 April 2017
Ascension, Munchkin, Epic Spell Wars II, Nevermore, Villagers & Villains and King of Tokyo make up roster of games at first US event
As video game eSports competitions continue to spiral up into prize pools worth millions of dollars, we’ve been wondering when someone will come along and elevate tabletop games to the same level.
Now, obviously, big competitions for tabletop titles aren’t completely new – worldwide events such as Wizards’ Magic Grands Prix and Pro Tour series have been offering massive sums of money for their winners for years. But professional play is still yet to take off for the vast majority of games, and prizes continue to pale in comparison with their virtual counterparts.
Hoping to balance the scales is Unrivaled, a new entry on the tabletop gaming calendar run by Oomba, an online social media platform designed to help organise sports and gaming get-togethers in real life.
Unrivaled will kick off this month with small tournaments in gaming shops, ramping up to regionals held between July and September. Winners will then fly to Las Vegas for the grand finals in October.
There will be a hefty $250,000 in prizes – but unlike the equal sum for the Magic Pro Tour, it won’t be an invitation-only setup and the cash will be split between six games.
The selection of games is an interesting bunch: Munchkin, Ascension, Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Rumble at Castle Tentakill, Nevermore, Villagers & Villains and King of Tokyo.
It’s a lofty ambition, for sure, but Oomba seems to be putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to its attempt to put tabletop games on a par with eSports. Who knows, if this year’s event works out, we may soon see global tabletop tournament prizes rising up into the millions – wouldn’t that be the dream?