For Johnathan Thomas, there’s something about video games that pit fighters against one another.
“It’s you versus them. It’s you with your set of skills versus them with theirs, on a big stage,” he said. “If you lose, you lose everything. If you win, you get all the pride.”
Plenty of pride will be at stake Nov. 12 during Thomas’ fighting game tournament in Richland.
Called Tri-Town Throwdown 2: Let’s Fight like Gentlemen, it’ll run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at M Hotel, 1515 George Washington Way.
Thomas expects as many as 150 gamers to compete, including some of the best in the state.
The tournament will include several popular fighting games, from versions of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter to Super Smash Bros. and Guilty Gear, with the final rounds streamed on Twitch.tv.
Cover is $10, plus a $5 buy-in for each event, with cash prizes awarded.
Competitors should bring their own controllers — see the event page for details. Thomas plans to donate a portion of proceeds to a local animal shelter.
The 2009 graduate of Richland High School grew up playing video games. He became serious about them a few years ago.
He especially likes fighting games. “I’ve made a lot of my closest friends through fighting games. It’s a great community. People are really positive,” he said.
The games take skill. And they can provide an outlet for all kinds of people — from those who might take to the ring in real life to those with minimal athletic gifts, he said.
“They’re inclusive,” he said. And lots of fun.
With the games and in the gaming community, “you feel at home, and you get to compete,” he said. “That’s always nice.”
The tournament is open to spectators and people who want to try their hands at the games.
To register, go to tinyurl.com/tritownthrowdown. The event is on Facebook under “Tri-Town Throwdown 2.”