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    PlanetQuake | Features | Articles | Battle Top Hits the U.S.!
   

Battle Top Hits the U.S.!
Hellchick, Fargo, and more from the GameSpy crew head up to Hollywood to check out the first U.S. tournament to be held by the World Internet Gaming League and Battle Top.
  — by Hellchick


Two great tastes that taste great together!

The nice thing about holding a tournament in Hollywood is that you know there's going to be famous people there. I mean, you can't swing a dead...anything, really, without hitting a celebrity, right? So when Battle Top, a Korean gaming company that's part of the World Internet Gaming League, told us they were setting up a big old Quake III Arena professional tournament in Hollywood, we knew we had to go. Hey, the schedule said that Screech from "Saved By the Bell" was going to be there!

So yours truly piled into a van with Fargo, Tetsuo, and a handful of other GameSpy folks and we headed up I-5 to that golden land of celebrity-dom, Hollywood. GameSpy was helping to sponsor this tournament, which was the first one for the WIGL held in the U.S. The prizes offered were pretty hefty - the winner of the Quake III Arena 1 on 1 tournament would not only take home $15,000, but would go on to the world tournament in Korea. There were plenty of other events as well - the Age of Empires Free For All, the Unreal Tournament games, and the Quake III Arena Free For All.

Naturally, no tournament that GameSpy is involved in would be without our resident favorite player, Kornelia Takacs. As soon as we arrived, we already saw Kornelia setting up and getting ready to give someone a beating. The tournament was set up a lot differently than most - instead of participating in any FFA qualifiers, all players were paired up into brackets and would play a best 2 out of 3 games, with a single-elimination system - so if you didn't win two out of your three games, you were out of the tournament. Kornelia did great in her first match, beating her opponent in both of the first games in that round. Unfortunately, she lost her second round when Bitchslayer'519 beat her in the third game in that set, played on q3tourney4.

And yes, your old buddy Hellchick played, too. But let's not talk about that, shall we? Needless to say, I, uhh, didn't last very long. On to more fun!

cK-Fatal1ty on his way up the ladder
The tournament progressed nicely through the day, and it was clear that one guy in the corner of the LAN was looking to take it - cK-Fatal1ty, the infamous winner of the recent CPL tournament. With his giant gray mousepad and Razor Boomslang (he was even wearing a Boomslang t-shirt and a Boomslang dress shirt over that), he was kicking some serious ass. From about the halfway point of the tournament, most of the players who'd lost and were subsequently out of the game gathered around his computer to watch the master at work.

While Fatal1ty worked his way up the ladder, the Battle Top folks began bringing out the entertainment, and who was part of it? Sarge. That's right, the cigar-chewing marine himself. Accompanied by Doom and a couple of other gaming characters, Sarge swaggered confidently amongst the crowd, riling them up for the big show, emceed, by the way, by former comedian Pablo Francisco. The Battle Top CEO introduced a few celebrities who were there to present checks to the Ability First group, who's aim is to help disabled kids through the use of computers. Baywatch's Traci Bingham lent a hand to present the check.

As the tournament continued, with Fatal1ty looking more and more like the winner, Carmen Electra strolled into the event, and everyone noticed. Catching the eye of every gamer in the place, she talked a bit for the cameras about the event and why she felt that the Ability First charity was going to benefit from the first US event thrown by the WIGL. And if Carmen Electra wasn't your speed - yeah, right - monitors were set up all around the event so that no matter where you were, you could catch the gaming action going on in the tournament.

Now of course, you can't have a beautiful model/actress at an event and not take advantage of it, right? Of course not! GameSpy is known for it's unabashed brazeness when it comes to celebrities - at E3, for example, Todd "Tungsten" Northcutt, GameSpy hosting guy and Captured.com notable was able to slip Lara Croft a GameSpy shotglass. We figured we had to do the same for Carmen Electra. Unfortunately, she was surrounded by cameras, and we figured there had to be snipers in the wings just waiting to pick off testosterone-crazed fans. But we weren't out of luck. Oh no...not by a long shot.
Show them no fear, Mike! That's how they get you!

Tetsuo had brought his two little boys with him, both of whom are pretty cute already, but the trick was that Tetsuo - being the cool dad that he is - had dyed their hair in really cool, psychedelic, artsy patterns. Mike, Tetsuo's oldest son, had a particularly cool design, and everyone at the event was asking about it. So what did we do? We shamelessly capitalized on the Cute Kid Factor (tm) - we handed Mike a shotglass, pointed him nervously in the direction of Carmen Electra, and said, "quick! Before the snipers get you!" We figured he at least stood a better chance than any of us did. Naturally, he was so cute that both Carmen and the Battle Top CEO had him stand there and shmooze with the cameras for a few minutes. Man, some kids get all the luck.

A few more celebrities filtered in, including Dustin Diamond, well known for his role as Screech in "Saved By the Bell". Now, I have to interject something: before I went to the event, Spyke swore to me that Dustin Diamond was none other than the brother of Mike D. of the Beastie Boys. The rest of the GameSpy crew refused to believe me, of course, when I told them this, and insisted that I go up and ask him. Sadly, once the celebrity tournament began, I lost my chance to ask Dustin this burning question, and so unless you readers out there can confirm it for me, I'll die never knowing the answer. Help a girl out, won't you?

Pretty soon, the tournament itself came down to the final showdown - it was Fatal1ty versus kOz-ZeRo4. The action was pretty heated, but Fatal1ty came away the clear winner, and $15,000 richer.

With Sarge, Fatal1ty, and Carmen Electra in your line up, you really can't go wrong - the Battle Top event seemed like a success, and a lot of fun to participate in. They'll be going to New York next, so keep an eye out and watch this league grow.

Check out Fargo's coverage of the event at GameSpy.com!

    — Hellchick


Next: more pictures from the event!


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