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Donkey Kong world championship kicks off today in Denver

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The world's best Donkey Kong players are gathering in Denver this weekend for Kong Off 3, the Donkey Kong world championship that will run today through Sunday, Nov. 17, at the 1up Arcade and Bar.

Druing this weekend's contest, a dozen qualifying players will face off for arcade supremacy and a grand prize of $4,500, provided by Coors Light and Red Bull. Contestants include Dr. Hank Chien, the current world record holder, Billy Mitchell, the American flag tie-wearing, multiple world record-holding foil in the 2007 documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters and Steve Wiebe, the high school math teacher and Donkey Kong Junior aficionado who also starred in The King of Kong.

"Donkey Kong has always played a pivotal role in arcade culture, both historically and in modern times," Chien is quoted as saying on the official Kong Off site. "Historically, it was the grandfather of all Mario games and the reason why Nintendo exists today. It has always held a mystical status because of its 'kill screen' which was only known to have been achieved by one player for nearly 20 years."

Check out the video above to see highlights from Kong Off Two.