(PHOTO CAPTION: Melty Bear (left) faces off against Myth during the finals of the Spa-Con Showdown 2021.)
HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — Gamers from across the region will compete Saturday, September 24, in the Spa-Con Showdown Smash Bros. Video Game Tournament as part of the Spa-Con 6.0 comics and pop culture convention at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
“We expect competitors from across Arkansas and surrounding states such as Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Missouri to compete for $1,250 in prizes,” said Visit Hot Springs Marketing Director Bill Solleder. “Entries are limited to 120 players, so competitors are urged to sign up as quickly as possible.
“They can register at www.spa-con.org or https://smash.gg/ for $25 until July 23, at which time the registration goes up to $35.”
The Spa-Con Showdown is presented by National Park College, the Garland County Library and Visit Hot Springs.
Solleder described the competition as a double-elimination tournament for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (for Nintendo Switch), which has sold more than 27 million copies worldwide since its release in December 2018. The fighting game features 85 iconic video game characters, from Nintendo-owned all-stars such as Mario, Pikachu and Link, to guest stars from other companies such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man, and Ryu from Street Fighter.
He said there will also be a second tournament bracket for the fighting game called Guilty Gear - Strive.
“This tournament provides a rare opportunity for the friendly rivalry between Central Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas players to compete against one another,” Solleder said. “Weekly tournaments are held across the state, where players compete to win money and maintain a ranking in their local leagues.
“Many matches from Spa-Con Showdown will be live-streamed on Twitch, and the top eight competitors will win cash prizes. A Central Arkansas player has yet to win the top prize, but the competition is closer than ever this year.”
With Spa-Con 6.0 only five months away, three noted actors have signed on as celebrity guests for the convention.
Lori Petty, Beau Billingslea and Mark Rolston will be on hand to greet fans and answer questions when the sixth version of the popular convention gets underway.
Solleder said tickets for the 2022 Spa-Con are available at the Spa-Con website: www.spa-con.org. He said weekend pass ticket prices for those who register before July 23 are $25. The price goes up to $35 between July 23 and September 23.
He said there are 100 VIP passes available for $100 until July 23. The VIP passes are $125 between July 23 and September 22. These passes purchased on September 23 are $150.
Lori Petty is now starring in “Station 11,” a post-apocalyptic miniseries streaming on HBO Max. She will be at Spa-Con on Saturday, September 24, for questions and photos and will take part in a VIP meet-and-greet.
Beau Billingslea will be on hand all three days of Spa-Con 6.0. He will appear at the opening ceremony Friday, September 23, will greet fans and pose for photos and do autographs Saturday, September 24, and will sign autographs on Sunday, September 25.
Billingslea is the voice of The Fourth Raikage and Homura in the animated series “Naruto,” and voices Abraham Douglas in the animated feature, “War of the Worlds: Goliath.” He has narrated several series on The History Channel including “Suicide Missions,” “Hero Ships” and “Modern Marvels.” His video games include Safari, Outlaws, Dynasty Warriors, Zino, Breakdown, Ace Combat 5, and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. He also voiced Jet Black in the critically acclaimed anime “Cowboy Bebop.”
Mark Rolston also will appear all three days of Spa-Con 6.0, including the opening ceremony September 23, photos, VIP meet and greet and autographs September 24, and in the Expo Hall for autographs September 25.
He created iconic roles as Private Drake in “Aliens,” Bogs Diamond in “The Shawshank Redemption,” the original Alistar in the mega hit series “Supernatural,” and recently as Clive Davis in the Lifetime Feature “Whitney.”
He also is known as Walter Pierce in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and as Kuroda and later Magh in “Star Trek: Enterprise.”
For more information call Bill Solleder at 501-321-2027.