Rob Gruber

Rupert players off to Kaijudo World Championships

It was a magical weekend and one that 12-year-old Jonathan Boutilier won't soon forget.

It was a magical weekend and one that 12-year-old Jonathan Boutilier won’t soon forget as he became the youngest ever qualifier for the Kaijudo World Championships to be held in Providence, Rhode Island in October.

Good Times Games teamed up with Pacific NorthWest LNG to host the largest Kaijudo Master Challenge taking place in North America this year and saw nearly 70 contestants aged five to adult come out to compete for the chance to represent Prince Rupert at the championship.

Good Times has been awarded this prestigious event for the fourth consecutive season, being the only game store that has done so. Players fought through six rounds of head-to-head Swiss play over the Sept. 6 event, then the Top 8 faced off to see which two players would represent Good Times and Prince Rupert at the big event next month.

“To have our Top 8 finishers range in age from 11 to 20 is a testament to our amazing local player base. We had six female players in our top 20 as well,” said Rob Gruber, co-owner of Good Times and tournament organizer for the event.

When it all was said and done, Boutilier was crowned champion after defeating past qualifier Alex Hembroff in the final match.

Nearly all the players in attendance were from the Northwest with the exception of four players who traveled all the way from Victoria B.C. to compete.

“The turnout was amazing thanks in part to our friends at Pacific NorthWest LNG providing lunch for everyone and a large selection of prizes to ensure that every player had something to go home with,” said Gruber.

“Pacific NorthWest LNG was proud to partner with Good Times Games in hosting its most recent Kaijudo Tournament,” added Pacific NorthWest LNG community relations adviser, Derek Baker.

“As a company that plans to be a major employer in the region for many decades, it is important for us to get involved and support these type of community building activities.”

Boutilier and Hembroff earned free travel and entry into the World Championships, they will be traveling with Gruber, Ryan Last and the Winther Family (the youngest son Kevin earned his place at a qualifier in Victoria) as well as Olivia Godin to the big event next month.

“We are excited to represent Good Times and Prince Rupert in Rhode Island, the fact that our Kaijudo player base rivals major cities in North America is still unbelievable to me,” added Gruber.

“Let’s hope Jonathan, Alex or Kevin can win it all now so we can say Prince Rupert is home to the 2014 Kaijudo World Champion next.”