Los Angeles — The Championship Gaming Series, the international professional video gaming league supported by DirecTV, Friday released its official game schedule for the North American region, and said it will conduct a first-ever player draft on June 12 at the Playboy Mansion.
Qualifying for North American league play will begin April 28, with the first live qualifier to be held at The Bridge Cinema de Lux in Los Angeles on May 11-12, the league said.
The official CGS 2007 event schedule will feature online and live qualifiers where players will battle to reach the Regional Combine, scheduled to take place at the Fox Studios in Los Angeles from June 8-10.
Players from the Regional Combine will then be drafted onto one of six city-based teams at the 2007 CGS draft.
The league said that worldwide salaries and bonuses for the 2007 season will exceed $5 million.
“We will be paying salaries and bonuses to our players in excess of $5 million dollars during the 2007 season,” said CGS commissioner Andy Reif. “The time has come for a new era of professional gaming as sports entertainment. Your chance to be a part of history starts on April 28.”
Valve’s Counter-Strike: Source and EA’s FIFA 2007 will be official PC games for 2007. For the Xbox 360, CGS will feature Tecmo’s Dead or Alive 4 (DOA4) and Project Gotham Racing 3 (PGR3) from Microsoft Game Studios.
Each CGS team will feature a total of 10 players per team, each of whom is a specialist in one of the official league games. Five of the 10 players will comprise a “Counter-Strike: Source squad” that will compete in five-on-five matches.
The soccer title FIFA 07 will be played one-on-one. Each team will have a mixed-double team of two DOA4 players, one man and one woman, who will play against other teams in one-on-one matches on Xbox 360.
The racing game PGR3 will be represented by two players on each team and matches will be played in a two-versus-two format.
Dates will soon be announced for the game play in other international regions including the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Australia, Latin America and the Middle East. Each will yield regional representatives for the CGS Grand Slam and World Championships, to be held in Los Angeles this October.
CGS events will be broadcast in North America on DirecTV’s The 101 channel.