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Tekken 8 Tournament at TMU Raises Money for Sick Kids

The event raised at least $735

by Callum Denault
Room full of gaming computers, with a large group of people playing on them and more people standing on the sides watching their games
Over 70 people competed in the tournament, with more showing up just to watch. (OTR/Callum Denault)

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Incendium raised over $735 for the Hospital for Sick Kids through their Tekken 8 launch party and competition this weekend at the Rogers Communications Centre.

The game, Tekken 8, was released on Jan. 26 this year, making it the latest entry in the fighting game series of the same name. Money is raised from this tournament through Create4SickKids, a program run by Sick Kids manager of interactive fundraising Jordan Mady, who originally pitched the idea that his organization use video games and live-streaming as a way of driving donations.

TMU’s manager of the Red Bull Gaming Hub Geoff Lachapelle said the university hosts student groups and other local community organizations, with the goal of fostering these groups “to allow them to recover from post-COVID business depredations.”

Lachapelle said even though TMU has made a name for itself in the world of esports, it does not have a history of staging competitions, which is where tournament organizers like Incendium help. Incendium co-founder and director of operations Roshawn May said while online events helped his company reach a more global audience, in-person or “offline” tournaments are more organic and social.

The tournament was hosted by Incendium, an event planner that specializes in organizing tournaments for video game competitions. May said his company has previously hosted charitable fighting game tournaments, with a Street Fighter 6 launch event last year raising money to help Princess Margaret Hospital research treatments for cancer. He added the latest partnership with Sick Kids is Incendium’s first time doing an event on this scale.

Mady said one of the biggest expenditures Sick Kids has had since the middle of 2023 is precision child healthcare. According to him, the conventional healthcare approach is to compare a patient to other cases like theirs and deliver a treatment based on the average of those past cases.

“You can see some problems with that, right?” Asked Mady, “It doesn’t take into account the child’s weight, their socioeconomic status, and all of these things in their environment that affect their health.”

Over 70 people competed in the Tekken 8 fundraising tournament, with more showing up just to watch. May said the Saturday tournament had a similar amount of attendees as last year’s Street Fighter 6 launch event, which had around 120 people attending in person and an average of 130 viewers on the event’s Twitch stream. 

“You get to see player emotion,” May said, “whether they had an upset in the match they played against their opponent, or just seeing the community building aspect of people cheering each other on, hoping for their friend or whoever to win.”

One gamer at the event said in-person tournaments offer better competition than online matches, because the organizers pair players of similar skill level together. Aria Leslie, a communications manager who attended the Tekken 8 launch event after hearing about it from a friend, said many online matches consist of one player abusing a set of obscure moves they hope their opponent does not know how to counter.

“In a tournament setting,” she said, “you can assume the other person knows the gimmicks of your character. You start playing according to spacing, frames, what people consider ‘proper Tekken.’”

Precision healthcare is a broader movement beyond Sick Kids, according to Mady who added his organization is a leader within this paradigm shift. He said precision healthcare aims to include factors such as a patient’s postal code and their DNA when it comes to prescribing various treatments, such as what medicine they are given.  

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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