Talking Stick Resort to host 'eSport' tournaments

Posted at 4:17 AM, Oct 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-20 13:22:27-04

Talking Stick Resort is preparing to host a series of 'eSport' tournaments, the latest move, in part, to attract a younger audience.

"I'm really excited to see where it goes," said Michael Udall, a professional video game player who's hosting the "Esports Arizona: Desert Showdown" event. 

Udall said because there is no "barrier of entry" -- like height or athleticism -- more and more young people are taking part in competitions to win prizes or, in Udall's case, a sponsorship by playing video games. The 21-year-old is part of a five-person team that competes against gamers worldwide and has been featured in Major League Gaming competitions on ESPN.

Talking Stick Resort advertising manager Kyle Anderson told ABC15 the property wants to establish itself as the "home" for video game tournaments in the state. Events like this, combined with summer pool parties, themed holiday parties and concerts featuring well-known pop and electronic music artists highlight the resort's efforts to attract the next generation of visitors and players, he said. 

"The current slot machines right now don't really appeal to the millenial generation," Anderson told ABC15. 

"Studies show that a lot of them like to play table games, and things of that nature, because they want to have a little skin in the game," he said. 

Anderson expects arcade-style skilled games to begin replacing current slot-machine content in next decade. 

"Esports Arizona: Desert Showdown" 
Saturday, October 21st. 
Doors open at 8:30 a.m. 
For details or to register visit the Talking Stick Resort website.