Of course I'm sure someone watches DIRECTV's Channel 101, where the Championship Gaming Series World Final will be aired later this week, but if the press release for the finals is going to go all crazy with hyperbole by calling this THE most important event in television history, I think I'm allowed to counter that with anti-hyperbole.
What exactly happened to the Championship Gaming Series? It's certainly hasn't stopped airing, in fact it's chugging along quite nicely, but it seems to have failed to break free of the niche fans that have always followed pro-gaming. I don't have any hard numbers to back this up, mostly because none have been released, but anecdotally the main stream audience doesn't seem interesting in pro-gaming, still.
What's more, while I certainly was impressed with the vast amount of resources DIRECTV dumped into the Championship Gaming Series, I can't imagine the company will continue to do so, not with rumours of shake-ups and firings within the company surfacing.
One problem, I think, is that DIRECTV is started with a limited audience and trying to attract them to something that is a hard sell to people who aren't gamers, heck even to people who are gamers.
While I wonder if they series will survive, let along thrive, it might be better to start wondering when, not if this league will go under.
The Most Important TV Event in the History of Video Games to Air Exclusively on DIRECTV's Channel 101 -Top Teams from Around the World Compete in the Championship Gaming Series World Final for the Coveted Dew Trophy and $1,000,000 Prize Purse
El Segundo, Calif., December 3, 2007 — DIRECTV, the nation's leading satellite television service provider, is making sports history once again with the exclusive live broadcast of the inaugural Championship Gaming Series (CGS) World Final. The competition will take place December 6-14 at the Sony Studios in Los Angeles where more than 100 of the world's top professional gamers will compete for the league's first-ever World Champion title and a share of the $1,000,000 prize purse. All the action will be captured live and in HD on DIRECTV's original entertainment channel, The 101, starting December 6 at 10pm ET.
"This is the Super Bowl 1 of professional video gaming," said Eric Shanks, executive vice president, DIRECTV Entertainment. "We couldn't be more pleased with year one of the league and the excitement that it has created worldwide."
The CGS World Final will be the first-ever international gaming event to present all the action live, as it happens, allowing fans at home to experience the match-ups like any other sport. The groundbreaking coverage will commence with the start of CGS World Final on December 6 and broadcast three hours of single elimination competitions each night leading up to the championship game on December 14.
The playoffs will feature the top CGS teams from around the world as they compete in PC and console based games. Valve's Counter-StrikeÂ®: SourceÂ® and EA's FIFA 2007 are the official PC games for CGS while Tecmo'sÂ® Dead or AliveÂ® 4 (DOA4) and Project Gotham RacingÂ® 3 (PGR3) from Microsoft Game Studios will be played on Xbox 360. Each round of the World Final is single elimination and the last team standing will receive the coveted Dew Trophy as well as $500,000 in prize money.
In addition to the team playoffs, the World Final will also feature a special "battle of the sexes" DOA4 match-up where Vanessa Arteaga and Ryan "OffBeatNinja" Ward, the top female and male DOA players in the world, will battle it out for supremacy. The contest, dubbed the "Itagaki Challenge," is the brainchild of DOA creator Tomonobu Itagaki, who will preside over the face-off and present the winner with the ultimate DOA prize package, including a ceremonial Japanese Katana sword and a trip to Tokyo. The individual competition will air live on The 101 December 13 at 11:30pm ET.
"We're honored that DOA game creator and international superstar Tomonobu Itagaki recognises the CGS as the world's leading professional video gaming league in the world," said Andy Reif, CGS commissioner and CEO. "We've set our stake in the ground and proved ourselves as a legitimate sport and look forward to growing the league and esports in the years to come."
In what will become an annual platform for the world's best gamers to compete professionally, the inaugural CGS World Final will be broadcast on television to more than 350 million viewers worldwide by DIRECTV's The 101 in the U.S., BSkyB's Sky One, Sky Two and Sky HD in the UK, ESPN STAR Sports in Asia, SKY in Mexico and Brazil, DIRECTV throughout the rest of Latin America, and across mainland Europe via additional soon-to-be confirmed broadcast partners.
CGS World Final event schedule is as follows:
December 6: CGS World Final press conference December 6: First round day 1 December 7: First round day 2 December 10: Quarterfinals day 1 December 11: Quarterfinals day 2 December 13: Semifinals & Itagaki Challenge December 14: Final
The official CGS teams participating in the World Final are as follows:
Berlin Allianz Birmingham Salvo Carolina Core Chicago Chimera London Mint Mexico City Furia Rio Sinistro Seoul Jinhwa Singapore Sword Stockholm Magnetik Sydney Underground Wuhan Dragon
For more information, please go to thecgs.com.