A major sporting event of sorts hits Atlanta this weekend. (Maybe I should say "eSporting event)
It's not going to play out at Turner Field, the Georgia Dome, or even Philips Arena.
This event takes place at Center Stage Theatre in midtown Atlanta, starting at 11 a.m. each day, Friday July 11 – 13.
Competitors will be coming from China, Australia, Korea, Canada – and yes, Atlanta as the Red Bull Battle Grounds will offer an exciting weekend of intense global competitive gaming, with Blizzard Entertainment’s real-time strategy game, StarCraft II, serving as the playing field.
Yes, there is an official term now for professional video game playing and it's called "eSports."
Ok, you may have played StarCraft II at home or during downtime at the office, but you've never seen StarCraft II being played until you've witnessed pro playing it for prize money.
Here's who will be competing and yes, they have cool nicknames:
· Choi “Polt” SEong Hun: World-renowned player from Korea, now based in Atlanta
· Danny “ViBe” Scherlong: American champ, hungry to regain his former glory
· Olivia “Livibee” Seeto: Representing the Aussies down under – and the female fans
· Huang “TooDming” Hui Min: Hailing from China, this powerhouse has been performing well in global tournaments, but looking for that major win
Polt is an Atlanta –based player and is a former WCS Champion.
Local standouts will also be in action, in this open registration event, which would propel the winner to the Red Bull Battle Grounds Grand Finals, September 20 -21 in Washington, DC.
32 players in all will be participating and the winner also gets $8,000 in prize money.
Organizers say that what will happen is Atlanta is amazing to see.
Sean “Day” Plott, is the lead event commentator for the weekend and he’s been the host of the Red Bull Battle Grounds Tournaments for years offers this advice to fans and participants.
“You really have to be a good generalist. It's the difference between having a standup comedy routine versus improv. You really have no idea what you're about to see. You might play the exact same matchup a bunch of times in a row. You might have two easy players, and then your hardest opponent, and then one more easy player after that. It might be the slow steady ramp up. So you have to be very careful in allotting your focused energy.”
Fans wanting to get to know these competitors can come out to the meet-and-greet taking place on Thursday, July 10th at Battle & Brew (279 Powers Ferry Rd SE, Marietta, GA.) There might even be some precompetition gaming as well.
If you can make it down to Center Stage this weekend, the entire event will be livestreamed, and eSports fans around the globe can tune in and take part, by visiting: http://battlegrounds.redbull.com at 11AM EST each day.