Speedruning competition organiser the Global Speedrun Association will hold its first live event in April, where Celeste, Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Odyssey speedrunners will compete for cash prizes.
The speedrunning community is known for its collaborative spirit, and for sharing knowledge and tricks between players, so the GSA's announcement has caused a stir. It has previously hosted streamed speedrunning competitions with cash prizes, partly funded by its relationships with both developers and online gambling company Esports Entertainment Group, but hosting a live event represents a widening of its scope.
The GSA said the event will include the grand finals of its Super Mario 64, Super Mario Odyssey and Celeste leagues, as well as panels with famous speedrunners. It will announce the location of the event and begin selling tickets in the "coming weeks".
We're excited to announce our first competitive speedrun live event: PACEWatch the Grand Finals of our SM64, SMO and Celeste Leagues, panels with some of your favourite speedrunners and much more!Happening April 2019Location and ticket info to be announced in the coming weeks! pic.twitter.com/zxId46nJ20December 22, 2018
Some influential speedrunners have since spoken out against the event. German runner OddBod has written a lengthy post that is worth digging into if you're interested—basically, he thinks competitive speedrunning encourages players to hide faster strategies from one another, which damages the community as a whole. He also thinks that cash prizes could lead to cheating and even match fixing.
Speedrunner MunchaKoopas has also spoken out against the GSA in a series of tweets, saying games that don't have competitions for cash prizes could end up abandoned by other runners.
What do you think?
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Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play.