Empire Of Sports Kicks Off Tennis Season With The Kangaroo Open 2009

Tuesday 20th January/... Plans for the forthcoming online Tennis Open are well underway as Empire of Sports unveils The Kangaroo Open 2009, the first online Tennis Championship for the sports-based MMO.

Kicking off the 2009 tennis season, The Kangaroo Open 2009 has just commenced and will run for two weeks, until February 1st.

As with any live tournament, winners will receive cash prizes of up to€1,500 (£1,350). Other prizes include a signed former world number one tennis champion, Justine Henin racquet. Runners up can look to win Prince racquets as well as additional tennis ranking points. The Kangaroo Open 2009 is designed to be as true to life as any other major sporting event.

In order to register and participate in The Kangaroo Open 2009, players will need to download the game client, which can be found at www.empireofsports.com/index.php. Once inside the Empire, players can purchase their ticket to participate in The Kangaroo Open 2009 by speaking to the kangaroo NPC (Non Player Character), Wally. He can be found standing just outside the beginners’ area.

Upon entry to the The Kangaroo Open 2009, players will embark on a tour across Australia, from Perth to Melbourne in which they must challenge an array of Empire of Sports tennis players. Contestants must compete in a number of matches including Darwin, Melbourne and Canberra in order to capture the ultimate prize of being the winner of The Kangaroo Open 2009.

The Kangaroo Open 2009 has been structured specifically to cater to all levels of player. Whether a pro or just stepping up to the service line for the first time, there will be a tournament for everyone.

Amateur series: Players ranked 1 to 15 in tennis can win a first prize of€750 (£675) cash, a Justine Henin cap and 500 Empire of Sports tennis ranking points.

Experienced series: Players ranked 16 to 30 in tennis can win a first prize of€1,000 (£900) cash, a signed Justine Henin t-shirt and 1,000 Empire of Sports tennis ranking points.

Pro series: Players ranked 31 and above in tennis can win a first prize of€1,500 (£1,350) cash, a signed Justine Henin tennis racket and 2,000 Empire of Sports tennis ranking points.

A list of all prizes can be found online at www.empireofsports.com/tko2009/en. It is possible to enter the Kangaroo Open 2009 at any time throughout the tournament. Fees range from approximately€3 to€9 depending on entry level. Anyone holding a premium account or signing up for a premium account during the tournament will be eligible for a discounted entry to the Kangaroo Open 2009. Discounts will be given in gold (the in-game currency).

Empire of Sports is the first sports based Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) title to date. It is a great place for sporting enthusiasts to meet up online and compete against each other across a wide range of sports such as tennis, football, basketball, ski-ing, bobsleigh and track and field, and join a community of people who share the same passion.

Empire of Sports is currently in the Prologue phase of its development. The Prologue means gamers can download Empire of Sports online and freely join over 150 nationalities already playing online. They are welcome to communicate their in-game experiences to help fine tune the gameplay and the business model, so that the developers can make further improvements and perfect the world’s first platform-dedicated sports MMO.

Empire of Sports calls on all budding tennis enthusiasts to step up to the service line and see if they have what it takes to compete in the first ever Empire of Sports online tennis tournament!

Ends

About Empire of Sports

Empire of Sports ( www.empireofsport.com) is the joint venture founded by Infront Sports&Media and F4 to produce and operate the Empire of Sports online gaming platform. Infront Sports&Media is contributing its deep understanding of sports and its long-term relationships with top sports federations, clubs and athletes to the endeavour, while F4 is developing the platform leveraging the expertise of its team in online gaming and the creation of persistent virtual worlds. Empire of Sports is currently running in Europe and Giant Interactive, the first operator in China for massively multiplayer online games, has acquired the rights to distribute it in their country.

About F4

Founded in 2002 by a pair of mathematicians, keen on gaming, La Manga and philosophy, F4 is an independent company based on the Champs Elysées, Paris. Specializing in the conception, development and the operation of virtual worlds, F4 is strongly connected to 3D computer games. In contrast to other games, persistent worlds are hugely advantageous as they permit ongoing real-time dialogue within the players’ community. F4 is committed to take this a step further and continuously evolve the functionalities, gameplay and business model of its games. F4 are continuously looking to maintain and exceed player expectations. Empire of Sports relies on F4’s high technical standards to achieve results other than that seen in many typical MMO genres, and a unique graphical identity, both rich and endearing.

About Infront Sports&Media

Infront Sports&Media ( www.infrontsports.com) is based in Zug, Switzerland, and is one of the most experienced international sports marketing companies with an exceptional track record on major events. It is recognised for its innovative marketing skills and the provision of specialist services to sport. The Infront Group is targeting sport at the core of the rapidly diversifying entertainment industry. It has a leading position in football and winter sports and is the Host Broadcaster of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Its strategy also includes significant expansion in Asia– especially China. Infront has more than 400 employees across the group, with offices in eleven countries.

Further information is available from:

Sarah.hartland@bhpr.co.uk

Anna.larke@bhpr.co.uk

01462 456780

mathilde.remy@f4-group.com

Empire of Sports / F4 (Paris, France)

+33 153 891 204


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