GCI to host largest esports tournament in Alaska history
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Esports players across state can now sign up for Alaska’s largest-ever esports tournament. The GCI Northern Lights Invitational is a $20,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive invitational tournament and it will take place virtually across three consecutive Saturdays: Jan. 28, Feb. 4, and Feb. 11. The groundbreaking tournament is hosted by GCI, Alaska’s leader in connectivity. Signups will be open through Jan. 20.
“GCI is dedicated to giving Alaska the best esports experience,” said GCI Chief Marketing Officer Kate Slyker. “Our 2 gig speeds give players superior speed and in-game connection. We opened this tournament to Alaska residents only as a commitment to the growing esports community here, and we’re really excited to offer the largest prize pool in Alaska gaming history. We hope it will bring the best players from across the state together to compete for top ranking.”
The GCI Northern Lights Invitational is a CS:GO tournament, which features teams of five working together to eliminate other teams or protect or destroy an objective in the first-person tactical shooter. This style of gameplay is consistently the most played on Steam, the largest PC game store, and one of the most watched esports on Twitch.
Signups for this tournament are unique for a prize pool this large. Typical tournaments require teams to sign up with a full group of five. For this event, players can sign up with any group size up to five which means players may sign up by themselves, in small groups or with a full team. Players who sign up by themselves or in small groups will be matched and connected with additional players at their skill level to form a full team. Additionally, players of all skill levels and experience are encouraged to sign up, as long as they are a current Alaska resident.
“We really wanted to make sure this was an inclusive event,” said Slyker. “Allowing people to sign up in this way means that everyone who wants to participate regardless of if they have four teammates to join them or not and regardless of their skill level and CS:GO experience. This is intended to be grassroots, we’re happy to include everyone from veteran players to those who are new to esports.”
GCI will donate $10 in the name of every player who registers to either USO Alaska or the UAF Alaska Esports Center. Each player will be asked which of the two causes they would like to support, and GCI will make a donation in their honor, up to $5,000.
The tournament opens on Jan. 28. The finals will be played on Saturday, Feb. 11. GCI will host the finals on its Twitch channel and the broadcast will have seasoned CS:GO commentators in the booth calling the matches. To sign up to participate, visit https://www.gci.com/internet/esports/northern-lights-invitational-tournament by Jan. 20.
GCI is a trailblazer when it comes to supporting esports in Alaska and is the official technology sponsor of the Alaska School Activities Association. The company also partnered with University of Alaska Fairbanks to create a first of its kind Alaska Esports Center. This tournament is another way for the company to show its commitment to the growing esports community.
Headquartered in Alaska, GCI provides data, mobile, video, voice and managed services to consumer, business, government, and carrier customers throughout Alaska, serving more than 200 communities. The company has invested more than $4 billion in its Alaska network and facilities over the past 40 years and recently launched true standards-based 5G NR service in Anchorage, now the nation’s northernmost 5G service area. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com. GCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Broadband Corporation (Nasdaq: LBRDA, LBRDK, LBRDP). Learn more about Liberty Broadband at http://www.libertybroadband.com.