Over the weekend the word’s best Donkey Kong players converged on Denver, Colorado for “Kong-Off 3”, the 3rd annual world championship of Donkey Kong. The championship, which was held in Denver’s 1UP Arcade included some of the biggest names in classic arcade gaming such as Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell (made both famous and infamous, respectively, in the documentary King of Kong) as well as current world record holder, Dr. Hank Chien.
When the dust settled after three days of competition, the winner was 23 year old Jeff Willms of Waterloo, Ontario, retaining his title for the second year in a row. He scored 1,096,200 points and topped a group of Donkey Kong competitors as far afield as Australia.
The young Canadian, who is a full decade younger than the game he competed in, took home a $3,000 grand prize, as well as the championship belt and a customized Kong Off 3 barstool (hardly much when compared to the prizes in some eSports world championships).
Fan favourite, Steve Wiebe, who had two games in the tournament fall just short of the mythical kill screen (when the game crashes when it runs out of memory), was quite pragmatic in his response, saying “It can be such a let down, but that’s how the game goes sometimes”.
Although Willms has won the world championship twice in a row, he still hasn’t been able to surpass Chien’s world record of 1,138,600 points and currently has the fourth all time highest score of 1,105,400 as listed by the Twin Galaxies high score rankings.