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Go Next of Duluth Wins GigaZone Gaming Championship

October 03, 2017

Over $10,000 in cash and prizes won over the 2 days through various tournaments and door prizes

(Bemidji, MN) (October 1, 2017) – The 2nd annual GigaZone Gaming Championship, was held Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30 at the Sanford Center George W. Neilson Convention Center. The event featured free gaming on various console and arcade games, numerous tournaments, virtual reality, door prizes, and more.

This one of a kind regional gaming event showcases Paul Bunyan Communications’ IT and web development team which custom built and integrated much of the online technology and leverages the speed of the GigaZone one of the largest rural all-fiber optic Gigabit networks in the country. The entire event was run off a single residential GigaZone Internet connection.  
Go Next from Duluth won the 2nd annual GigaZone Gaming Championship and $2,500 defeating the defending champion Pro Freakz from Deer River who won $1,250 for second place.  The Iron Range Legends took third place for the second straight year and $750.  A total of 22 of northern Minnesota’s best League of Legends teams competed online with the top four teams making it to the Championship rounds in the GigaZone Championship Arena. 
In addition to the League of Legends Tournament, there was several other open tournaments include three Magic the Gathering Booster Drafts, Street Fighter V, Mario Kart 8, Overwatch 3v3, Madden 18, Super Smash Brothers, Ms. Pacman, and Galaga.  Admission was free and there were a lot of door prizes given away including the grand prize of an Oculus Rift – the incredibly immersive virtual reality (VR) headset which was won by Anthony Belgarde of Grand Rapids.
“There is a large gaming community in our area and GigaZone Gaming Championship not only showcases some of the region’s best League of Legends teams but it gives everyone a chance to get in on the action!  It was great to see this unique community event grow so much in its second year!” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager
“Our cooperative continues to expand one of the largest rural fiber gigabit networks in the country and that brings many advantages to our members.  The GigaZone provides extreme speed and low latency which are critical for the best online gaming experience and the GigaZone Gaming Championship showcases just that,” added Leo Anderson, Paul Bunyan Communications Digital Services Supervisor.
“It is a great chance for people experience the growing eSports phenomenon locally.  This year was even bigger and better and we look forward to next year” added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.
The event is made possible by Paul Bunyan Communications and local, regional, and national partners including Pierced League Gaming of Grand Rapids, NLFX of Bemidji, Accidently Cool Games of Bemidji, Northern Amusement of Bemidji, the Sanford Center in Bemidji, ESPN, Fox Networks, Turner Networks, Viacom, and many more.
For more information on the GigaZone Gaming Championship visit


Paul Bunyan Communications has the region’s largest and fastest all fiber optic network with over 5,000 square miles throughout most of Beltrami County and portions of Cass, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis Counties.  The Cooperative provides Broadband High Speed Internet Service up to a Gigabit per second, digital and high definition television services, Smart Home services, digital voice services, and more.   Service availability depends upon location, some restrictions may apply.

Official Tournament Results

​GigaZone Gaming Championship: League of Legends 
1st Place   $2,500    
Go Next, Duluth   
Brandon Parker, Mitchell Wichman, Sam Larson, Luke Sweet, Kyle Terrell 

2nd Place- $1,250    
Pro Freakz, Deer River   
Isaac Rasmussen, Elias Grauman, IIan Belgrade, Cody Matthews, Josh Oshea 

3rd Place-  $750      
Iron Range Legends, Cohasset   
Ben Monson, Prescott Weis, Sean Mull, Brad Monson, Noah Hernandez 

​Overwatch 3x3 
1st Issa Team, Bemidji...$900 
Dakota Veaux, Matoshah Veaux, Devon Rainey 

2nd Team T.H.I.C.C., Redby...$600 
Richard Clark, Brandon Dow, Jerol Beaulieu 

3rd Net Lakers, Nett Lake...$300  
Parker Drift, John Whitman, Garrett Morrison

Madden 18  
1st  Derek Klotter, Farmington - iPad Air 2 
2nd Aaron Miller, Superior, WI - $100 gift card  
3rd Adam Scott, Brainerd - ​$50 gift card  
4th Emery Skinaway, Red Lake - $25 gift card 

Super Smash Brothers 
1st Tournament  
Henry Hill Jr, Red Lake - Nintendo Switch 
2nd Tournament 
Dale Dowling, Deer River - Nintendo Switch 

Mario Kart 8 
Matt Rengstorf, Hibbing - Nintendo Switch 

Street Fighter V 
Eddie Blackbear, Deer River - $200 gift card 

Retro Tournaments  
Ms Pac-Man   

Abby Gorski, Bemidji - $100 gift card        

Sabbastian Wilson-Webb, Walker - $100 gift card 

CosPlay Contest 
1st- Khori Vaerconum, Hibbing - $200 gift card  
​2nd (tie)  Kirin Peterson, Bemidji -  $100 gift card  
Eva Anderson, Bemidji - $100 gift card
Grand Door Prize Winner:
Anthony Belgarde, Grand Rapids - Oculus Rift Virtual Reality 
Brian Bissonette
(218) 444-1127
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