Fighters – of the gaming variety – across the county, get ready. Red Bull Esports is rolling out a new tournament that’s coming to cities across the United States. Featuring not just one, but three major fighting titles – Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition, Tekken 7, and Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 – the Red Bull Conquest is searching for the best of the best who will then be sent to represent the United States at the EVO fighting game world championship in Japan.
“The fighting game community is so much more than a single fighting game. With many games spanning multiple genres, what we wanted to do this year with Conquest is start with games that have a long history and are deeply rooted in each of the fighting game genres: 2D, 3D, and anime.
Photo Credit: That Video Game Blog
This allows us to highlight players and their passions throughout the country across all genres,” said Jimmy Nguyen, national tournament director for the Red Bull Conquest.
The theme for the Red Bull Conquest is Rise/Rally/Conquer. Nguyen explained why the company chose this as the tournament’s rallying cry.
“Every trial and journey we go through in life, it requires us to rise up to the challenge, gather ourselves, and learn to acquire knowledge and experience. When applying this principal to the FGC (fighting game community) and Conquest, what we are communicating to everyone is:
“Rise within your communities and take a stand.
“Rally together to grow, learn, help each other, and determine who will represent your region.
“Conquer all others and claim the title of best fighting game region in the nation.”
These Red Bull Conquest tournaments will take place in two stages. First, one online qualifier and regional contests will be held in 15 cities across the United States. Players in each region will compete until one victor emerges for each of three featured games.
Photo Credit: Red Bull
Next, the winners of these contests will represent their region and face off against one another at the finals in Washington D.C.
The circuit has kicked off already, with the first tournament taking place in Chicago on April 28. The remaining cities and dates are:
- Seattle, Washington – May 19
- Los Angeles, California – June 16
- Nashville, Tennessee – July 7
- New York, New York – July 7
- Saint Paul, Minnesota – July 14
- Dallas, Texas – July 14
- Denver, Colorado – July 28
- Orlando, Florida – August 11
- Online qualifier – August 12
- San Francisco, California – August 18
- Phoenix, Arizona – August 18
- Atlanta, Georgia – September 8
- Boston, Massachusetts – September 29
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – October 13
- Washington D.C. – November 16-18
The last dates in Washington D.C. include a last-chance qualifier as well as the championship finals.
This series is designed to tap into local pride with winning players going on to represent their city and community at the D.C. championships and then the whole United States at EVO in Japan. Red Bull’s goal is to capture the essence of the fighting game community.
Photo Credit: Red Bull
“The communities of these genres are sometimes perceived to be siloed, which isn’t exactly the case. In fact, there is a lot of cross-pollination between the communities, and that is why we chose to introduce a multi-genre team tournament finals. What we wanted to do is squash those perceptions and give the players the opportunity to show and grow the teamwork and comradery that is prevalent across the genres in all of the FGC,” said Nguyen.
While it is the newest, the Red Bull Conquest is far from the only tournament that has been created and sponsored by the energy drink giant. Some other tournament examples are the “Red Bull Clash Course,” “Red Bull Team Brawl,” “Red Bull Battle Grounds,” and “Red Bull Proving Grounds” which have taken place in locations across the world, including the United States, France, and Germany.
Red Bull was an early sponsor of esports. It first entered the market in 2008. Over the next 10 years, Red Bull has become a major player in the esports industry sponsoring athletes, clubs, and events. The brand even has its own channel on the streaming giant, Twitch. Red Bull uses this channel to broadcast its esports tournaments, self-produced shows (including event recaps and documentaries about teams and players), and other esports-related content.
Photo Credit: Esports Marketing Blog
Red Bull has done an exceptional job, not only of reaching out and connecting with its intended audience, but also at connecting with the players and other members of the esports community. For example, Conquest will showcase four well-known fighting game commentators – Yipes, Persia, Vicious, and Tasty Steve – who will take turns hosting and streaming the events on Red Bull’s Twitch channel. The commentators will also serve as “on-the-ground ambassadors” for the games, and all four will be on-site at the national finals in Washington D.C.
Conquest championship winners will split $4,500 in prize money and receive a trip to Japan for the EVO tournament.
“Keep an eye out for the rising stars that develop during Conquest throughout the year. Every year, we have had a handful of players make a name for themselves. Expect the same for this year,” said Nguyen.
“Competition is not just about winning or losing, it’s also about diversifying one’s experience to ensure continued growth by gaining the skills and knowledge to find your limits and discover ways to overcome them. By awarding the winning team a trip to EVO Japan, we are giving that team the opportunity to gain that experience.”
The D.C. last-chance qualifier and finals will be held in the city’s new Entertainment & Sports Arena (ESA). In fact, it is currently scheduled to be the first esports event to take place in the new arena.
Photo Credit: Segment Next
“Events DC is proud to partner with Red Bull to bring the Red Bull Conquest National Finals to the new Entertainment & Sports Arena in our nation’s capital. The venue is constructed with state-of-the-art infrastructure to be an ideal site for esports, and we could not be more excited to have the National Finals as the first major esports event hosted at the ESA,” Erik A. Moses, senior vice president and managing director, Events DC Sports, Entertainment and Special Events, said in a statement.
The Red Bull Conquest is an evolution of fighting game tournaments the brand has hosted over the years. A similar event last year only featured one game (Street Fighter V) and took place in fewer cities (11 instead of 15). As these tournaments continue to expand, so too does Red Bull’s commitment to the esports scene.
“Red Bull Conquest is the evolution of Proving Grounds and Battle Grounds, and it continues our plans to cultivate the FGC. If you recall, in year one, we focused on individual growth. In year two, we focused on team growth. This year, we are focused on regional growth. Each year is a progressive step in learning, goal-setting, and working with the FGC to figure out how to best support this incredible community,” said Nguyen.
It’s never too late to jump into the game. If you are interested in sponsoring an esports event, team, or player and would like some help breaking into the industry, give one of the eGency pros a call at 972-323-6354.