By Mark Sutton
itp.net speaks to the CEO of Turtle Entertainment, organizers of the GITEX Digital Game Championship 2008
Europe’s Electronic Sports League (ESL) will be organizing the regions largest ever gaming tournament at Computer Shopper this year. itp.net speaks to the organizers of the Gitex Digital Game Championship 2008 on Middle East gaming, held as part of the GITEX Digital Game World, will have an AED 20,000 prize for the winning team. Jens Hilgers, CEO of Turtle Entertainment, operator of the ESL gave itp.net the lowdown on the event.
How many local teams do you expect for the Global Challenge at GITEX, and how many international teams are attending?
The Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge in Counter-Strike has four local teams competing against the best eSportsmen of the world. These four teams qualify directly from the Dubai World Game Championship which happens at GITEX Shopper before the Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge. Teams from eight different countries have been announced for the Global Challenge Counter-Strike, including last years Intel Extreme Masters champion mousesports from Germany and multiple world champions like MeetYourMakers, emuLate and mTw.
Do you have any expectations on the skill levels of Middle East gamers?
Middle East Gamers have been competing regularly at top level international tournaments in Europe or the United States. Having the home field advantage will certainly improve their performance. The top teams from the Middle East will certainly surprise the gaming establishment and have considerable impact on the tournament.
Does Turtle have any plans to introduce the ESL or other tournaments to the Middle East on a permanent basis?
Turtle Entertainment is currently in negotiation with several Middle East companies in order to form a solid initial partnership with a local champion and start the Electronic Sports League (ESL) in the Middle East. The ESL is the largest league for online gaming with more than 850,000 active members worldwide. This year our prize money payout will surpass one million Euro in one year for the first time.
How are the games in the tournament chosen?
The games in the tournaments are chosen according to game activity, broadcasting potential and opportunities and of course competitive structure. The game has to be accepted as fair and competitive within the eSports scene. For a tournament like the Intel Extreme Masters an extended tournament history with established brands and a global fanbase is as vital as a live broadcasting possibility.
Given that the main consoles now support online gaming, will that make a difference to the future of competitive gaming and PC gaming?
The fundamentals in PC and Console gaming are similar. Competitive gaming on a high level is based on uniform rules and quality administration. Turtle has ten years of experience in setting up such environment for gamers and make the best of them stars within the gaming scene whether it’s Console or PC gamers.