Arcades, tabletops, indie and tournaments — cool gaming events at SXSW

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Photo Credit: Nikole Pena | Daily Texan Staff

South by Southwest’s gaming festival offers a variety of challenges and competitions for all players across a selection of popular tabletops and video games. With all the categories and events taking place at such a huge festival, finding the perfect one could be difficult.

Here are The Daily Texan’s picks for popular and mind-blowing gaming events that players can participate in this year.

Donkey Kong Highest Score Challenge

March 15 – March 17, 12-8:00 p.m. (12:00-7:00 p.m. on March 17)

Austin Convention Center Exhibit 3 Arcade Bunker

Perfect for Nintendo and classic arcade lovers, SXSW’s Donkey Kong Highest Score Challenge aims to be more fun than a barrel of monkeys. The gameplay is bananas ­— it’s an open session and players can return every day to defend and climb their way to the top. At the end of the festival, the gamer with the highest score wins a prize.

Mortal Kombat II Challenge: The Rise and Fall of Mortal Tombat

March 16 – March 17, 2-6:00 p.m. (2-4:00 p.m. on March 17)

Austin Convention Center Exhibit 3 Arcade Bunker  

If you think you can dethrone a king, the Mortal Kombat II Challenge is a must-attend event. Legendary Kombat player Mortal Tombat’s open challenge allows players of all shapes and sizes to wrestle with the biggest name in the fighting game. Winners will earn the bragging rights of defeating the self-proclaimed champion of Mortal Kombat and kick a champion out of his 50 plus winning streak.

Overwatch Tournament with Nighthawk Pro Gaming

March 17, 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Austin Convention Center Exhibit Hall 1 PC Arena

Sponsored by esports gaming company Nighthawk Pro Gaming, the Overwatch Tournament is a team-based single elimination. Any team can sign up to compete at any time before the start of the special tournament, and winners can win signed jerseys from the Korean esports team Seoul Dynasty.

League of Legends College Rivalry Series

March 16, 4-8:00 p.m.

Austin Convention Center Exhibit Hall 1 PC Arena

This esports event puts five Texas universities, including UT, head-to-head to battle for the bragging rights of ultimate League of Legends players. The teams must be pre-registered for the event to participate, but the event can also be watched by spectators in the PC Arena. For spectators, this competitive event promises to pack a punch with its powerful Texas rivalries.

Pokemon Trading Card Game: Daily Gym Challenge

March 15 - March 17, 5-7:30 p.m.

Austin Convention Center Exhibit 2

A classic staple of many gamers’ childhoods, SXSW is ready to teach what every millennial had no idea how to do — play the Pokemon card game. Gamers must purchase a Cascade Game Events kit if they want to catch them all in this challenge. Players prove they are worthy of being a pokemaster by destroying other gyms that challenge them — for every two wins, a player’s gym is awarded 20 Cascade Game Prize Points.

Indie Corner

March 15 – March 17, 12-8:00 p.m. (12-7:00 p.m. on March 17)

Austin Convention Center Exhibit 3

The Indie Corner is a program put on by SXSW to expose players to new and popular indie games in the industry. This program allows for some of the best and budding indie developers to see what their future consumers think of their product. Once participants are finished at the corner, they have the option to vote for the best games in categories of virtual reality, video games, tabletop and mobile. The votes will be used to determine the winners of the indie game awards Gamer’s Voice, at the end of SXSW.