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nhl94 tourney in halifax - newspaper article

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He shoots, he scores . . . at Bubba Ray’s in Halifax

Published March 17, 2017 - 6:27pm 
Bubba Ray’s Sports Bar on Spring Garden Road.
    Bubba Ray’s Sports Bar on Spring Garden Road.


    A hockey video game tournament is offering the people of Halifax a chance to relive their childhood.

    The event — at Bubba Ray’s Sports Bar on Spring Garden Road April. 1— will have players competing against each other on the classic hockey video game NHL 94.

    NHL 94 is one of the earliest hockey video games and the first to have both the NHL and the NHLPA on board. Earlier games featured just the players’ names or the NHL team names, not both.

    NHL 94 also introduced the one-timer slap shot and manual goaltending.

    “It was pretty extravagant,” said event organizer Darrell Sampson in a phone interview Friday. “From that point, people fell in love with it.”

    The idea came about when Sampson’s friend was filming a documentary on the game and needed to get some shots from a tournament.

    With the growth of modern e-sports — where people compete against each other in modern-day video games for big prizes — Sampson still believes there’s a market for tournaments with retro games.

    Sampson has had a hand in organizing similar tournaments in Saskatoon, Toronto, Green Bay, New York and a future one in Las Vegas.

    The Vegas tournament will have more than $10,000 in cash and prizes.

    “It’s hard to say if NHL 94 will get big enough to be considered an e-sport . . . but you might have a small following,” Sampson said.

    Unlike most e-sports competitions, you don’t have to be an NHL 94 expert to stand a chance. Sampson says anyone with a bit of knowledge when it comes hockey video games can pull off a win.

    “When I was in Toronto I played against a guy who never played before, and he actually won a game.”

    Sampson says he expects 15-20 people to attend the Halifax tournament. He has lowered the usual price to attract more competitors.

    A Facebook group for the event has more than 80 people either attending or interested.

    To register for the tournament visit:

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