LONDON– May 1, 2008– Championship Gaming Series™ (CGS), the only worldwide professional video gaming league, announced today its 2008 slate of UK and European General Managers as the league prepares for the 2008 CGS Qualifier and Draft for the United Kingdom and Europe. The highly-anticipated event will take place at Europe’s premiere gaming center, Omega Sektor, in Birmingham, UK May 16-18.
Following hot on the heels of a Eurosport deal with BSkyB (Sky) that grants Eurosport the exclusive continental European broadcast rights for Championship Gaming Series, 2008 is looking like the biggest ever year for professional gaming, as Eurosport 2's broadcast footprint complements Sky’s coverage in the UK and Ireland, DIRECTV’s coverage in the Americas, and STAR and ESPN STAR Sports broadcasts in Asia and Australia, to expand the overall reach of televised CGS programming to more than 400 million potential viewers across five continents.
Primetime coverage began this week with highlights from the inaugural 2007 series on Eurosport 2 (April 28– May 3), with the highly anticipated 2008 season to follow, bringing CGS programming to 41 nations in continental Europe for the first time, including France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
“CGS is the only global professional gaming league in the world, with 18 teams led by General Managers competing for the title of World Champion and the USD$500,000 first place prize for winning the USD$1,000,000 CGS World Final,” said Andy Reif, CGS CEO and Commissioner.“We’re very impressed with the passion and commitment found in our UK and European GMs and we’re all looking forward to seeing who will dominate at the upcoming Qualifier and Draft events and become the players representing our UK and EU teams on the world stage.”
At the UK and EU Combine/Draft on May 16-18, the UK and Europe’s gamers will try to impress the General Managers and show that they have what it takes to become a professional gamer. The gamers will be competing for a share of more than£27,000 in prize money during the event, as well as a contracted salary for the remainder of the season and the chance to win still more as the competition heats up.
The Qualifier events will include tournaments in each of the league’s official games, Counter-Strike™:Source™, FIFA 08, Forza Motorsport™ 2, and Dead or Alive® 4. The top eight UK finishers and the top eight European finishers in each game will receive prize payouts totaling more than£27,000.
After the competitions end on May 18, the General Managers will choose the players that will fill their ten-player team rosters. On June 26-29, these new CGS UK and European teams will fly to Los Angeles for an all-expenses-paid trip where they will compete separately on television at CGS Studios in the 2008 UK Final and the 2008 European Final.
The 2008 slate of General Managers for the UK and Europe is:
London Mint Benjamin“Ben” Woodward
Birmingham Salvo Michael "ODEE" O'Dell
Stockholm Magnetik Emil "HeatoN" Christensen
Berlin Allianz Jonas "bESEL" Vikan
London Mint GM Ben Woodward has been involved in eSports since he was 18, when he traveled to his first event in Dallas. Since that time, Woodward has traveled to more than 15 countries around the world as General Manager for the 4Kings organization. Woodward has also worked for SteelSeries ApS in Copenhagen, Denmark. Outgoing GM Sujoy Roy is stepping down to focus on expanding his gaming center company Gamerbase.com.
GM Michael O'Dell has been playing video games for more than 25 years, when he first earned his gaming cred on old-school 1980s classics. His entrance to the professional gaming community began when he joined the Vicious Fruits Clan playing alongside top UK players. He later moved into team management, leading Team Dignitas for several years. In addition to his interests in video gaming, O'Dell has played a variety of other sports including cricket, European football and swimming.
Stockholm Magnetik GM Emil“HeatoN” joined CGS last year capping a legendary career as a Counter-Strike player, where he previously held the role of Captain and Coach of the NiP Gaming team. Since beginning his career as a pro gamer in 2001, Christensen has played with some of the best teams in the world and has won numerous accolades and major competitions, establishing himself as one of the world’s best-known CS players.
Jonas "bESEL" Vikan joined CGS last year with an extensive background in professional gaming, highlighted by his leadership roles in launching and shaping several of the most-talented Counter-Strike teams in the world, including MIBR, NoA and Catch-Gamer. Jonas is also an established pro gaming journalist and his commentary and analysis is published in numerous magazines and websites throughout the world.
About Championship Gaming Series
Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, the Championship Gaming Series™ (CGS) is the only worldwide professional video gaming league. Launched in 2007, and a joint venture among BSkyB, DIRECTV and STAR, CGS features teams of the world's best gamers from North America, Latin America, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. The league distributes entertainment content to more than 400 million viewers worldwide via DIRECTV in North America and Latin America, BSkyB in the UK, Eurosport in Europe, and STAR in Asia and Australia. CGS sponsors include Mountain Dew, Creative, Xbox 360 and Dell XPS.