Update December 12, 2011: ECX Gaming hosted their largest competition to date, War Games, on Saturday morning.
A line of young competitors stood outside the entrance of a nightclub that they wouldn't even be allowed to enter on most nights. On this chilly, gray December morning, Club Boca in Celebrity Square at Broadway at the Beach had been transformed into a virtual battlefield.
Club Boca turns out to be a great venue for a video game tournament. Monitors throughout the space, including a large matrix of them above the stage, showed the game as it was being played. There was plenty of room to walk around and observe the action as it was taking place. The stage perfectly fit the row of monitors for the final matches while the dance floor made a great arrangement for the 3-man team competitions. Club music pumped over the speakers (but not too loudly) as the event organizers fixed some last minute glitches. Stringing together a whole array of Xbox 360's and making sure all the software is up to date is actually serious business. After all, winners of the tournament walked away with real cash and prizes.
For the "Free-for-All" individual tournament, the first place winner got $300 along with goodies from Red Bull, Frank Theatres, and other sponsors. The winning team in the "Three-versus-three" tournament got a cool $1000 in cash. The second and third place finishers also got cash and prizes to take home. There were also raffles for prizes given to the crowd as well.
Gamers Armada, had the VIP section as their press booth as they called the play-by-play live streamed over the Internet. They also interviewed the winners and assisted the ECX crew with running the tournament. It would have been cool to here the Gamers Armada hosts' chatter at the venue as well. Gamers Armada will replay an edited version of the tournament on Monday, December 12th at 6 p.m. Details and post-show coverage is here.
ECX Gaming owner and War Games organizer, Brent Densford, was the Master of Ceremonies to keep the competitors and crowd in the loop of what was going on. It's worth noting at the introduction of the event Densford requested a professional and positive attitude from the gamers. The participants were all very friendly and the whole environment was a positive one.
The ECX team put on a quality event and,. aside from some minor slips in the schedule, it went without a hitch. Now that the local gamer crowd has seen this firsthand, I wouldn't be surprised if the next competition has three or four times more participation. It was also great to WPDE and WBTW checking out the event. WPDE's write-up is here. WBTW has video and a brief write-up here.
Could video gaming become the future of sports tourism in Myrtle Beach?
First Report: TheDigitel Myrtle Beach loves it when local companies band together and push technology along the Grand Strand. ECX Gaming along with Gamers Armada are live streaming the War Games video game tournament.
Gamers Armada will be live streaming the War Games: Modern Warfare 3 event. The stream will begin at 11am EST. There will take intermission breaks periodically, to rest up, or setup new matches. ECX Gaming and Gamers Armada will also be bringing you interviews with various contestants throughout the day. Viewers at home can also chat via the Twitch.tv Stream while the Event is LIVE.