Video game tournament draws young and old

Published on Sunday, 29 August 2021 17:53
Written by Erica Drzewiecki


BRISTOL – Gamers of all ages came from across the state to compete in the first-ever “Grab Bag” Video Game Tournament at the New England Carousel Museum Sunday.

Xbox One and Nintendo Switch consoles were set up on the second floor banquet hall by volunteers with the Bristol-based eSpot Gaming, a new business venture and the tournament’s sponsor.

A total of 32 players competed in tournament-style brackets across four different gaming genres: fighter, racing, shooter and puzzle. They played Halo, Speed Runners, Brawlhalla and Watermelon Party.

The individual winners of each game were Colin Holdridge (ArchCurve33) for Halo; Jackson Anderson (DrEpic) for Watermelon Party, and Alexander Langlois (Admas0) for Speed Runners and Brawlhalla.

Langlois had the highest aggregate scores across all four games and was crowned Tournament Champion.

eSpot Gaming founder John Deveau planned the tournament in hopes of gauging the local community’s interest in his concept.

“John is looking to create an e-sports, gaming and e-development center,” his wife Caroline explained while Deveau facilitated the games. “We’re here to find out what the appetite is like in town. Hopefully this will give us a lot of great information to continue moving forward and open this business in Bristol.”

The family received lots of positive feedback from gamers who participated, representing a wide swath of ages, interests and towns of origin.

“I loved it,” Audrey Myers said, jumping up and down wearing a Mario shirt.

The Bristol youth and her family didn’t know what to expect in terms of what games would be played, but Audrey had a blast.

“She’s been playing video games for a couple years now,” her mom April Dews said before they left. “We are going to buy those games so she can practice for next time. I think this is a wonderful use of this space,” Dews added. “It’s really cool to see people of all different ages playing together.”

Bracket match-ups were determined by a random number generator, according to volunteer Stephanie Christino.

“This is a competition where age is not at all an indicator of skill,” Christino pointed out.

Noah Berghinzo, 23, did not advance in Speed Runners or Brawlhalla but he did make it to the semi-finals of Halo and the finals for Watermelon Party.

“Honestly it’s been a lot of fun,” the Norwich resident said. “It kept me on my toes. It was cool to have different people to play with in person (rather than online). It’s pretty interesting to see all the skill levels here. Some of the younger kids will come in and just wipe you out.”

43-year-old Trevor Holdridge of Ledyard came with his kids. The whole family competed.

“I would absolutely do this again,” he said.

Deveau is a board member at the Carousel Museum. Gamers were encouraged to ride the carousel and explore the museum during their visit Sunday.

“This allowed us to bring people of different demographics in here,” weekend manager Athalie Cayo said. “I think it’s wonderful.”

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, General News on Sunday, 29 August 2021 17:53. Updated: Sunday, 29 August 2021 17:55.