Big Buck Hunter Hosts World Championship In Las Vegas’s HyperX

Posted On: 10/21/2019

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GLEN ELLYN, IL -- Big Buck Hunter returned to the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas for its 12th annual world championship and 9th annual ladies’ tourney. The HyperX arena, in the Luxor Hotel, was chosen to solidify Big Buck Hunter’s status as “the world’s #1 arcade Esport,” according to its manufacturer, Play Mechanix.

This year’s competitive action began with the Ladies’ Tourney, featuring 32 of the keenest female hunters in the world. With two former champions in the running and nine new contenders making their debut, the stage was set for ferocious competition.

Two-time winner Melinda VanHoomissen made a serious run at a third title, fighting through the reload bracket and forcing a second round in the finals. In the end, however, Saskatchewan’s Lauren Hope emerged victorious, claiming her first Ladies’ Tourney title, $5,000, and the honor of being the event’s first-ever international champion.

Deferring the celebration until her work was done, Hope and 15 other female competitors who ranked as dual-qualified warriors went on to contend in the 12th-annual Big Buck World Championship.

If the challenge of being among the top 64 hunters in the world wasn’t enough (19 of them new to the event), Play Mechanix upped the ante by debuting all-new paths for the prey, neutralizing any advantage players might have gained from memorizing hunting sites. The result was an evening chock-full of tense battles and explosive upsets, including the elimination of two former champions.

When the dust settled, Phil Beaupre and Andre Rivas each found themselves in their first final. The switch to skill-only play presented the onlookers with two equally matched titans. Beaupre came from the reload bracket to take a decisive victory in the first adventure. With one adventure remaining to determine the champion, Rivas opted to switch guns. The final battle became one for the record books as the virtual hunters exchanged the lead several times.

Ultimately, Rivas’s gun switch strategy paid off as he found an opening and seized Destiny by the antlers, claiming his first World Championship title, $20,000, and the first title for a Californian. The arena erupted in cheers and Big Buck Hunter’s coveted trophies had not one, but two brand-new names to be added.

Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of Big Buck Hunter, a milestone that will be celebrated with the release of the recently announced Big Buck Hunter: Reloaded, and surely a surprise or two for next year’s World Championship. The qualifier will open at all online Big Buck HD units on Nov. 1. Developments will be reported on the event’s website at Live-streaming events can be viewed at

Big Buck HD is the first-ever 1080p high-definition arcade videogame and the latest installment in the award-winning Big Buck Hunter franchise, created by Raw Thrills and Play Mechanix. The game’s custom tournaments and ad campaigns have made Big Buck Hunter a popular choice with bar owners and operators around the world.

Details on the game and competitive play options are online at

GOOD SHOOTING: At left, Big Buck Hunter world champion Andre Rivas of California celebrates his victory over Phil Beaupre in the 12th annual championship contest, held at the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas’s Luxor hotel and casino. At right, ladies champion Lauren Hope, from Saskatchewan, Canada, shows off her trophy. The competition was played on Big Buck Hunter HD, which organizer Play Mechanix believes to be the “the world’s #1 arcade Esport.” Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of Big Buck Hunter, a milestone that’s being marked by the introduction of the Big Buck Hunter: Reloaded model.