May 9, 2012 – On Saturday, April 28, lines extended around a New York City block where over 2,500 people from around the world converged at Terminal 5 in Hell’s Kitchen to attend the finals of the EA SPORTS™ Challenge Series. Powered by Virgin Gaming and played exclusively on the PlayStation ®3 (PS3 TM) computer entertainment system, this pioneering event received worldwide participation by conducting preliminary qualifying matches online, resulting in over 100,000 competitors from around the world.
The event reached maximum capacity as 896 of the best FIFA 12, Madden NFL 12, and NHL ®12 gamers in the world earned a seat at the live event finals, each competing for a share of the $1,000,000 prize pool. One win at the tournament was all players needed to finish in the money, resulting in half of the field earning at least $480 in prize money, with substantially increased cash prizing for each successive victory. After 16 hours of fierce competition, three players emerged victorious and were crowned Challenge Series Champions. The FIFA 12 winner walked off the pitch with $167,000, the Madden NFL 12 winner took home $140,000 and the NHL 12 winner scored $70,000.
“Gamers from 12 different countries playing for $1-million across three of the best sports games ever made, set a new bar for video game tournaments and made the EA SPORTS Challenge Series an epic event for everyone involved. From the competition to the entertainment, the entire day was just incredible,” said Billy Levy, Co-Founder and President of Virgin Gaming. “Our vision was to make competitive gaming more accessible and fun than ever before. Giving players the tools to win big cash and prizes from their couch is what we're all about. This tournament built on that foundation with a live celebration that gave our community the opportunity to showcase their skills, meet online friends and rivals in person and win big cash prizes. We have just scratched the surface with our live events and look forward to delivering many more one-of-a-kind competitive gaming experiences that everyone can enjoy, be it from home or in a live venue.”
Alongside the video game competition, players and spectators were treated to a variety of other entertainment activities, including live musical performances by Jadakiss and Just Blaze, a PlayStation®Vita interactive gaming area, a preview of EA SPORTS UEFA EURO™ 2012 expansion pack for FIFA 12 and more. Additionally, the event featured a host of participating sponsors including NOS Energy Drink, GameStop, Gunnar Optiks, Gamer Grub and Maxim.
Virgin Gaming has quickly earned a reputation for hosting some of the largest online video game tournaments ever. The site pairs up gamers of similar skill levels to play head-to-head matches for cash prizes. To get in on the action, daily tournaments are available to play at www.virgingaming.com. Rules for the participation in Virgin Gaming tournaments can be found here.
For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums, fantasy leagues and game communities, please visit www.easports.com to connect, share and compete.
About Virgin Gaming
Introduced in June 2010, Virgin Gaming is the premier destination for competitive console gamers to meet, challenge and play in head-to head and tournament challenges for cash, points and prizes. With an array of proprietary features, including a Fair Play Guarantee™ (with automatic results validation), a secure payment back end, and a Community Reputation Management System, Virgin Gaming allows gamers of all skill levels from around the world to safely and easily compete in some of their favorite multiplayer games. A leading-edge convergence of competitive online gaming and video games, Virgin Gaming offers robust community features with member pages, clan support, invitational tournaments, stats tracking, news, information, and more. For additional information, visit http://VirginGaming.com.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company’s game franchises are offered as both packaged goods products and online services delivered through Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. EA has more than 100 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.
In fiscal 2011, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.6 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster franchises such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield™, and Mass Effect™. More information about EA is available at http://info.ea.com.
EA SPORTS, The Sims and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Mass Effect is a trademark of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd. Battlefield is a trademark of EA Digital Illusions CE AB. John Madden, NFL, NHL, FIFA, EUFA and EURO are the property of their respective owners and used with permission. “PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.