World Series of Video Games Offers $1 Mln

So whatcha doing June 15 to 18, 2006? How ’bout a road trip to Louisville, Kentucky?!

Games Media Properties plans to kick off its six-event, six-month World Series of Video Games at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, with four circuit events to follow throughout the rest of 2006 and a final, culminating event taking place in December 2006 to “establish the world’s first true video game champions.” The events sport $1 million in “cash prizing,” which should get your fingers twitching, although prize tiers and awards haven’t yet been specified.

“Video games are the entertainment of choice for millions of people worldwide and competition and achievement are of paramount importance to gamers,” said Matthew Ringel, President and CEO, Games Media Properties. “In bringing together some of the most well-known tournaments, the best gamers and unprecedented media exposure, the World Series of Video Games will help promote a new class of champions, and bring the excitement of gaming competitions to a wider audience.”

The World Series of Video Games is presented by chip maker Intel and sponsored by Xbox 360, so it’s no surprise the “world series” will focus on PC and Xbox gaming. (We’re guessing Playstation jocks need not apply!) The 3-5 day gaming events will be open to the public and include 150,000 square feet of tournaments, exhibitions, and concerts, and other events. Featured happenings include a 3,000-user BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) event, plus a first-ever “Bring Your Own Xbox” bash. The first World Series of Video Games is timed to correspond with Sweden’s DreamHack, often described as the world’s largest LAN party, during the FIFA World Cup. According to Games Media Properties, American and European teams will be able to play against each other from these two events, and will compete to see who can make the world’s largest LAN party.

In addition to DreamHack, Games Media Properties is working with The Cyberathlete Professional League and Lanwar, with the aim of creating a video game competition circuit featuring under standardized rules and procedures, with major tournaments on multiple gaming platforms and final rounds which crown true world champions.

“To date, video game competitions worldwide have been narrowly focused on one platform or another,” said Scott Valencia, Executive Vice President, Games Media Properties. “The professional gaming movement requires a structure and an inclusive platform in order to grow. The World Series of Video Games embraces PC and console platforms and several of the most important game titles and communities. This approach increases the value and excitement of the events for the players, sponsors and a mainstream audience.”