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GAME to host its own UK gaming tournament in stores

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It's not quite Evo or The International, but today British video game retailer GAME has taken its first tentative steps into the eSports scene. The company is holding a gaming competition called "The Great UK Game Off," which will culminate in a tournament at the Insomnia gaming festival this November. Players can roll up to more than 30 stores next month and take part in six challenges based around FIFA 15, Forza Motorsport 5, Super Smash Bros, Trials HD, Mario Kart 7 and LEGO Jurassic World. The top scorers in each region will be put forward for the North and South quarter finals, with the eventual winners competing for the "ultimate champion" title and a £5,000 gift card at Insomnia.

The selected games suggest that this will be a casual, amateur-friendly event. While it's nothing like Gfinity's leagues, it does indicate how GAME could bring more competitive and community-based gaming into its stores. It acquired Multiplay, a specialist in gaming services, live events and eSports, for £20 million back in March and this is the first evidence we've seen of their new partnership. "We've been looking at ways of bringing grass roots eSports to our stores and this is the perfect opportunity to give one lucky gamer the recognition of a lifetime," Fred Prego, marketing and insight director for GAME said.

GAME is one of the few dedicated video game retailers left on the high street. It faces growing competition from online-only businesses such as Amazon, so it needs a way to differentiate and keep customers walking through its doors. Doubling stores as eSports venues -- the modern day equivalent of an arcade -- could be one way forward.

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