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Over 4,000 Attend GigaZone Gaming Championship & TechXpo - P4

Mathew Wagner of Duluth Wins Main Stage Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Tournament

(Bemidji, MN) (April 24, 2023) – An estimated crowd of over 4,000 attended the GigaZone Gaming Championship & TechXpo on Saturday, April 22 at the Sanford Center. The event featured free gaming, numerous gaming tournaments, over 35 technology exhibitors, door prizes, and special guest Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple.

This one-of-a-kind regional gaming event showcases Paul Bunyan Communications' IT and web development team which custom built and integrated much of the online technology and leverages the speed of the GigaZone one of the largest rural all-fiber optic Gigabit networks in the country. The entire event was run off a single residential GigaZone Internet connection.

Mathew Wagner of Duluth won the 6th annual GigaZone Gaming Championship and the top prize of $500. Shawn Haines of Grand Forks secured second place and $400. A total of 76 of northern Minnesota's best Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players competed on the main stadium stage in the GigaZone Championship Arena.

In addition to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Tournament, there was several other open tournaments including Fortnite, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Madden 23, and Overwatch 3v3, Rocket League 3vs3 plus high score competitions in Pac-Man, Galaga, and Donkey Kong. There were also two tournaments for juniors 13 and Magic the Gathering Booster Drafts,

"Wow. When we first envisioned this event, we wanted to grow it so we could have a true arena e-sports event. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would grow so fast and that we would have Steve Wozniak the co-founder of Apple join us. It has been incredible to see the attendance and enthusiasm for the event! By adding the TechXpo, we were able to connect a wide variety of students and potential job seekers with schools and businesses that are utilizing the latest in technology every day right here in northern Minnesota. It was awesome to see so many people from all over come for the fun!" said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager


"Our cooperative continues to expand one of the largest rural fiber gigabit networks in the country and that brings many advantages to our members. The GigaZone provides extreme speed and low latency which are critical for the best online gaming experience and the GigaZone Gaming Championship & TechXpo showcases just that," added Leo Anderson, Paul Bunyan Communications Technology Experience Manager.

"A huge shout out to our entire team for putting on one of the most unique events of this type in the country. Thank you to all of the exhibitors that were a part of the first ever TechXpo and our local partners, we couldn't do this without them. We're already looking forward to next year!" added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

This Paul Bunyan Communications event includes the talents of many local partners including NLFX, Accidently Cool Games, Northern Amusement, the Sanford Center as well support from several regional and national partners.

For more information on the GigaZone Gaming Championship visit

Paul Bunyan Communications has the region's largest and fastest all fiber optic network with over 6,000 square miles throughout most of Beltrami County and portions of Aitkin, Cass, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis Counties. The Cooperative provides fiber optic fast Internet speeds up to 10 Gig powered by the GigaZone, television services, digital voice services, Residential and Business IT services, and is also the home of northern Minnesota's certified Apple Service Center.

Official Results - 2023 GigaZone Gaming Champions

Main Stage: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Mathew Wanger, Duluth $500

Shawn Haines, Grand Forks $400

Ronnie Nguyen, Bemidji $300

Caleb McShane, Bemidji $200


Isaac Lauderbaugh, Bemidji $500

Hunter Heim, Bemidji $400

Brock Clyde, Laporte $300

Hudson Webster, Red Lake $200

Zach Longie, Bemidji $100

Overwatch 3vs3 Community Tournament

1st Place $900 per team

Matoskah Veaux, Bemidji Devon Rainey, Bemidji Dakota Veaux, Bemidji

2nd Place $600 per team

Brandon Dow, Redby Anthony Dow, Redby, Richard Clark, Red Lake

Mario Kart 8

Matt Rengstorf, Hibbing $300

Dawson Gerhrts, Bemidji $250

Luann McCaffrey, Park Rapids $200

Matthew Hubert Scarrien, Brooklyn Park $100

Mario Kart 8 Junior Tournament (13 & under)

Samuel Rundquist, Bemidji $200

Liam Granmo, Bemidji $150

Aiden St Peter, Bemidji $100

Ryan Peabody, Bemidji $50

Super Smash Bros. Junior Tournament (13 & under)

Aidan Reini $200

Eliot Ricks $150

Jace Ungerecht $100

Bodie Felosi $50

Classic Arcade High Score Competitions


Jermiah Goboe, Park Rapids $100


Aliyssa Dow, Red Lake $100

Donkey Kong

Dylan Cleveland, Bemidji $100

Grand Door Prize Winners

Xbox One & Xbox Refridgerator Taneshia Brouillard, Bemidji

Nintendo Switch Christy Orth, Bemidji

Playstation 5 Jamie Shepard, Grand Rapids

Occulus VR Jim Updahl, International Falls

3rd Place $300 per team

Jack Sterle, Grand Rapids, Justin Reinhardt, Grand Rapids, Tanner Terney, Grand Rapids

Rocket League 3vs3 Tournament

1st Place $900 per team

Tyler Bos, Austin, MN David Bos, Brainerd, Trevor Bos, Brainerd

2nd Place $600 per team

Thomas Jenny, Moorhead, Isacc Nelson, Dilworth, Preston Morris, Moorhead

3rd Place $300 per team

Evan LaFond, Bagley, Elias LaFond, Bagley, Jacob Guth, Bagley

Madden 23

Emery Skinaway, Red Lake $400

Doug Bryan, Cass Lake $300

Adam Scott, Brainerd $200

Carter Hansen, Bemidji $100


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