Video games are going professional with the World Cyber Games in Vegas. The tournament takes place in mid September, and from what the press release says it's going to be a media frenzy. The grand prize is $75,000, but we all know Fatal1ty is going to walk away with it, so what's the point, huh? Personally, I preferred when my hobby was a geek subculture thing, without celebs showing up and people competing like Halo's a freaking blood sport. The people making the big money would like to make videogames into the Super Bowl, but somehow I just don't think it feels right.
The World Cyber Games today announced that the Aladdin Hotel, soon to be Planet Hollywood by Sheraton in Las Vegas, Nevada, will host the 2006 WCG USA Championship Final September 15-17, 2006. More than 175 of America's top PC and videogame players are scheduled to meet and compete for the largest prize purse in WCG USA tournament history—over $75,000—and the chance to represent their country as members of Team USA at the WCG Grand Final in Monza, Italy.
With multiple jumbo screens blasting all the e-Sports action and gaming commentators known as "shoutcasters," providing live play-by-play, WCG USA Championship audiences will be immersed in the fierce video game competition, rooting for their favorite players and games. Celebrity appearances, music and entertainment, interactive booths from sponsors like Microsoft, Samsung, Shuttle and others will add to the Las Vegas spectacle, ensuring that the entertainment level is set to "maximum." Additional program details are available and others will unfold at http://us.worldcybergames.com, so fans are encouraged to check back frequently as the event nears.
"Las Vegas and the Aladdin/Planet Hollywood Resort represent the ideal high-energy city and venue for an e-Sports tournament of this caliber," said Michael Arzt, general manager and senior vice-president for ICM USA, organizers of the World Cyber Games USA Championships. "e-Sports fans will be treated to an optimum blend of entertainment and serious competitive video gaming, with America's best gamers going to Italy to defend Team USA's title as overall world champions of the WCG."
WCG USA Championship doors open at noon each day and admission is free, with a limited number of Special VIP ticket reservations available now via email for the first 300 fans that send their complete names, addresses and phone numbers to firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans on this Special "First 300" VIP list will bypass any lines at the door and receive immediate entry to the event each day as well as other onsite benefits.
All attendees in Las Vegas are also encouraged to participate in several promotional Xbox 360 game contests for cash or prizes. Fans will also be eligible for onsite giveaways including Xbox 360 consoles, Shuttle gaming PCs, Samsung Electronics products, video game software and more.
The National Final event at the Aladdin is the culmination of the 2006 WCG USA Championship program, with thousands of gamers of all skill levels competing in both online and offline tournaments over a four-month period. Winners from the regional qualifiers represent the best video game talent in the country and receive a travel allowance, food and accommodations during their trip to Las Vegas.
The WCG USA competition is already underway, with two more regional qualifiers scheduled over the next several weeks. The public is invited to attend and witness the intensity of America's most prestigious gaming tournament at any of the upcoming WCG USA regional events, including:
August 5-6, 2006
Samsung Experience @ Time Warner Center
New York, New York
August 12-13, 2006
The roster of official games for the WCG 2006 season consist of six PC games and two console games including: StarCraft®: Brood WarTM (PC); Warcraft®: Frozen Throne (PC); Half-Life®: Counter-Strike 1.6 (PC); Warhammer® 40,000: Winter Assault (PC); FIFA Soccer 06 TM (PC); Need for Speed TM: Most Wanted (PC); Dead or Alive® 4 (Xbox 360) and Project Gotham Racing® 3 (Xbox 360). Promotional Xbox 360 games at the WCG USA Championship include Halo 2, MLB 2K6 and Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved.
Organizers expect up to 700 of the world's best gamers will travel to Monza, Italy, in October, 2006, to participate in the Grand Final of the most prestigious e-Sports competition and enjoy a well-rounded festival designed to promote culture and social harmony among world gamers.
Announced sponsors for the 2006 WCG USA program include Samsung Electronics, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Games for Windows, Shuttle, The Aladdin Resort and Dust-Off.