VIRL and Lazarus Esports tee-off on first-off-its-kind North American competitive esports golf showdown!

March 18, 2021

It’s tee-time for competitive gamers from Sooke to Sointula. Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) is announcing a partnership with Lazarus Esports to offer a first-off-its-kind North American competitive esports golf showdown, presented by Bear Mountain Golf & Tennis Resort Community. Vancouver Island Regional Library Esports Golf Showdown tool full swing March 17, and anyone with a VIRL library card can enter, free of charge, for a chance to win cash and prizes. Some players will even have their play live-streamed to a global audience during the #VIRLShowdown through our Canadian broadcast partner.

“Esports have exploded in popularity in recent years,” says VIRL’s Executive Director, Rosemary Bonanno. “As VIRL continues to expand into new markets and attract new audiences across its 39 branches, it is vital we provide services that are relevant and meaningful to our communities. The #VIRLShowdown will allow more people to take part and experience the thrill of competitive gaming — I believe we are ushering in a new era of engagement and connection for our library system.”

#VIRLShowdown registration is now open on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is free to participate in and open to all ages. All registrants must have a VIRL library card to play. Signing up for card only takes a few minutes at this link.

Play gets underway March 27 with qualifying rounds lasting until April 4. Digital athletes will participate on PGA TOUR 2K21 for PlayStation 4 and will play four qualifying rounds on the TPC Scottsdale course. Those with the top four combined fewest strokes will qualify for the live streamed #VIRLShowdown on April 11, hosted by Canadian broadcast partner, The Gaming Stadium.

Gamers will also compete against a “Celebrity FOREsome”, including top ranked global esports golfer and newly signed Lazarus Esports digital athlete, Steve “Sloaner” Sloan, Sara Winter (Miss Grand Canada 2020, and #TeamTaylorMadeCA), and others to be announced next week. The celebrities and gamers will participate in a PRO-AM and closest-to-the-pin competition for additional cash and prizes.

One of the goals of the Showdown is to raise funds for the charity, Gamers Outreach, which provides unique gaming “GO-KART’s” to hospitals of choice to aid children in their time of need. VIRL and Lazarus have chosen Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. Click here to donate.

VIRL has partnered with Lazarus Esports, a division of Tiidal Gaming, which is a gaming and entertainment platform company. In 2010, Lazarus established Canada’s first esports team and is the highest earning esports team in the nation. The company’s numerous relationships, decades of experience, and innovative CEO, Charlie Watson, has boosted the exposure, production, and execution of the #VIRLShowdown.

“At Lazarus, one of our main goals is to expand the reach and scope of competitive gaming, expanding its cultural impact and youth development,” says Charlie Watson, the company’s Founder & CEO. “By partnering with Vancouver Island Regional Library, we assisted in shaping a concept and vision that offers new and existing gamers and enthusiasts opportunities to participate who may not otherwise have had access. You never truly know which game will be the next big hit nor where the next great athlete is lurking — we aim to develop the online golf community and the golf world starting in a region that is extremely well known to golfers around the globe through this first-of-its-kind competition and partnership.”

Bear Mountain Golf & Tennis Resort Community is excited to partner with Vancouver Island Regional Library and Lazarus Esports for the #VIRLShowdown,” says Director of Golf, Rob Larocque. “Enabling esports players to virtually experience our facility with the closest-to-the-pin portion of the event on our signature hole — #14 on the Mountain Course — will be exciting to watch for our members and provide a memorable opportunity for the players. This hybrid type of gaming event directly impacts the community around us, expands our demographic, increases our social footprint, and drives us down new fairways for the future.”

The top four from the qualifiers will compete April 11 on the #VIRLShowdown’s first leg of the live event against one-another where first place will take home $2,500, second place $1,000 and third $500.  The second leg of the event will feature a PRO-AM that will award a number of prizes to the competitors. The final leg of the event will see the “Celebrity FOREsome” and four qualifiers compete for $1,000 on the custom created Par 3 Bear Mountain signature Hole 14 closest-to-the-pin competition. If a celebrity wins, their prize will be added to the charity event fundraising. Special thanks to JP “Himo” Siltala & Michael “Beers” Lenz for signing on for the event casting & talent, as well as custom in-game golf designer Jason “Blue” Pepper for his beautiful work.

All proceeds were generously donated by the following sponsors:

  • Bear Mountain Golf & Tennis Resort Community
  • Quality Foods
  • Nanaimo Golf Course
  • Long Beach Golf Course
  • Panago Pizza 4 ST. Nanaimo Location
  • Harbourview Volkswagon
  • Nanaimo Night Owls/ Nanaimo Bars
  • Panago Canada
  • NEU Apparel and Lazarus Esports.

“Libraries have a reputation for being at the forefront of change and disruption,” says VIRL’s Sales and Marketing Officer, Jason Kuffler. “With our push into esports, VIRL is tapping into a growing network of players, platforms, and potential new library fans. As a library system, we are all about reducing barriers, expanding access, and opening doors — this event is going to be huge for VIRL, our partners, the players, and all of the sponsors that generously contributed to its success.”

For full details, guidelines, registration details and for more information, visit:


Media Contacts
David Carson, Director, Corporate Communications and Strategic Initiatives

Charlie Watson, Founder & CEO, Tiidal Gaming