Pro-gaming comes to the UK today as EuroGamer, the Online Gamers Association, and PC Gamer magazine came together to launch the PC Gamer Championships.
Our first event, taking place today, is a massive Unreal Tournament competition at the LAN Arena in Nottingham, sponsored by AMD.
LAN Arena is set up inside the massive Megabowl complex here in sunny Nottingham, sporting a thirty system network of AMD Athlon powered PCs as well as the usual bowling lanes, arcade machines, bars, restaurant, and pool tables. Tempest and the lads from SubSpace are providing live mixes throughout the day, broadcast via Shoutcast to the rest of the world, and there is a huge projector screen up showing the action for a packed audience on the balcony overlooking the venue.
With well over 200 players taking part in the event, the place is going to be packed. When I arrived at the venue this morning there were already over 150 people inside, and the queue to get in stretched down the stairs, round the corner, and back through the doors inside the ground floor of the venue! Some players had been waiting to get in since the early hours of the morning.
And with a first prize of £2500, who can blame them? This is the biggest computer games tournament ever held in the UK, both in terms of cash prizes and sheer numbers taking part. And this is just the first PC GAMER Championships event!
The tournament starts with a series of eight player free-for-alls on DM_Codex and DM_Tempest, with the top two players from each game guaranteed a place in the next round.
These free-for-all rounds will weed out the also-rans, leaving us with just eight players for the single elimination duel rounds. Duel matches will be played on DM_Fetid, DM_Fractal and DM_Stalwart.
At the end of the day the overall winner will walk away with a cool £2,500, one of the biggest cash prizes ever to be given away at a UK gaming event. Another £2,500 will be split amongst the other seven players who make it through to the duel rounds.
First Round Results
Results for the top two players from each of the eight player free for all first round qualifiers -
Game 1 Lemming 42 Ziggy 38 Game 2 Matrix Sayzeog Game 3 Spoone 49 Dai-Oni 41 Game 4 PHReaK 43 Mikito 38 Game 5 Epicurus 34 Keyser Soze 32 Game 6 Gerard 76 Whaq 42 Game 7 Tempest 52 BoucheHog 39 Game 8 Terminator [SS]Hol Game 9 Maniac.UK 34 Greedo 31 Game 10 Plague 38 JoyRider 34 Game 11 Anatta 41 Kano 40 Game 12 HotIce 57 Addz 39 Game 13 Gridlock 55 Fire_Knight 27 Game 14 [Raven]Cookie 61 Eco_bad_arse 36 Game 15 Morningstar 34 [Raven]No_Other_1 27 Game 16 Dogbert 35 [Raven]Nonillion 34 First Round Results More results for the top two players from each of the eight player free for all first round qualifiers - Game 17 Hessle Monkey_Child Game 18 [SIG]Milamber Dougal Game 19 [SIG]Archaon Moon Cryer Game 20 GrenDal I:V Game 21 Agento[VoRTeX] 41 ICE[SG] 34 Game 22 Daishi 56 [Loud]Gibletz 31 Game 23 [UKF]Templar 30 Tyke666 25 Game 24 [EED]Dr.Teeth 48 DArkstarX 38 Game 25 [EED]Shinji 53 [Necro]Void 45 Game 26 Ruination 40 [CaK]Hades 35 Game 27 Ghoul[SPIRIT] 43 Peace_Disrupter 36 Game 28 Duellist [EED]Spiro Game 29 Agent_Jezz 31 SIA 29 Game 30 Warmonger18 33 Spizzy 28 Game 31 MightyMike 40 Blue_Smirnoff 38 Game 32 Judda 30 [MPZ]Wish 29 Game 33 [CC]Gary-Glitter 61 [EED]Beej 43 Game 34 Brem X Jones 42 GoatBoy 34 Game 35 Promethian Highwayman 36 4K^Tempest 35 Second Round Results Results for the top two players from each of the eight player free for all second round matches - Game 1 Gridlock 36 Agento[Vortex] 35 Game 2 Anatta 31 Ruination 28 Terminator 28 Game 3 HotIce 46 DarkstarX 31 Game 4 [SIG]Milamber 28 Daishi 27 Game 5 Dai_Oni 36 [UKF]Tempar 35 Game 6 Fire-Knight 33 Duellist 27 Game 7 Matrix 44 [CaK]Hades 36 Game 8 Peace_Disrupter 27 PHreaK Game 9 I:V 36 Dougal 30 [SIG]Archaon 30 Third Round Results Results for the eight player free for all third round matches [more coming soon!] - Game 2 Dougal 29 Terminator 28 Gridlock 23 Duellist 21 Peace_Disrupter 8 Quarter Finals Played on the cheerily titled "Fetid Sewers" map, the first of the quarter finals saw Ruination taking on Whaq in a close match that left the scores dead even on 4 : 4 with just two minutes left to play, before Ruination finally managed to pull out a slim lead. It had been a tense game, with both players cautious as they ran around the pipes, firing off grenades and rockets as they caught sight of each other, or just lobbing one down a pipe on the offchance. In the end Ruination put on a late spurt to take the match 7 : 4, becoming the first player to make it through to the semi-finals. Meanwhile PHreaK had been taking on [CaK]Hades, with Hades having a much easier time of it than Ruination as he cruised to a 7 : 3 victory having been a clear frag or two ahead for most of the match. The third quarter-final was between Terminator and Matrix, who had proven to be a strong favourite with the crowd when we put a Voodoo 3 up for grabs to whoever could predict the final outcome of the tournament, receiving more votes than the other seven quarter-finalists combined! Terminator took the early lead, but it wasn't to last long as Matrix fought back to equalise and then forced Terminator into suiciding, eventually taking the score to 2 : 0. From here on in everything went Matrix's way, and he finished the match 6 : 0 ahead. Finally we had Dougal vs Agento[Vortex]. As we joined this match Dougal had already gone 7 : 3 up, and would have made it eight if his eightball rocket hadn't blown him up along with his enemy. Agento got the shield belt and recovered a few frags, promising a tight finish, but in the end Dougal came through to take it 10 : 7 in the final minutes of the game. And so Whaq, PHreaK, Terminator and Agento[Vortex] all went out of the competition, picking up cheques for £150 for their efforts - not too shabby for a half day's work! Meanwhile Ruination, Hades, Matrix and Dougal went on to compete for the £2,500 grand prize... Semi-Finals : Dougal vs Matrix The semi-final matches were played on DM-Fractal, and the first game saw Dougal and Matrix squaring off in what was to prove a close fought match on a tight map that left neither player anywhere to run. Early rocket and shock rifle exchanges left Dougal with a flimsy 4 : 3 lead at the start of the game, and both players picked up a frag as they ran into each other and their rockets reduced each other to byte sized giblets. Matrix fought back with shock (rifle) tactics to take the lead 7 : 5, but Dougal was soon back on the case as Matrix managed to blow himself up. Within seconds the tables were turned, and Dougal was 7 : 6 up after four minutes of play. Matrix skirted round the top balcony, grabbing the rocket launcher and shield belt before dropping down into the central arena to equalise the scores on 8 : 8. Dougal had soon picked up a couple more frags himself though, but neither player was able to pull out a clear lead. At half time it was still 10 : 8. Matrix again fought back, taking it to 12 : 12 at six minutes, and the two players continued to match each other almost frag for frag, Matrix just pulling out a slim lead before Dougal picked up the shield belt and recovering his position. With eight minutes gone it was 20 : 18 to Dougal. As the game drew to a close it was neck and neck, with both players on 24 : 24. In the final seconds though it was Dougal who got the final frag, taking the match 25 : 24. An exciting game between two very evenly matched players. Semi-Finals : [CaK]Hades vs Ruination The other semi-final was between Hades and Ruination, and was a little more one-sided. Ruination started as meant to carry on, cutting through his opponent's shield belt and taking Hades down with his shock rifle. Ruination got a second frag, but then Hades caught him out on his way up to the top balcony. Ruination smacked him down again hard to take his lead to 3 : 1, but Hades was soon back to pick up a second, and then responded to Ruination's fourth frag by catching him as he dropped down into the central arena. Ruination began to pull out a small lead now, and Hades blew himself up with his rocket launcher to leave him 6 : 2 behind. Ruination was on a roll, and by the fourth minute he had extended his lead to 9 : 3 as Hades suffered. He wasn't giving up though, and did manage to notch up a few more kills, but Ruination was always comfortably ahead by about five frags. Hades got hold of the shield belt, but came face to face with a rampaging Ruination as he dropped down from the balcony, and the two players blew each other up. Ruination was more or less controlling the level now, and in the eighth minute he was a commanding 16 : 9 up, and still pulling out. Hades was desperately trying to recover, but even on this tight confined map he was unable to recover from such a deficit in the few minutes left. In the end Ruination took the game 24 : 13. Finals : Ruination vs Dougal The final match took place on DM-Stalwart, and Dougal was off to a flying start. Ruination got the armour but went down under to the green shaft from Dougal's pulse gun, then was killed again soon after respawning. A trio of quick flak cannon frags took the lead to 5 : 0! Ruination wasn't having any of it though, and soon got a couple back, but it was obvious that Dougal had the upper-hand. As Ruination suicided four minutes into the game the score was already 9 : 1, and Dougal was streaking away in a hail of shrapnel and green lightning. The two players ran into each other in the central corridor of the map, Ruination's shock rifle no match for a rampaging Dougal and his flak. Then Ruination suicided a second time, making the score 10 : 0. Ouch. He wasn't completely out of the game yet though, and got one back with his shock rifle, and then a second as the two players splattered each others guts against the walls, making it 12 : 2. Dougal was soon domination again though, and with seven minutes gone the score was 16 : 3 in his favour. A flak battle in the central corridor left Ruination injured and running for cover, only to suicide again with his flak cannon. Dougal obviously liked his flak cannon, lobbing canisters of red hot metal left right and center as he took it to 19 : 2 in the final minute of the game. Ruination got one back with his shock rifle in the middle again, but Dougal fought back and yet again Ruination suicided! The final score was 21 : 2 after an impressive display from Dougal. The End And so the tourney ended with Dougal walking away as the UK's Unreal Tournament champion, with a crisp cheque for £2500 to show for his efforts. Ruination came a well deserved second, taking a cool £1000, while Matrix and Hades picked up another £900 between them, and the four remaining quarter finalists each banked a £150 cheque. The tournament had seen some great play from the more than 200 competitors taking part, with many of the games coming down to just a handful of frags at the end. In a "friendly" grudge match at the end of the first round the EuroGamer staff had battled it out, with your humble narrator John "Gestalt" Bye leading the staff bunch in third place. MC Tempest took a break from announcing other people's results to pip me to the post by just one frag, which he had scored in the last five seconds of the game! Meanwhile the first place man was just another frag ahead of him, leaving just two points covering the top three places. An exciting and fun match was had by all, although we had all agreed before it even started that none of the EuroGamer staff should go through to the next round anyway, whatever the results. It just goes to prove, it's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts! At the end of the day the event was a big success - the largest pro-gaming tournament of its kind ever held in the UK, as well as the first PC Gamer Championship event, and it had all gone off smoothly with very few problems. Here's to the next event, which should be even bigger and better! Rogues Gallery - Photographs From The Event -- John "Gestalt" ByeRelated Features - PC GAMER Championships website EuroLAN coverage LAN Arena 3 coverage UKPCGC Finals coverage The OGA
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