In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Lunas Recreation Department has been attempting to come up with new and innovative ways to engage the community, and one of those ways was through an esports tournament that featured NBA 2k20 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

The tournaments, which are all done remotely, feature gift card prizes for the top three teams.

So far, the response has been so good that the department just announced another tournament, scheduled for June 28.

It will be the second Call of Duty tournament put on by the department, but thanks to the positive response the first time around, the field will double in size to 16 teams of two.

The first tournament in the series was an NBA 2k20 tournament in May.

“We held a 16 person bracket single elimination NBA 2k tournament for the PlayStation 4,” Castillo said. “It was all done through online servers so everyone got to participate in the safety of their homes.

“The brackets were randomized and games started at 1 p.m. on Saturday and finished at 5:30. It was a $5 entry with 1st place taking home a $60 PlayStation gift card, and 2nd place taking home a $20 gift card.”

The move to Call of Duty allows for cross-platform play, meaning those playing on the Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC are all able to play together, opening it up to even more people.

All of the registration is done the same way as any of the other activities put on by the department, through loslunasnm.gov.

“It was an overall success and good time for all those involved,” Castillo said in reference to the first tournament. “It was also a great way to get our community together as a recreation division while practicing social distancing at the same time.”

The department plans to continue to host tournaments like this and invites those who are interested in competitive gaming to suggest other games they would like to see played.

Once social distancing regulations end, Castillo said he hopes these will translate into not just online tournaments, but local ones as well.

Spots are open for the Call of Duty tournament on June 28, and registration can be done at loslunasnm.gov, the cost to register is $10 per team of two.

Sports writer

Cameron Goeldner grew up in Boulder, Colo., and attended the University of New Mexico. He covers everything sports for all Valencia County schools.

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