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Rays to give fans opportunity of $10K cash prize with launch of gaming program

The program will take place across two double-elimination competitions called the Sunburst Circuit.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Rays are the talk of the town for all the right reasons when it comes to the MLB.

Not only is Tampa Bay the best team in their conference, but they're also the best team in the league with a 29-8 record — and now the Rays are giving their fans a chance to continue to be as great as their team in a new way.

Tampa Bay is launching the Rays Gaming Program and the Sunburst Invitational, which is a tournament in that video game players will compete against each other in "MLB The Show 23" for a whopping cash prize, the team said in a news release Wednesday.   

The tournament will take place across two double-elimination competitions called the Sunburst Circuit.

The two winners from that competition will be flown to Orlando for the Sunburst Classic Championship on Monday, Aug. 28, at Full Sail University. The two gamers participating in the tournament will split a $10,000 cash prize with $8,000 going to the winner and $2,000 awarded to the runner-up.

“The purpose of our 25th anniversary campaign is not only to connect with our fans by celebrating our storied past, but also to pave a path to the future in exciting and innovative ways,” Rays Chief Business Officer Bill Walsh said in a statement. “The Rays Gaming Program is another example of how we continue to try to engage new audiences through technology. 

Below are the dates of all the Rays Gaming Sunburst Invitational events: 

  • Saturday, June 10 - Finals of Sunburst Circuit #1 
  • Saturday, July 29 - Finals of Sunburst Circuit #2 
  • Monday, Aug. 28 - Sunburst Classic Championship

The three finals will be broadcast live on the Rays' Twitch, TikTok and YouTube channels. Popular gaming streamers Austin Thune and Rich Veit will provide live stream commentary for all competitions. 

To be eligible for the tournament, participants must be 13 years or older in the U.S. or Canada and have a valid subscription to PlayStation Plus on the PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 or Xbox Live Gold on the Xbox One or Xbox Series X | S to connect and compete. 

Registration for the first Sunburst Circuit opens Wednesday, May 10, and closes Sunday, May 21, while the second Sunburst Circuit registration opens Monday, June 19, and closes Saturday, July 8. All registration is free. 

To enter the competition or learn more about the tournament, click here.

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