Global Speedrun Association reveals live competition, cash prizes up for grabs

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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 (opens in new tab), 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".

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Some influential speedrunners have since spoken out against the event. German runner OddBod has written a lengthy post (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), saying games that don't have competitions for cash prizes could end up abandoned by other runners. 

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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. He's now a full-time reporter covering health at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. When he does have time for games you may find him on the floor, struggling under the weight of his Steam backlog.