Super League Gaming, a Santa Monica, California-based gaming company, partnered with Harkins Theatres to host tournaments for kids and teens in one of its Gilbert locations.
“We’ve looked at Phoenix and long believed it was a great city due to its family-friendly focus — we partnered with Harkins, and they helped us decide that Gilbert’s audience in particular would be a great place for this offering,” said Ann Hand, CEO of Super League Gaming.
Competitors vie for a spot on the city teams, which include the Phoenix Blaze team, to compete nationally. Events kicked off in March and continue to run through May.
“Super League is bringing an experience that kids already love — playing Minecraft — to a local level,” said Hand. “With Super League, gamers have the opportunity to play face-to-face with their local team, building, creating and battling against other local communities which fosters a stronger sense of teamwork and city pride.”
Hand said the demographics for the tournaments historically has been between the ages of 9 and 13, while the gender skews male.
A Harkins representative for Scottsdale-based Harkins Theatres, said the partnership is part of the company's venture into unique viewing experiences.
“Whether it’s broadcasting the NCAA Finals, showing the season premiere of BBC’s hit show Sherlock or allowing gamers to play their favorite games on the big screen, Harkins is always looking for new opportunities to create memorable experiences for guests,” said the Harkins spokesperson. “The in-theater Minecraft tournament is just one more opportunity to use the state-of- the-art technology and larger-than-life screens to bring fans together to share in an experience unlike anything available at home.”
The theater chain also has endeavored into eSports by broadcasting video game League of Legends national and global tournaments at various Valley locations. The Harkins representative said the company is in the process of planning for more eSports broadcasting.