Cyber-athletes came together in Corwin Pavilion on Saturday to compete for a $1,100 prize.
The event, which brought competitors from all over the West Coast and parts of Arizona, was organized by the Computer Gaming Club at UCSB in conjunction with the MTX Counter-Strike clan. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., 14 five-person teams waged war in Counter-Strike, a popular multiplayer computer game. Over 100 people showed up for the tournament, said Glenn Wyatt, a junior business economics major and co-chair of the Computer Gaming Club.
MTX started out in the UCSB residence halls, said Charles Villanueva, a senior biology major and one of the founders of MTX. The group currently has over 25 members and two competitive teams, and holds daily several-hour-long practices.
Multinational clans compete in international tournaments with cash prizes and corporate sponsorships. According to the MTX website, Saturday’s tournament will be broadcast on HLTV, an Internet-based service that webcasts 3-D computer games for viewers to watch, later this week.
Matt Ianposca, a first-year business major at Loyola Marymount University, is a member of the team that won the tournament and received the $1,100 cash prize.
“I don’t think that it’s at the same level yet as sports leagues, but many people take it seriously, so maybe in the future things may change,” Ianposca said.
The event, while not the first of its kind to be held by the gaming club on campus, was by far the largest, said Michael Warren, a third-year business economics major and Computer Gaming Club co-chair.
“I’m really happy how this turned out. We’re all pretty proud that it keeps getting bigger and bigger.” Warren said.
The tournament itself consisted of 12 game rounds between each team, and elimination when a team lost two rounds. At the end of the day, the winning team was a group called the Week End Warriors from Loyola Marymount, and second place went to High Five from UCLA. Wyatt said the Computer Gaming Club has another tournament tentatively planned for May.
The event was co-sponsored by the UCSB Office of Student Life, the UCen and the A.S. Program Board.