The world’s first eSports training facility and arena will be created in Wuhan, China, a place for competitive multiplayer gamers to train their reflexes and then test them competitively in a very publicized manner.
Called the Wuhan Optical Valley Electronic Sports Stadium, the facility is a joint partnership between Championship Gaming Series (CGS), the government of Wuhan and the Wuhan Hi Tech Group.
In addition to serving as the training center for the CGS Wuhan Dragon team, the new facility will be the location for the upcoming CGS 2008 Pan-Asia Final, which runs April 30 to May 3. Competing teams will include the six CGS teams from the Pan-Asia Region: Wuhan Dragon, Seoul Jinhwa, Singapore Sword, Sydney Underground, Dubai Mirage and Kuala Lumpur Taufan. The top two finishers at the Pan-Asia Final will then be invited to compete for a share of the $1,000,000 prize at the 2008 CGS World Final, which will be held later this year in Los Angeles.
The new arena will either bring a huge boost to the credibility of eSports and professional gaming or be the butt of many late-night-TV jokes. Our money is on “somewhere in the middle.”
Each CGS team consists of 10 athletes, each specializing in an official League game. Five of the 10 players comprise a Counter-Strike: Source squad that competes in five-on-five matches. FIFA 08 is played in a one-on-one format, and each team also has a mixed-doubles team of two Dead or Alive 4 players (who play one-on-one matches on Xbox 360) and two racers in Forza Motorsport 2 (who play two-versus-two on an Xbox 360).