Inti Creates Announces Gunvolt Speedrun Contest at PAX

For those who can run Azure Striker Gunvolt on Steam, Inti Creates announced at the Penny Arcade Expo today that they are partnering with SpeedRunsLive and Games Done Quick to take advantage of that version's new SpeedRun mode.

Blue streak... speeds b-- wait a second...

"It’s a unique new contest for a pretty unique mode, both all due to the speedrunning community which has really been taking off since the advent of mass-market livestreaming."

The contest is pretty unique in its choice of prizes, as the prize is a free trip to Tokyo, Japan... unless you're Japanese, in which case you can win a free trip to Boston, Massachusetts in the United States. They say the trip goes to one lucky winner, but let's face it -- it's going to require a lot more than just luck to win. It's going to take skill (and the ability to run the game, of course).

Here is the full text from Inti Creates on the contest and what you need to do in order to win it:

GUNVOLT PC GOES LIVE ON STEAM WITH NEW FEATURES INCLUDING
SPEEDRUN MODE, AND A CHANCE TO WIN A FREE TRIP TO TOKYO!
FOR RELEASE Friday 8.28.2015 at 12:30pm PT – Want to win a free trip to Tokyo, Japan? (Or Boston, MA, U.S.A. if you’re Japanese?)
OF COURSE YOU DO! :D
Developer Inti Creates, in partnership with their fast friends at SpeedRunsLive and GamesDoneQuick, are happy to celebrate today’s launch of AZURE STRIKER GUNVOLT on STEAM (Windows PC) -- and its super-new, super-cool Speedrun Mode -- with a very special LIVE speedrunning contest where one lucky gamer could win just that!
Full details and official rules can be found at AzureBlur.com, but the highlights are:
HOW TO ENTER AND WIN THE AZURE BLUR: GUNVOLT PC LIVE SPEEDRUN CONTEST!
1.                  Pick up a copy of Azure Striker Gunvolt for Windows PC on Steam.
2.                  Register for or sign in to your livestream account at Twitch.tv.
3.                  Register for or sign in to your SpeedRunsLive account, and link it to your Twitch.tv stream (here’s how).
4.                  Use your registered and linked SpeedRunsLive and Twitch accounts to participate* in either (or both) of the two Azure Blur: Qualifying Races using Gunvolt PC’s all-new Speedrun Mode, and finish in the top 30% of all contestants in either race to qualify for the Azure Blur: Championship Race.
Azure Blur: Qualifying Race #1: Sat 9.12 10am PT / Sat 9.12 6pm CET / Sun 9.13 2am JST
Azure Blur: Qualifying Race #2: Sat 9.19 6pm PT / Sun 9.20 2am CET / Sun 9.20 10am JST
5.                  Use your qualified and linked SpeedRunsLive and Twitch accounts to participate in the Azure Blur: Championship Race* using Speedrun Mode, and finish in 1st place!
Azure Blur: Championship Race: Sat 9.26 6pm PST / Sun 9.20 2am CET / Sun 9.27 10am JST
*Note: To ensure all runs are performed live, all contestants will also need to perform a “Qualifying Act” as a part of each race for it to qualify for the contest. The exact Qualifying Act (for example, ‘jump straight up and shoot once at the start of each stage’) will only be announced five minutes before each race in the official SpeedRunsLive IRC race channel, as well as in channel #Gunvolt and on the official Inti Creates Twitter account @IntiCreatesEN, so make sure you don’t miss it!
Please see official rules at AzureBlur.com for additional restrictions and details. Void where prohibited. Rules, race times and official IRC channel subject to change by notice at the official contest site AzureBlur.com.
Gunvolt’s all-new Speedrun Mode, exclusive to the PC version, pulls out all the stops – literally – by removing all cutscenes and implementing other options to focus Gunvolt into pure action gameplay. Speedrun Mode also adds a button display so that viewers can understand and enjoy the speed and intensity of the player controlling the game, and offers special tools for practicing tricky portions of the game. This new mode is designed to highlight Gunvolt’s replayability, challenging and helping players to truly master the depths of the gameplay and level design.
SpeedRunsLive will be hosting all races in the contest, using their proven race registration and verification systems, as well as providing logistical and technical support, and helping spread information on the contest to their thriving community of speedrunners and livestreamers.
An additional 25% of the total cash value of the grand prize will go directly to charity, in accordance with the mission of the charity speedrun marathon organizers at Games Done Quick. Details of the charity will be announced later at AzureBlur.com.
“We’ve been watching players speedrun our games for years now,” says Inti Creates President and CEO Takuya Aizu, “and, both as game creators and just gamers ourselves, the amount of dedication and skill these players show made a huge impression on us. We wanted to give them something back, both in the form of the special Speedrun Mode tools in the game, and also this contest -- and at the same time hopefully draw some attention to the launch of the PC version of Gunvolt, as well as raise some money for a good cause.”
MORE ABOUT AZURE STRIKER GUNVOLT PC
Check the official Steam page for more details and updates! Or watch the PC launch video here, or grab press assets and the instruction book here.
http://store.steampowered.com/app/388800/
MORE ABOUT AZURE BLUR: GUNVOLT PC LIVE SPEEDRUNNING CONTEST
For official rules, more details, and updates, please check AzureBlur.com
MORE ABOUT INTI CREATES, INC.
Inti Creates Co., Ltd. is a Tokyo-based independent developer best known for Mega Man 9 and 10 and the Mega Man Zero series, as well as the record-breaking crowdfunded projects Mighty No. 9 and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Gunvolt marks their first venture into self-publishing, and their first-ever game for Steam. For more information please check IntiCreates.com.
MORE ABOUT SPEEDRUNSLIVE
SpeedRunsLive is a community based around the site's fully developed racing platform, where speedrunners of all skill levels can compete against one another in speedruns of their favorite video games. The community regularly hosts events, ranging from competitive tournaments, to massive races featuring hundreds of speedrunners. Their site offers an extensive listing of speedrunning streams, as well as a thriving IRC community. For more information please check http://speedrunslive.com.
MORE ABOUT GAMES DONE QUICK
Games Done Quick is a grassroots charity events planner focused on broadcasted speedrunning events. Since 2010, Games Done Quick has raised over five million dollars total for various charities including Doctors Without Borders, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Organization for Autism Research, and CARE. These inclusive events are community-oriented and focus on providing aid through the skill of gamers and the generosity of the gaming community. For more information, please check out http://gamesdonequick.com.

Good luck to those who are in it to win it! (And if you do win, drop me a line -- maybe we can set up an interview!)