STEUBENVILLE - The game faces were on and the competition fierce during the first ever Ohio Valley GamerShowdown Saturday at the Fort Steuben Mall.
The event, which featured more than 70 gamers trying to best each other playing "Call of Duty: Ghosts," was sponsored by the Herald-Star and the Weirton Daily Times. Other major sponsors included the Fort Steuben Mall, GameStop, Aaron's, Corrado's Pizza and Stuff with Attitude, The event featured both kids and adults competing for bragging rights and $100 gift cards to each tournament bracket winner.
Winners for the day included Lucas Koval in first place and Billy Seach in second place in the 17 and under bracket. Dalton Rutter took first place and Daniel Mohoroski took second in the 18 and older bracket.
READY TO RUMBLE — Members of the 17 and under bracket wait to see their tournament bracket created during the start of Saturday’s Ohio Valley GamerShowdown held at Fort Steuben Mall. More than 70 players tested out their trigger fingers on Call of Duty: Ghosts. The event was sponsored by the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times with support from the mall, GameStop, Aaron’s, Corrado’s Pizza and Stuff with Attitude. -- Maggie McGinnis
WINNERS — Dalton Rutter, left, won the 18 and older bracket and Lucas Koval won the 17 and under bracket at the first Ohio Valley GamerShowdown held Saturday at the Fort Steuben Mall. More than 70 gamers competed. Lee Bundy won the 50/50 drawing. -- Michael D. McElwain
Each participant received a T-shirt with their $10 registration fee, and dozens of friends and family surrounded center court at the mall Saturday, cheering their favorite to win it all.
The competition included several staff members of the Herald-Star and Weirton Daily Times keeping track of winners and losers, while statistics were loaded into other computers, also manned by representatives of the two newspapers. Several large-screen TVs were used as monitors for each game, and the free-for-all game play pit two contestants against each other and against in-game characters. The human player recording the highest number of "kills" moved on to the next round.
The court was full of with gamers concentrating on besting their opponent, but it was all in good fun, according to Eric Collins, co-organizer.
"Actually, everything's been going really well," said Collins, adding more than 70 signed up for the tournament. "It's been a lot of fun. There's a lot more people than I thought would be here."
Eddie Kokosinski, co-organizer, agreed, adding it was great to see the community coming together for some fun and games.
"It's been a fun event," said Kokosinski. "The kids are enjoying it tremendously. We're also enjoying ourselves. It's nice to see the community come out for this."
Cindy Kotsch, marketing and events coordinator for the two newspapers, also said the event was going well.
"We're really pleased with the turnout, especially for the first time," she said. "We've had a lot of people asking us when we're going to do it again. The sponsors have been really happy with (the tournament)."
Steph McVicker, mall marketing director, echoed Kotsch's comments.
"This is something new, and to have a turnout like this is great," she said. "It was very well-organized. The kids especially are having a really great time. I would like to have one of these each quarter. We're all really happy with this."
(Miller can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)