Gamers Gear Up for Yolo 2022

Jason Bennett,

January 5, 2022 10:38 PM

Event organizer Evan Mcgahey is ready to kick off the New Year with the first tournament of the season

As athletes from around the world gather in Beijing for the Winter Olympics Games this February, video game players from around the world will be competing at their own parallel competitive summit. Known as the Yolympics, the four week long event will offer gamers the ultimate prize - the chance to have one's team crowned tournament champions and the requisite bragging rights that go with that - at least until the next tournament.

And first-time organizer Evan Mcgahey is ready to host and oversee the eagerly-anticipated event. There's just the small matter of selecting the video game titles for competition and organizing upwards of 100 players onto teams in time for the tournament's start on January 31, but he doesn't feel too overwhelmed.

"Fortunately a lot of gamers want the Yolo to happen," explained Evan, "and with help from previous hosts, I decided to give it a go."

The Yolympics and Games

The Yolympics is a M.A.M.E. and arcade team-based competition that typically unfolds over four to five weeks. It first debuted in 2015 as the MAME Olympics, but the event was renamed the Yolympics or more commonly "Yolo" for short.

As with previous years, this installment will be played out across a range of different games. But unlike the athletes gathering in Beijing, Yolo participants will be directly responsible for nominating the "events" (read games) in the hopes of including a game that a given player has mastered, leaving others struggling for an advantage.

"Competing players if they wish can send nominations to the host approximately 1 month before the tournament begins," Evan described in our email exchange, "and the games will be put into a voting form (players really enjoy this part as they get to choose whichever games they like)."

Following the selection of games, the titles are either grouped according to years or era of release or game genre, such as racing or fighting at the host's discretion.

It's All About Teamwork

But selecting the games is only half of the equation. The other is dividing a large group of participants onto teams for the 4 week event.

"[Since] this is a team-based event, the team with the best overall performance will win," Evan clarified. "There will be 4 teams and 22 games. The top 8 scores from each team will be used to score points for each game."

Twtich stream of the players draft for the 2019 tournament [Image Source: Yolo 2019]

And when you're dealing with dozens of interested players, team captains will have the responsibility of drafting players onto teams. But in this case you don't have to be scouted and approached to be included in the draft. It's simply a matter of registering for the tournament to get into the action.

"In recent years the Yolympic teams have been picked through a live draft on Twitch a few days before the tournament begins," Evan said. "After the draft is complete, the captains will set up a discord server to communicate, share tips, hints and strategies."

While some may believe that veteran participants will enjoy an inherent advantage over any newcomers coming off the bench, Evan sees it differently.

"With nearly 100 participants registered last Yolympics, there will always be a large number of new or unknown players which make it exciting as you don't know how strong each team will be until they start playing the games," he observed. "New players might be very good at a few of the games or a certain genre such as shumps, [or be able to] share their knowledge of the game with other players on their team."

And besides, returning competitors including Evan share a simple philosophy: the more the merrier.

"With more new players taking part," he reflected, " it's a great opportunity to share ideas, strategies, meet new members of the gaming community and to promote the retro gaming scene to others."

Host It And They Shall Come

The Yolympics had many hosts throughout the years which includes @wolfman24 (Yolympics 2015, Yolympics 2016 & Summer Yolympics 2019) @xelnia (Yolympics 2017 & Winter Yolympics 2019) @Barra (Yolympics 2020).

And while you might expect Evan to be a little nervous about hosting his first Yolo, he feels like it's really a collective effort.

"From Johnbart who runs the CAG website [and] is always friendly and accommodating, to the team captains for offering to manage an entire team, for CaptainJivepants and BackdoorFred who have kindly taken the time to live stream the draft on Twitch, and of course all of the players who take part in the tournament, their positive feedback made it a pleasure for me to host it," he shared.


The Yolympics 2022 runs from January 31 to March 6, 2022 (naturally)


The tournament will be hosted on which is run by @johnbart. The site also stages other popular classic arcade game events such as various Donkey Kong-related tournaments, El Crapo's, and Galaga tournaments.


Some helpful links:

CAG Discord

Yolympics 2022 registration

Yolympics 2022 voting form

How to register a CAG account

CAG Tournaments FAQ


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