Monday, April 26th 2010: Paddy Power, the leading retail and online bookmaker, has announced plans to open a book on the outcome of individual videogame competitions.
For the first time ever, punters will be able to bet on the outcome of individual videogames, kicking off with a special Super Street Fighter IV UK heavyweight championship between Ryan Hart and Femi Adeboye, two of the country's most respected Street Fighter IV players.
The Paddy Power Super Street Fighter IV match will take place at 7:00pm on Thursday 29th April. The fight will be hosted at publisher Capcom's European HQ, and streamed live to the Paddy Power Website.
The firm is offering a selection of bets, from outright winner, to length of the fastest round. Betting is now live at: http://www.paddypower.com/bet/novelty-betting
"Videogames are as much a legitimate sport as any other," says Paddy Power, communications director, Paddy Power. "We wanted to offer sports fans and games players the ultimate thrill by offering the chance to win big on the outcome of a Super Street Fighter IV competition. If it proves popular, we'll open further books on other videogame competitions."
"Whether you're playing with a friend or part of an official tournament, every game of Super Street Fighter IV is important," adds Leo Tan, Capcom. "Recognising the game as a legitimate spectator event, as fiercely contested as any sanctioned boxing match, is a huge step for videogames as a whole. Hopefully this is the start of a new avenue for bookmakers, a new way for games players to enjoy their games and, potentially, a new way for the elite players to get the recognition they deserve."
1/3 Ryan Hart
2/1 Femi Adeboye
Match Result (Best of 3)
5/6 Hart 2-0
3/1 Hart 2-1
9/2 Adeboye 2-0
11/2 Adeboye 2-1
Name: Ryan Joseph Hart
Handle: Prodigal Son
Current Location: London
Selected tournament history:
• 2009 SF4 Capcom Euro Champ
• 2009 SF4 Capcom UK Champ
• 2009 SVB SF3 3rd Strike Champ
• 2009 Tekken 6 Namco UK Champ
• 2008 Evolution Tekken 5DR Champ
The current Capcom Euro Champion, Ryan Hart - or 'Prodigal Son' as he is more commonly known among Street Fighter aficionados - has been playing games since he was 10. He's been the dominant fighter across a range of combat games - including Tekken, Virtua Fighter and King of Fighters - but he's really found his calling with the Street Fighter series. Indeed, he's been entering Street Fighter tournaments since 1994. He's entered over 700 competitions since then, winning over 450 during that time, making him one of the most consistent players on the scene. He most recently set a Guinness World Record for the longest unbroken winning street on Street Fighter IV, beating 169 challengers in four hours.