Stardew Valley to host $40k tournament, is sort of an esport now

Stardew Valley
(Image credit: Eric Barone)
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When I think of games that have esport potential, Stardew Valley (opens in new tab) is pretty close to the bottom of the list. But it's happening, with developer ConcernedApe announcing the first official Stardew Valley Cup.

The competition, which is in collaboration with streamer UnsurpassableZ, will feature four teams of "some of Stardew's most dedicated players" going head-to-head for a $40,000 prize pool. The competitors feature tons of Stardew Valley community figures, including the likes of SharkyGames (opens in new tab), popular Sims YouTuber lilsimsie (opens in new tab) and Matthew McCleskey (opens in new tab), who you may recognise from his wonderfully funny animated Stardew skits.

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In a video (opens in new tab) explaining the competition, Unsurpassable Z said there will be "over 100 different challenges that explore all different parts of Stardew Valley," with each offering a different number of points based on their difficulty. They range from relatively easy goals like naming your horse Sprout, to more difficult ones like completing the entire community centre or reaching the 100th floor of the Skull Cavern.

A lot of the streamers competing are already well-versed in speedrunning (opens in new tab), challenges, and min-maxing in the game, so it'll be interesting to see how they fare working together as a team and using that knowledge to garner as many points as possible. The whole thing is being commentated by ConcernedApe and Unsurpassable too, with the $40,000 prize pool coming from the developer directly.

The cup kicks off on September 4 at 12 PM ET / 5 PM BST. You can watch the commentated version on UnsurpassableZ's Twitch channel (opens in new tab) which will give an overview of all four teams, or you can tune into each streamer individually through their respective channels.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.