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Nintendo is kicking off the E3 festivities this year in a huge way by inviting fans from around the world to watch the thrilling finals of the Nintendo World Championships live on Sunday, June 14. This is the first time in 25 years that Nintendo has held these Championships, signalling the company’s grand return to competitive gaming—a sport they helped popularize back in the 90’s.

This story began back on May 12 when Nintendo cryptically teased on Twitter that someone was “training for E3“, with most fans correctly guessing it was really Nintendo of America’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Reggie Fils-Aimé, dressed in an iconic Little Mac sweatsuit. The next day on YouTube, Nintendo revealed their E3 2015 plan, which included the triumphant return of the Nintendo World Championships taking place at the Nokia Theatre live in Los Angeles. Take a look at the hilarious announcement video:

Longtime Nintendo fans will surely chuckle several times watching the above video, as Reggie can be seen training for the Nintendo World Championships with plenty of nostalgic game peripherals going back to the NES days. Some of the gadgets he incorporates into his fitness routine include lifting Nintendo GameCube’s, running on the Power Pad, benchpressing two Super Scopes, stretching on a Wii Fit Balance Board, and mostly hilariously (at least I think so), taking a break to play the Nintendo Virtual Boy console, perhaps the company’s biggest commercial flop. It really neat to get this tour of classic Nintendo peripherals, and awesome to see the big N can even poke fun at itself for releasing a product dud.

Legend_of_Zelda_NES.jpgNintendo held qualifying matches for the 2015 Nintendo World Championships at eight Best Buy locations across the U.S. back on May 30, with one top-scoring winner selected from each location. Fans competed on gaming stations loaded with Ultimate NES Remix, a game for Nintendo 3DS, and participated in a series of score-based challenges in Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, and Dr. Mario. The winners will be joined by an additional eight Nintendo-chosen competitors who will also do battle live at the Nintendo World Championships in Los Angeles. The event begins on June 14 at 3:00 p.m. Pacific time, and you can watch the live stream on Nintendo’s E3 hub webpage.

The Legend of Zelda for the NES will be one of 15 games played during the 2015 Nintendo World Championships, Nintendo announced earlier this month on Twitter. The full lineup of games will include a mix of other classic and modern Nintendo games.

30thAnniv_MainLogo_RGB-01.jpgAs for what else Nintendo is planning for E3, they will once again be presenting a Digital Event full of new game announcements, game trailers, and updates, taking place on Tuesday, June 16 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time. This will be followed by an extended Nintendo Treehouse Live at E3 stream from June 16-18, which will feature gaming experts in the Nintendo Treehouse and interviews with various game developers. As Juby mentioned in the Plug-In community forum, Best Buy Canada will also be hosting Nintendo E3 demo days, where you can have a chance to play Mario Maker on Wii U before it’s worldwide release. Attendees will receive a sweet 30th anniversary Super Mario Bros. pin while supplies last!

I’m very excited to say this year I’ll be at E3 live to bring all the gaming news to the Plug-In community. Each day of the event I’ll be giving you inside access to the hottest gaming show of the year, writing about presentations, announcements, and my experience playing the most anticipated games of 2015, and beyond.

If there are any games or peripherals you want me to check out, booths you’d like me visit, or people you’d like to hear from, please be sure to let me know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for lots of great photos, stories, hands-on previews and more!

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