YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — Yuma gamers had better warm up their trigger fingers in preparation for a 12-week gaming tournament Cocopah Casino kicks off this weekend, with the chance of winning a grand prize of $4,000.
The gaming tournament started in the River Room at Cocopah Casino on Saturday, and players will have to test their skills as they battle against other gamers in the widely popular war shooter "Call of Duty: Black Ops."
Jerry Lane, Cocopah Casino manager, said quite a few departments of the casino have been working hard to bring the tournament to life, even creating an octagon cage for players to play in.
Lane said the game was chosen based on its extreme popularity in both the local and overall gaming market. "We were looking for something to involve some of these people down here at our place."
There are many people who participate in tournaments online, but there are rarely chances to physically come together to play in a tournament.
"I thought this would be really exciting to have out here as one of our events, where the locals could come out and play a game for some prize money," Lane said.
He described the upcoming event as a modern-day version of people getting together to play "cops and robbers."
"It's competition. It's a little fantasy stuff too. It's like war without the pain. It's a challenging game and there's a lot to it."
Lane said to his knowledge, this is the only event of this kind in the area.
The competition is a 12-week elimination program. Every week, up to 250 players can sign up; however, there must be a minimum of 64 players, Lane said. Players will enter the cage eight at a time and play the game on 32-inch screens for 10 minutes to earn scores.
Lane said the tournament will play Saturday and Sunday until the final eight top scores have been decided for the weekend.
Once the final scores have been chosen, each weekend there will be a third-place prize of $250, second place of $500 and first place of $1,000.
At the end of the 12 weeks, the top eight scores will be selected to compete for the grand prize of $4,000.
Lane said gamers who do not make first place in the weekend competitions should not be discouraged, since they are able to sign up every weekend so long as they do not take a first-place spot.
Lane said the No. 1 rule for the tournament is that all players must be at least 21 years old, since the event is being held in a casino.
It costs $5 to sign up for the tournament, and all players must have a Players Club Card, which is free at the casino.
Lane recommended that all competitors sign up in advance of the day of the tournament in order to prevent "bottlenecking" the day of the event.