As video games progressed in terms of quality and depth over the years, the gaming industry also gave birth to several subcultures that only serve to enhance its enjoyment. One of the larger subcultures is eSports, which is basically professional video gaming. Unlike traditional sports, however, one does not have to be a stereotypical athlete to participate—and even dominate—the world of eSports. All you need is a superb knowledge of the latest video games, stellar hand-eye coordination and a willingness to go head-to-head with fellow passionate gamers all over the world.
Here in Philadelphia, one enterprising video game enthusiast is using the eSports culture for good. Once a month, James Nix holds WhoRunPhilly2K, where up to 40 gamers meet in a private location to compete against each other to win cash prizes.
“I just figured why not create something where I can turn it into not just a great competitive video game tournament, but also something positive where the players can come and have a good time once a month,” Nix says.
The next WhoRunPhilly2K event will be held on July 29, while the August event will be held on August 19. Locations for both tournaments are still private and will be revealed to contestants after entering.
The focus for Nix is on building and strengthening the Philadelphia community around this common interest. Two years and 24 tournaments in, WhoRunPhilly2K has given players ranging from age 11 to 40 something to do other than “just standing on the corners all day” or “staying in the house bored.”
Nix focuses his events on the NBA 2K and Madden sports games. Both video game series have proven extremely popular with eSports players and both release new versions of the game each year to keep up with ever-changing rule and roster changes in the actual games. The July event will center around NBA 2K17, while the August event will focus on Madden 2017 (just in time for football season). For each event, the top prize is $500 cash.
Throughout the history of WhoRunPhilly2K, Nix has managed to attract some serious competitors. One gamer, “Dubby,” is the event’s six-time Madden winner and has also displayed his skills on the national level. “He is the Madden Bowl Champion this year—the game played on NFL Network during the lead up to the Super Bowl,” Nix boasts. “He probably won over $200,000 from EA Sports just this year in Madden. What can you say? The guy is good in Madden!”
Gamer “Lil,” on the other hand, is the reigning champion for the 2K game tournaments. While no doubt impressive, there is another record that this gamer holds. As a testament to the event’s positive contribution to the community, “Lil” is the only player to have attended every single WhoRunPhilly2K tournament since its inception.
Serious and casual gamers alike are invited to come out to Nix’ monthly event, where, no matter what, he promises a “good time.” And a stronger community.
If You Go:
WhoRunPhilly2K July tournament
Saturday, July 28
Saturday, August 19
Time and location TBA
Entry fee: $20