Squid kids do battle in splatoon

With Splatoon 2 on the horizon, Nintendo is looking to find out who the top U.S. inkers are, and they're even hosting a tournament to help out in the process. The grand prize? A trip to E3 2017.

To be clear, this tournament is for the original Splatoon on the Wii U, though Nintendo did just hold an open beta for the soon-to-be-released Splatoon 2 on the Switch. But, since that game isn't out yet, it's kind of hard to hold a tournament, right?

According to a recent press release, Nintendo is partnering with Battlefy for this promotion geared at pitting the best Splatoon teams against one another across a variety of modes. Modes to be included in the "Splatoon U.S. Inkling Open Tournament" include Turf War, Splat Zones, Tower Control and Rainmaker, so you'll want to bone up on all of your skills if you hope to stand a chance against the competition.

The only major guidelines are that you must live in the United States, be 18 years or older and play Splatoon on the Wii U. You also need a team and an internet connection, obviously. Once the whole thing is said and done, the winning team will be flown to Los Angeles to take part in E3 2017, which just so happens to be open to the public this year. The announcement says you'll be there to "check out what Nintendo has in store," but we imagine they'll unleash you on the full conference floor for some good old-fashioned rubbernecking.

Teams must consist of four members and an optional fifth established as a backup. From there, you can head on over to the official tournament site and register to take part. The qualifying round will consist of teams competing in Turf War, and it'll take place on April 22 beginning at 11 a.m. PT. They, of course, recommend everyone log in nice and early to hit the "check in" button and be ready to roll. Full rules and an explanation of how the brackets will build and unfold can be found at the same site where you register.

The top 16 teams from the qualifying round will then head into the finals, where each team will compete in rounds of Turf War, Splat Zones and Tower Control. These will be done as a single-elimination, best-of-five format until just two teams remain. The last two teams will compete in Rainmaker to determine the winner in the finals on April 29 at 11 a.m. PT.

Nintendo is clearly angling to make Splatoon a tournament-focused game, similar to their Smash Bros. series, and we're all for it. Heck, the Switch was basically built with this style of play in mind.

Anyway, if you feel like strutting your stuff in Splatoon, this seems like a pretty solid way to go about it. Good luck!

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