|Steve Wiebe samples machines along 2015's "Kong Off Row"|
Photo: William McEvoy
July 30th, 2015 - Donkey Kong's greatest have arrived at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA and will soon take their battle stations on Kong Off Row.
The 4th installment of Richie Knucklez' Kong Off, hosted by the ReplayFX Arcade & Gaming Festival, begins Friday at noon, with the first of two days of high score competition.
On Sunday (day 3), the 16 players with the highest scores from Friday and Saturday's action will go on to play in a single-elimination head-to-head bracket-style competition.
This segment was devised by Richie Knucklez and Steve Wiebe to throw a twist into the contest. The traditional high score competition of years prior will still be integral to the tournament, but the elimination portion is new, and Sunday will put the viability of the concept to the test.
16 players in 8 simultaneous matchups will constitute the first round, with 8 players proceeding to the second round, followed by a 4-way semi-final.
The semi-final victors will then head to the 2 final round cabinets decked out in "Steelers gold", and (after the bracket players have signed their names to the custom side art) will duke it out for the win, the belt, the $4,000 grand prize, and the title of Kong Off champion.
|The final round gold cabinets|
Photo: Derek Sorrels
Following The Action
There is some question at this point as to whether the first two days of competition will be live-streamed to Twitch TV. Bandwidth is an issue at the convention center, and with multiple events taking place there, only Sunday's bracket portion has been given the green light.
Stay tuned to Richie Knucklez' Twitch channel at http://www.twitch.tv/richieknucklez for the latest developments.
Also check out KongOff.com for more information on the event.
The highlight of today's practice session was former world champion Billy Mitchell making his presence known with a 930,000 kill screen game. Richie Knucklez snapped this photo afterwards, capturing Billy in a victory pose (and a bit of accidental red-eye that does little to mitigate Mitchell's devilish reputation!)
33 Years Ago, In Movie-Land...
It is an interesting semi-coincidence that the opening scenes of Pixels—last weekend's major Holywood release about a team of classic gamers tasked with saving the Earth from an alien invasion—depicted a final round head-to-head Donkey Kong competition (emceed by Dan Aykroyd himself) in a fictitious "1982 Worldwide Video Arcade Championships."
A number of classic gamers from around the community were asked by the producers for video of their gameplay, and our own world champion Robbie Lakeman provided the Donkey Kong footage featured in the film.
It's a fun, if inadvertent, tie-in to the action about to unfold at the Kong Off 4, and a reminder that classic gaming is still alive and well in the public consciousness.
Good luck to all competing this weekend! The blog will be inactive Friday, but I will do my best to update the action throughout the rest of the tournament.