8th Annual “Big Buck” World Championship Draws Large Twitch Following

If you took a break from playing your arcade cocktail table and logged into Twitch during the last weekend of October, you undoubtedly noticed that the Big Buck HD championship was causing quite a stir in Chicago. Over 200,000 people tuned in online to watch the showdown, which took place at the Hard Rock Café on October 23rd and 24th.

Sara Erlandson won the women’s title once again, making it the fourth time she’s won. Her lifetime earnings at the annual championship tournament now total $19,000, $5,000 of which she took home this year for her accomplishment. For the men, Trev Gartner pulled out the win, becoming a second time world champion, taking home a $15,000 check. 2015 marked the largest prize pool in the tournament’s history, totaling $75,000.

Big Buck’s Wide Appeal

The Big Buck Hunter arcade game was first created in 2000 by Play Mechanix and published by Raw Thrills. The game was an immediate hit, spawning several sequels since. Big Buck HD came out in 2012.

The Big Buck Hunter tournament started in 2008 and has grown in size each consecutive year. The Regional Qualifying rounds always take place in August and September. The winners of each advance to the Chicago world stage, where the finalists compete for the title of world champion.

The Championship Joins the Growing eSports Industry

With the record-setting 200,000 Twitch viewership during the tournament, Big Buck joins the ranks of video games that have led to a major expansion in the eSports industry in recent years. With a current market audience of 30 million in the United States alone, and predictions of this market increasing to 50 million by 2017, eSports is the industry to watch in the next few years. Video gaming has advanced by leaps and strides since the first arcade cocktail table addition to your hometown arcade – now just the professional tournaments could become a billion-dollar industry within a few short years.

If you are an expert shot in Big Buck HD, why not try your hand at next year’s tournament and see how you stack up?