No. 2 seed Minh Le of Silicon Valley Bank at a recent GeekWire warmup event. (Adam Philipp photo)

[Post revised on 6/19 with update brackets.]

This is going to be very fun to watch.

We’ve drawn the official bracket for the expert ping-pong tournament at next week’s big GeekWire Summer Bash — matching up 32 of the best players in the Seattle region’s tech industry for the event next Thursday afternoon, June 21 at the Showbox SODO.

Check out the draw in this PDF or by clicking on the thumbnail image below — and pay particular attention to the four corners, where our top seeds will be trying to overcome some serious challengers in an attempt to make it to the championship match.

The No. 1 seed in the expert bracket is Valeri Kim of Akvelon, who has been known to win a ping-pong tournament or two in the past. And our very own ping-pong wizard, GeekWire’s John Cook, has stepped up as the sacrificial lamb to challenge Kim in his first-round match — which should be a spectacle, at least.

We chose the seeds based on past experience, in addition to scouting reports from recent warmup matches. No. 2 seed Minh Le of Silicon Valley Bank has been training hard, and he’ll be coming out of the upper left bracket. Greg Gottesman of Madrona Venture Group is the No. 3 seed, and Satish Kumar of Daptiv Solutions is No. 4.

Click for larger bracket.

Also see our earlier posts featuring the intermediate ping-pong bracket and the foosball matchups.

If ping pong or foosball aren’t your thing, it’s still a must-attend event. We’ll be hosting plenty of other activities throughout the afternoon, from new games like GeekBall to classics like Beer Pong to the ever-popular Golden Ping Pong ball scavenger hunt.

We’ll also be awarding special “Geek Pride” prizes for the attendees who fly their corporate colors in the most creative fashion. (Yes, dressing up to support your teammates will not only be encouraged, but rewarded).

Plenty of prizes and good times are in store, so make sure you get your tickets for the bash today.

For those ping pong players coming out to play next Thursday, here’s a guidebook for things you’ll need to know. Make sure to read this carefully, and come prepared to strut your stuff in the geek sporting event of the year.


What is the GeekWire Ping Pong Tournament? The biggest, baddest geek ping pong shindig you’ll ever see.

Where is it being held? The Showbox Sodo at 1700 1st Avenue South in Seattle, just south of Safeco Field. Here’s the map. (And don’t worry, there isn’t a Mariners or Sounders game that day).

What time should I arrive? Doors will open to players at 3 p.m. All ping pong and foosball players must be checked in by 3:45 p.m. We’ve got nearly 100 ping pongers competing, so we’ll need your cooperation to move through the brackets as quickly as possible.

Where can I park? Though there is no validated parking for this venue, there are various parking lots and street parking (if you are lucky) surrounding the Showbox SODO. We recommend the Safeco Field parking lot as it has 2,000 spaces. It is just south of the ballbark and the entrance is off of Edgar Martinez Drive. Come prepared with your cash/credit card for this prepaid lot.

What should I wear? Comfortable clothes, tennis shoes, and a towel to dry off. And don’t forget to fly your corporate colors in an effort to win the coveted “Geek Pride” award.

Are personal paddles permitted? Absolutely. But if you don’t have your own bat, we’ll be providing some at the door upon check in.

How will matches be scored? Each match will consist of a best of three-game series. Games will be played to 11 points, with players alternating serves after every two points. Games must be won by two points. For those who need a refresher, here are some basic rules of ping pong. Players will get a three-minute warm-up prior to each match.

What happens if I lose my first match? You will be eliminated from the tournament, but as tables open up throughout the evening you’ll be able to challenge your friends and co-workers to “friendly” matches in open play. (Doubles, anyone?)

Why are you doing this? We love ping pong and geek culture, and thought it was time someone married the two.

Thanks to sponsors KoboFilterBarokas PRGistKorrio, Tableau SoftwareTurnstoneWaggener EdstromExsilio SolutionsThePlatformZipwhipSEOmozPayScale, and Christensen O’Connor Johnson & Kindness for making the event possible.


  • Cliff Rudolph

    nice photo Minh!

  • Brian Rauschenbach

    You better win your first match John so I don’t have to play No. 1 seed. Good luck to whoever has to play Minh.

  • ChuksOnwuneme

    As the newbie here in Seattle, I got on the intermediate rounds..not sure what “expert” means here in Seattle. Nevertheless, should be fun. Looking forward to it.

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