Singapore - November 19, 2005
It started in the springtime with 1.25 million gamers worldwide vying for spot in the Grand Final through their national tournaments. In the US, 40,000 of the country's best competed to reach the US Final, broadcast on Mark Cuban's HDNet - the first time e-Sports has been covered on national TV. Only 16 players made it through to Singapore. Here, 700 of the world's best from 67 countries are fighting for national honor, gold medals and a $430,000 prize purse. There is nothing else like it.
Going into Day 3 of the 2005 World Cyber Games Grand Final eleven Americans remain in the competition as it moves into the single elimination rounds. Here's a peak at today's schedule for the US players:
12:00pm -WarCraft III (PC)
Two American players are still battling for the gold in WarCraft, Dennis Chan of Southern California and Matthew Anderson of South Carolina. Both are world class players and return to the World Cyber Games Grand Final after strong showings last year. Anderson, wearing his lucky technicolored pants takes on Hau Su of China next, while Chan, known as 'Shortround' faces John Benedict Cruz of the Philippines. Both still have to contend with Dutchman Manuel Schenkhuizen , aka Grubby, who mopped the floor with the competition in San Francisco last year and is going strong again.
12:30pm - CounterStrike (PC)
Returning gold medalists Team 3D, featuring Kyle Miller of Washington DC, Sal Garozzo of New York, Josh Sievers from Iowa, Ronald Kim of Dallas and Mike So from California, made easy work of the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan in their pool round and now face Poland at 12:30pm. There is stiff competition ahead, including the local Singapore team The Titans, which has had government support in the form of subsidized training facilities, a sports psychologist and one player even had his mandatory military service deferred so he could compete in the Grand Final. Coincidentally, the Singapore squad has the same team name as Team 3D's Danish opponent in the 2004 gold medal match.
12:30pm - Dead of Alive Ultimate (Xbox)
James Clifford of New Jersey went undefeated against Korea and Bulgaria to reach the knock out round of Dead or Alive Ultimate, another Xbox game. He took some time of from playing before coming to Singapore and hopes that will help his concentration going into his match against Cheng Ping Yang of Taiwan today.
2:00pm - Halo 2 (Xbox)
Team 3D also has a team competing in the hugely popular Halo 2 category, comprised of Dan and Tom Ryan - 19 year old twins from Ohio known as the "OGRE Twins." The brothers have been wreaking havoc in the competition, dispensing with the Netherlands, Columbia and Switzerland before walloping their most favored challenger Canada in the pool round. If the script plays to plan, they will face Canada again in the gold medal match. Next up in the knock out round, the UK takes their chances against the Ogre Twins.
2:00pm - Warhammer 40,000 (PC)
Twenty year old Matt Proctor from Garland, TX, who normally works the night shift at a local Wal-Mart, has been busy defeating India, Georgia, Austria and Korean Hyung Joong Kwon, only slipping against Canada in the pool rounds of the Grand Final. He hopes the leave of absence he took from Richland College to prepare for Singapore will pay off when he faces Korean Kyung Hyun Ryoo in the first single elimination match today.
The atmosphere is really heating up, with crowds of up to 2,500 mobbing the shoutcast theater, and over 300 members of the international media, including Reuters, CNBC Asia, CNN Asia, covering this one of a kind event.
All times are local Singapore.
Photos and Video B-Roll available by request.
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