Talking Stick Resort, already first in gaming, entertainment and hospitality, is coming to market with a new first: eSports. On Saturday, Oct. 21, the resort will host its first eSports tournament, eSports Arizona: Desert Showdown. The all-day fighting game competition will feature Super Smash Bros. 4 and Super Smash Bros. Melee.

 “At Talking Stick Resort, we pride ourselves on bringing consistent innovation to our entertainment offerings,” said Ramon Martinez, director of public relations for Talking Stick Resort. “eSports is the future of sports and entertainment and we are Arizona’s home for it.”

 The Desert Showdown marks the first of a series of eSports tournaments slated for the resort’s showroom. The inaugural competition will feature both singles and doubles competitions with a prize pool of $5,000. Play will begin at 9 a.m. with 200 participants, though the event is open for free public viewing.

 Navigating the intricate world of competitive video gaming was not an undertaking that Talking Stick Resort took lightly, as the property partnered with Ultimate Media Ventures (UMV), a renowned gaming and eSports innovation company. With a focus on creating compelling event experiences through engaging media & lifestyle products, UMV and Talking Stick Resort are pleased to provide a home for the growing Arizona eSports community. This will be the first in a monthly series of events that will highlight the eSports and gaming communities in Arizona.

“Ultimate is a community first company,” said Jon Bukosky, CEO of Ultimate Media Ventures. “Our role is to help grow the eSports industry on a global level, while retaining those aspects that celebrate the overall community and the local markets in which it lives.”

 The property also enlisted the help of local professional player, Michael Udall. Udall, a professional player for more than three years, famously won his college tuition at Arizona State University in 2016. While Udall’s specialty is the game “Heroes of the Storm,” and not Smash Bros., he is very supportive of Talking Stick Resort’s efforts to take eSports in Arizona to the next level.

 Super Smash Bros. 4 and Super Smash Bros. Melee are fighter games played on Wii.  Players use controllers to compete one on one through individual characters. “Fighting games, like Smash are intense and really exciting to watch,” said Udall. “It really is a skill versus skill style competition.”

 Prizes for eSports Arizona: Desert Showdown is as follows:

Smash 4 Singles*

1st – $1,100

2nd – $540

3rd – $260

4th – $100

Smash 4 Doubles*

1st – $300

2nd – $150

3rd – $50

 **Same prizes for Super Smash Bros. Melee singles and doubles competitions

 To register for Talking Stick Resort’s eSports Arizona: Showdown in the Desert event, visit . Registration fees range based on completion selection. Must be 18 or older to participate.