Today, Intel announced the launch of the UK's biggest ever gaming event. The Intel Masters will be held at the IMAX Cinema at London's Science Museum on Saturday 21st December, and features the cream of the nation's computer gaming talent competing for a record prize fund of £25,000. Chris Barrie, famed for his performance as 'Rimmer' in the BBC's hit comedy, Red Dwarf, will host the Intel Masters. 24 gaming 'clans' from across the UK including the Intel sponsored clan, '4 Kings', have been invited to compete for the record busting £25,000 prize and the very first Intel Masters 2002 crown.
The Intel Masters tournament format will resemble that of established sporting competitions and sees the 24 gaming 'clans', fuelled by drive and desire competing intensely against each other to claim the £25,000 prize. Expect to be dazzled and entertained by the gamer's silky skills and razor sharp reflexes as they compete on three of the best games around, 'Counter Strike', 'Return to Castle Wolfenstein' and 'Warcraft 3' on PC's running at speeds up to 3.06 GHz powered by the Pentium 4 processor.
David Mitchell, Intel's Head of Brand Marketing commenting on the event said, "Staging the Intel Masters allows us to demonstrate to existing gamers and the uninitiated what they have been missing so far. We hope the Intel Masters will validate gaming as a recognised form of entertainment and challenge current mainstream perceptions of gaming. The Intel Masters will show professional computer gaming's ability to create passion and atmosphere amongst its competitors and fans similar to that associated with professional sport."
Intel Masters spectators won't be left out of the day's proceedings as they can pit their wits against each other on FIFA 2003 gaming pods, which will feature in the Intel sponsored Digitopolis computing exhibition. The IMAX cinema will be screening the Intel Masters throughout the tournament. Six one hour screening sessions will be organised allowing up to 400 spectators at a time to watch the action unfold on the retina-busting main screen.
Hosting the Intel Masters at the Science Museum remains an inspired choice. It's the only venue in the country that can do justice to the sense-inducing visuals and dynamic audio. The IMAX's astounding cinema screen will provide an entertainment experience and passion-fuelled atmosphere akin to a virtual Wembley Stadium, something followers of live sports will appreciate.
Online Gaming is now starting to be recognised as the 'future of entertainment' with a community in the UK and across the world as diverse as it is large. Professional structures are now in place and interest is such that professional computer gaming is starting to be labelled as the 'Sport of the 21st Century.' The UK software market is currently worth £300 million more than the UK cinema box office and almost double that of home video rentals, with ELSPA predicting record sales for the forthcoming Christmas period*. During March of this year, 3.5million gamers alone flocked to online gaming sites, up by 1 million on the same period in 2002**.
The Science Museum's Interactive Media Exhibits Manager, Dave Patten said, "The Intel Masters is the perfect event for us to host, like the event itself the Science Museum prides itself on challenging perceptions of what museums do. We showcase invention, innovation and creativity - how human ingenuity affects the past, present and the future."
*Source: Published by The European Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA)
**Source: Net Value.
Admission for the Intel Masters is free and tickets for the six screenings will be made available on the day on a first come, first served basis*. Check Intel and Science Museum website for further details. Doors open to everybody at 10am.
*Please note: those only over the age of 15 will be admitted to the screenings.