Bay Area eSports Genesis Gaming competition is back, bringing thousands to San Jose and driving business

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SAN JOSE, California (KGO) — From a barn at the 2009 Contra Costa County Fairgrounds to Genesis 9 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. The world’s largest Super Smash Brothers community tournament is drawing thousands to downtown this weekend.

Edgard Sheleby, whose tag is ‘n0ne’, told ABC7 News: “This is one of the big tournaments. If you do well here, it will probably mean a lot.”

The Genesis Gaming event is certainly significant in more ways than one. ABC7 News covered last year’s Genesis 8 event.

Matthew Martinucci, vice president of destination sales and services for Team San Jose, highlighted the planned economic recovery and the city’s continued efforts to recover from years under the pandemic.

“The restaurants are packed tonight, the hotels are full, the bars are full, the airport is seeing traffic,” Martinucci described. “It has a huge economic impact on the city for the people who live and work here.”

MORE: The Bay Area-born gaming league brings convention and crowds to downtown SJ

David Santos is a co-owner of Guildhouse and director of technology and esports. He said the partnership with Genesis Gaming means extra hours and extra staff. Both are a welcome sight.

“The day-to-day business has not yet fully got under way. At least not for companies like ours,” said Santos. “So if there’s events in town or conventions or whatever, whatever outdoor events, that’s very helpful.”

Genesis Gaming will host approximately 5,000 people during the three-day tournament. Genesis 9 marks a great year, with participants from 36 countries in town to play on location.

“Not even players, just spectators,” Sheleby added. “There are people who just come here to watch their favorite players or personalities. And it’s really nice to see it get bigger and bigger every year.”

MORE: What Is a Competitive Gaming eSports Tournament?

Speaking of bigger, Intel is the latest corporate sponsor of the event and will take the Bay Area native esports competition to another level.

“When you’re young and small, you never think 1: you could do this for a living. 2: never mind having fans to play video games,” Juan Debiedma, whose tag is “Hungrybox,” told ABC7 News. “But we live in really unique times.”

He continued, “I’m just thankful I get to do what I love, and people love to see me do it.”

The tournament lasts through Sunday, when the top eight players will compete to become the best in the world. The winner walks away with $75,000.

For 14-year-old Florida resident RJ Dodd, whose tag is OG Kid, he’s enjoying the experience. According to the organizers, he was the youngest commentator present.

“The possibilities are truly endless,” explains Dodd. “You can take many paths. You can be a commentator, you can be a player, you can be behind the scenes doing all the work, a TO to check all the players into their matches.

“There is a lot of wiggle room to make Smash a full-time career,” he added.

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The event is sure to be a resounding success for both the city of San Jose and the founders who created the contest and brought it to Silicon Valley.

Genesis Gaming co-founder Ken Silva explained, “A lot of our population is younger, tech savvy people, programmers, people who might be looking to get schooled in this particular area, so we’re certainly aware that this is probably the best place to base ourselves.”

“And NorCal has a very strong history with us,” he said.

Here is a link to the Genesis Gaming website here.

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