UNF School of Computing hosts 'Pokemon Go' tournament

Thousands signed up for event

By Joy Purdy - 5:30, 6:30 & 11 p.m. anchor , News4Jax.com Staff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The University of North Florida's School of Computing hosted a "Pokemon Go" tournament Friday evening on campus.

More than 1,000 people registered for the tournament. 

“The game is a great opportunity to bring game players from the greater Jacksonville area to enjoy our safe and beautiful campus," said Dr. Sherif Elfayoumy, director of the School of Computing. "The School of Computing students are very excited to organize this fun event.”

All levels of Pokemon trainers and members were invited to find more than 40 PokeStops around the central area of UNF’s campus, which will have active Pokemon lures.

Student Carolyn Veres said she joined in on the fun the moment she got off work at the school bus store.

"So I saw this and I'm like, even if I don't win, it's something fun to go and walk around the campus for," Veres said.

Justin O'Dell tried to explain the excitement and generational draw of the game.

"This game started out, it was childhood for a lot of people. It became that pet that you never could have, that imagination that you could only dream of. You wanted it, you wanted it since you were knee-high," O'Dell said. 

If sentimental reasons weren't enough, attendees competed with friends and other "Pokemon Go" enthusiasts during the two competitions for a chance to win Visa gist cards. 

"There's not much that we can put an event on, because there's not much that we can get involved with because -- computing," said Richard Lentz, a sophomore engineering student at the School of Computing. "So, we took the opportunity to throw an event and we're really happy with the turnout and the response that we've gotten to it."

Attendees were encouraged to use #UNFPokemonGo on social media throughout the evening.

RELATED: Thousands attend 'Pokemon Safari' at EverBank Field

Earlier this week, nearly 10,000 "Pokemon Go" players attended "Pokemon Safari" at EverBank Field.

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