Eight of the world’s top skateboarders will go trick-for-trick in a Game of Skate at ESPN headquarters in Connecticut Aug. 1.


The Game of Skate format for the Aug. 1 “World of X Games” event at the ESPN campus in Bristol, Connecticut, is all about leveling the playing field. There will be no MegaRamp, no massive concrete bowls or 12-stair handrails or even simple ledges to grind. Instead, eight of the world’s top street skaters will face off in a head-to-head, trick-for-trick contest on a flat stretch of ground, as skateboarders have done for as long as any of them can remember.

The game, based on the basketball-court classic H-O-R-S-E, has long been a staple at playgrounds and skateparks. The basic rules are simple: The offensive skater tries a trick. If he lands it, the defensive skater also has to land it; if he misses, the next skater becomes the offensive skater. If the defensive skater misses a trick, he gets a letter. First to spell S-K-A-T-E is out. There are several basic strategies: Save your best tricks until you need them, or come out swinging.

It was formalized in 2003 for the Eric Koston éS Game of S.K.A.T.E at the former Action Sports Retailer (ASR) industry trade show in San Diego and turned into a pro tour soon after. The event made a brief appearance as an X Games medal event in 2011, and has been a hit at events like Battle at the Berrics in recent years. Any gamers know this is nothing new if you have ever played a friend in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater or SKATE (EA Games).
Course layout:

Game of Skate Invited Athletes:

  • Nyjah Huston – Nine-time X Games medalist (six gold) and currently the most dominant skater competing in Street League (12 wins and two of four championships)
  • Chris Cole – Five-time X Games medalist (three gold) and consistently on the podium at Street League stops
  • PJ Ladd – Won the X Games Munich Real Street bronze in his first X Games appearance
  • Shane O’Neill – X Games regular landed a switch double 360 kickflip at Street League Portland 2013, matching the highest score ever awarded (9.9)
  • Tom Asta – Competed in X Games 17 Real Street competition and Street League Selection Series, which solidified his spot on the Street League 2012 tour
  • Billy Marks – Best-known for appearances in Fallen Footwear’s Ride the Sky and Toy Machine’s Good and Evil.
  • MikeMo Capaldi – Won the first Battle of the Berrics, beating Benny Fairfax in a Game of S.K.A.T.E.
  • Brandon Westgate – Won a silver medal in X Games 17 Game of SK8 competition

Tune in to the Bristol campus Game of Skate, Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN3.com, and in a one-hour “World Of X Games” special, Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. ET on ABC.