ConcernedApe announces first official Stardew Valley Cup

With team-based competition and a $40,000 prize pool, farming is basically an esport.

Image via Chucklefish

Stardew Valley has always been considered a calm, relaxing game, inviting players into a more peaceful world of farming, fishing, and vivid romances. Some talented fans, however, have inspired the community to take things to the next level: Stardew Valley esports. 

Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone, the game’s creator, announced the first official Stardew Valley Cup on his Twitter today. Four teams made up of the game’s most “dedicated players” will compete for a $40,000 prize pool on Sept. 4. 

Speedruns are common in the Stardew Valley community, and unofficial competitions—like the 2019 Twitch Rivals Stardew Valley Challenge—have pushed players to see the chill farming sim in an entirely different way. This event would be considered the first official competitive outing for the game. 

Instead of playing for speed or completion, teams in the Stardew Valley Cup will compete in challenges to earn points and rise up the leaderboard. Co-host UnsurpassableZ came up with nearly 100 challenges and posted a video to inform competitors what they’ll be working with. High-point challenges include finishing rooms in the Community Center, while medium-point challenges revolve around giving characters their favorite items at specific times.

Sixteen of the scene’s top players have formed teams—each named after an NPC and an in-game item—that will throw down for the $40,000 prize pool. AlbinoLiger, who won the 2019 Twitch Rivals competition, will be competing on team Pam’s Yams. 

The action begins on Sept. 4 at 11am CT and will be hosted by ConcernedApe and UnsurpassableZ on the latter’s Twitch Channel.