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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

New gaming arena for e-sportsmen

It will be used by game developer Wargaming to groom e-sports professionals.
The Straits Times - June 12, 2013
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New gaming arena for e-sportsmen

 

The next time you visit Wargaming's Command Centre at Dhoby Ghaut Xchange, do not be surprised if you hear raucous cheering as gamers urge one another on.
The new gaming arena, which opened in April, is a hot spot for games such as World Of Tanks, a massively multiplayer online game by game developer Wargaming.
This game puts players in the cockpits of famous tanks to battle for supremacy on the field. Game maps are built to scale, allowing players to strategise and work the environment to their advantage.
Since it was launched here in April last year, it has drawn more than 10,000 active users a month. "The players' ages range from 14 to 40 and the game is simple enough for new players to pick it up quickly," said Mr Jasper Nicholas, general manager of Wargaming.
For hardcore players eyeing the global arena, Wargaming has created a global tournament with a total prize pool of US$2.5 million (S$3.1 million). The event has attracted teams from Europe, Asia and the United States.
The Asian tournament, TanksAsia Masters, which ended its first season in Bangkok last month, saw the Hong Kong team crowned as champions. The Singapore team was placed among the top eight.
U Are Dead, the Hong Kong team, was a dark horse, having practised only for a few months. They defeated the Australian team which had been playing together since last year. "Even with a few months of practice, the Hong Kong team has shown that World Of Tanks is a strategy game where players can master the game and work on one another's strength," said Mr Nicholas.
TanksAsia Masters' next season is now on and a prize of US$60,000 awaits the winning team. The third season is expected to start within a month after the current season, with an additional element for teams to be recognised as the national champions in their countries.
Wargaming is going beyond growing the fanbase of World Of Tanks and is striving to develop a strong gaming community.
It recently held a series of contests to find the best English, Thai and Chinese "shoutcasters". These are the people who provide live commentary during matches. Matches are streamed on Wargaming's website for fellow World Of Tanks players to view and even learn a few strategies.
The Command Centre's opening coincided with the one-year anniversary of the World Of Tanks launch. Apart from World Of Tanks, the venue's machines are also preloaded with games such as Defence Of The Ancients 2 and League Of Legends for players to hone their skills for other competitions.
"We want to strengthen the e-sports community, not just for World Of Tanks, but for the games that players want," said Mr Nicholas.
Wargaming has not sponsored any teams for the TanksAsia Masters but it is linking up interested teams with partners and works closely with Logitech, Steelseries and other gaming companies towards possible tie-ups.
teinhee@sph.com.sg

The next time you visit Wargaming's Command Centre at Dhoby Ghaut Xchange, do not be surprised if you hear raucous cheering as gamers urge one another on.

The new gaming arena, which opened in April, is a hot spot for games such as World Of Tanks, a massively multiplayer online game by game developer Wargaming.

This game puts players in the cockpits of famous tanks to battle for supremacy on the field. Game maps are built to scale, allowing players to strategise and work the environment to their advantage.

Since it was launched here in April last year, it has drawn more than 10,000 active users a month. "The players' ages range from 14 to 40 and the game is simple enough for new players to pick it up quickly," said Mr Jasper Nicholas, general manager of Wargaming.

For hardcore players eyeing the global arena, Wargaming has created a global tournament with a total prize pool of US$2.5 million (S$3.1 million). The event has attracted teams from Europe, Asia and the United States.

The Asian tournament, TanksAsia Masters, which ended its first season in Bangkok last month, saw the Hong Kong team crowned as champions. The Singapore team was placed among the top eight.

U Are Dead, the Hong Kong team, was a dark horse, having practised only for a few months. They defeated the Australian team which had been playing together since last year. "Even with a few months of practice, the Hong Kong team has shown that World Of Tanks is a strategy game where players can master the game and work on one another's strength," said Mr Nicholas.

TanksAsia Masters' next season is now on and a prize of US$60,000 awaits the winning team. The third season is expected to start within a month after the current season, with an additional element for teams to be recognised as the national champions in their countries.

Wargaming is going beyond growing the fanbase of World Of Tanks and is striving to develop a strong gaming community.

It recently held a series of contests to find the best English, Thai and Chinese "shoutcasters". These are the people who provide live commentary during matches. Matches are streamed on Wargaming's website for fellow World Of Tanks players to view and even learn a few strategies.

The Command Centre's opening coincided with the one-year anniversary of the World Of Tanks launch. Apart from World Of Tanks, the venue's machines are also preloaded with games such as Defence Of The Ancients 2 and League Of Legends for players to hone their skills for other competitions.

"We want to strengthen the e-sports community, not just for World Of Tanks, but for the games that players want," said Mr Nicholas.

Wargaming has not sponsored any teams for the TanksAsia Masters but it is linking up interested teams with partners and works closely with Logitech, Steelseries and other gaming companies towards possible tie-ups.

teinhee@sph.com.sg

 

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