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Windjammers Flying Power League Takes Flight Through 2018

With the first round in December, the League takes shape until August. What does this mean for retro gaming in the competitive scene?

Data East’s Windjammers came out in 1994 for the Neo Geo, taking on the idea as a high-concept “Pong” and putting the scenery as a frisbee throwing game. It made the players use special moves to get the disc beyond their opponents. Despite how that sounds, it’s a really cool game from back then. August 29th of this year, DotEmu brought it back with enhancements, an online mode, player rankings, and they have placed it firmly on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.

Now, DotEmu is going one further. Even though it’s been done before, the Windjammers Flying Power League brings the idea of taking a game from the 1990s and focusing it as a 2018 esport. After a taste of the competitive scene at the SEA Major 2017 in Singapore, DotEmu is out to make their baby the next major title with its own circuit. They’ve teamed up with Smash.gg, a well-known esports event platform. Back in December, they tweeted about it.

The Flying Power League has a total of over $10,000 in prizes, plus the winner gets a free trip to EVO 2018. The first round of competition started December 15 - 17 at NEC 18 in Philadelphia, PA, but events will continue until August 5th, 2018. The initial press release was loose with words, but winners seem to be able to win up to $2,000 from this initial round, but winners can earn up to $10,000. 

The tournament seems to focus on the PS4 and Vita offerings, but there’s no word on if they will offer any exhibition matches on the original Neo Geo versions.

This league is actually really important, not for any other reason but to give a glimmer of hope that classic, retro games can be taken in under the esports thought process. With the focus on modern games in the competitive arena, it’s not common to see classic games take center stage anymore. Here, at Twin Galaxies, we embrace both. Seeing Windjammers in the spotlight right now gives hope that other games will be remade or ported to the modern systems, similar to the Neo Geo offerings that are already available on the Nintendo Switch. With that in mind, we want Windjammers on Nintendo Switch now.

With the uprising of tournaments in classic games like Tetris getting major tournaments, the revival of the Nintendo World Championships, and even Windjammers rising up out of its own ashes, the question remains as to not what will also come in 2018, but what will succeed?

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