It’s May 30, 2015, and that means one thing for anyone who has ever loved Nintendo. Today is the one chance everyone near one of the eight Best Buys with Nintendo World Championships 2015 qualifying matches decides if its worth attempting to enter and be the champ. As I live near the Schaumburg, Illinois location, I decided to drive by and see how Nintendo is handling the prelude to the main event.
I arrived at 10am, just as the Nintendo World Championships 2015 qualifiers were beginning. A line of hundreds of people wait outside, wrapped around the building. Nintendo representatives handed out forms to potential contenders, in the hopes of giving them something to do while they waited, as well as expedite the entry process once their turn was finally up.
Given the volume of participants, Nintendo and Best Buy put together an organized and orderly process. People would be allowed in the store in groups of 20. They would be led to the competition area, two tables filled with red 3DS systems running Ultimate NES Remix. At least five Nintendo representatives observed the proceedings. They would take their turn, try their best, then move along for the next group of 20.
As of 11am on May 30, 2015, the current high score at the Illinois Nintendo World Championships 2015 qualifier was 1,449,500. I was unable to talk to the lucky man or woman who had earned it, however, due to the manner in which Nintendo was proceeding. Someone competes, fills out a form with their information and score, turns it in at the table, grabs a piece of swag, and moves along. People will be contacted later in the day, after the event ends at 10pm, to determine the winner for each region’s match. Which means someone could end up having the top score, but then not knowing until later today if they’re one of the lucky few going to the Nintendo World Championships 2015 in Los Angeles, CA on June 14, 2015.
Though honestly, I didn’t expect the Nintendo World Championships 2015 qualifying matches to be so small. The tables were wedged right in Best Buy’s video game section, near the PS4 and Xbox One demo stations. There wasn’t much signage or fanfare. Also, it was far more orderly. I expected to see people coming to watch and observe, but Nintendo and Best Buy seemed to have a handle on the events. Family and friends of the competitors would gather while they played, then scattered when the work was done.
One can’t help but feel bad for all of the people waiting for their chance to compete. The weather in Illinois is miserable. When I arrived, it was merely overcast, but rain had started falling as I left. While driving away, it began to pour and the umbrellas went up. If I have one criticism, it’s that Best Buy and Nintendo should have checked the weather reports and had some sort of tents set up to offer shelter for the multitudes who turned out.