Britain's computer games champions were crowned at the weekend after 12 hours of intense battling at the UK's biggest ever computer gaming tournament.
The inaugural Intel Masters Gaming Championship saw the UK's top 24 gaming teams, or 'clans' converge at the Science Museum in Central London on Saturday December 21. Travelling from all over the UK, the 24 competing clans were watched by enthusiastic crowds on the IMAX screen. They fragged their way through the group stages and knock out phase hoping to become the UK's undisputed champion in their chosen discipline and claiming a share of the record £25,000 prize purse, the largest ever offered in a UK games tournament.
The Intel Masters, which was hosted by Chris Barrie of Red Dwarf fame, commenced at 9am with the opening group stages as each clan looked to progress to the knock out phase in their chosen disciplines. The Intel Masters is divided into three disciplines - 'Counter Strike', 'Return to Castle Wolfenstein' and 'Warcraft 3', each clan competing in their specialist game in a bid to lay claim to being the Intel Master of their respected discipline.
The 'Return to Castle Wolfenstein' discipline, which featured red hot favourites - 4 Kings, saw professional gaming at it's very best and providing action on the IMAX screen that had the spectators clinging to the edge of their seats. In the end it was Glasgow's '4 Kings' that claimed outright victory over the fierce rivals 'Lemmings', in return for their troubles '4 Kings' claimed the Intel Masters title and a £6000 winners cheque.
'Counter Strike' provided competition that was typically intense, with 'Infinity e-Sports' triumphing over 'Clan One' in a fiercely contested final, which saw them win £5000 and the prestigious Intel Masters Crown in the Counter Strike category. 'Clan One 'didn't go away empty handed having won £2500 as runners-up.
The final discipline was an individual class and saw 'Tillerman' aka Iain Girdwood, 27 of Glasgow going up against 'Pure Balls' aka Marty Rome, 17 of Sunderland in the 'Warcraft 3' category, slightly more refined and pragmatic in gameplay, 'Warcraft 3' saw 'Tillerman' defeat Pure Balls in a taught, classic encounter. 'Tillerman' received £1000 for his diligently plotted victory to take the Intel Masters title.
David Mitchell, Intel's Head of Brand Marketing, said: "As expected the very first Intel Masters saw the UK's finest gaming talent produce exceptional standards of play and levels of entertainment that had the crowd enthralled right from the first match. Pro-gaming requires supreme levels of skill, concentration and dedication in order to compete at the very highest level. By hosting the Intel Masters and showcasing it to spectators in such a spectacular way we are demonstrating why pro gaming can credibly become established as the 'Sport of the 21st Century'."