IGN Entertainment & Caesars Entertainment Announce Partnership to Bring Professional Video Gaming Tournaments to Caesars Casino Hotels
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — IGN Entertainment, the leading video games media company, and Caesars Entertainment, the world’s largest casino entertainment company, today announced a partnership to bring IGN Pro League (IPL) gaming tournaments to Caesars casinos. The live tournament event – IPL 3: Origins – featuring the mega-franchise StarCraft II from Blizzard Entertainment, will take place October 6-9th at Caesars Atlantic City, in the Circus Maximus Theater.
The Atlantic City tournament is the first time professional video gaming will hit the stage at Caesars – a major step in elevating video games as a spectator sport. IGN Pro League events also continue to be streamed live online at http://www.ign.com/ipl.
“Games will continue to be a dominant entertainment medium of the next 20 years, and the time is ripe for eSports to make its mark as a mainstream form of entertainment that can produce the next genre of celebrity in sports,” said David Ting, General Manager of eSports and Vice President of Research & Development at IGN. “We believe that pro video gaming can become as popular as mainstream sports such as basketball, tennis and wrestling, and we are thrilled to partner with Caesars to bring video games to the forefront.”
“Atlantic City is the top entertainment destination on the East Coast, and the location of Caesars Atlantic City at Center Boardwalk is prime for events such as the IGN Pro League tournament,” said Don Marrandino, Eastern Division President for Caesars Entertainment. “We are thrilled to host this one-of-a-kind event in October and look forward to a fantastic weekend of intense video game competition.”
For the inaugural Atlantic City event, IGN will bring together 32 of the top StarCraft II players to compete for $100,000 in prizes. In advance of the tournament, IGN will set up four online qualifying tournaments, where the top two players of each qualifier will be guaranteed at least $1,000 in winnings and free travel and accommodation for the event. There will be 256 competitors competing live at the venue. From these, 16 will be chosen to compete among 32 finalists live on stage in the Atlantic City event. Players and fans who converge on Atlantic City for IPL 3: Origins in October will witness global StarCraft II stars such as IdrA, Select and WhiteRa competing for the top spot and a chance to win up to $100,000.
Upping the ante for players and spectators, social networking commerce site Playhem.com will support the event by providing back-end betting technology that enables gamers of any level to play against others in head-to-head matches and tournaments for cash and prizes. IGN’s online qualifiers are powered by the Playhem technology.
“Playhem is incredibly excited to be providing the online challenge gaming and tournament functionality for this ambitious and momentous initiative,” said Ryan DeSanto, Co-Founder of Playhem.
The IGN Pro League is a franchise that reflects how video gaming has become a legitimate and prestigious profession. Launched in April 2011, IGN Pro League has attracted more than 1.2 million unique visitors and nearly 6 million page views to its tournaments. IPL 1 invited 16 of the top StarCraft players in North America, and IPL 2 – Across the Atlantic – convened 32 of the U.S. and Europe’s best StarCraft II players to its online competitions, vying for their part of a $50,000 prize pot. The IPL 3: Origins event at Caesars in Atlantic City, as well as the previous two IPL installments, can be accessed online at http://www.ign.com/ipl.
About IGN Entertainment
IGN Entertainment is the leading Internet media and services provider focused on the video game and entertainment enthusiast markets. Collectively, IGN’s properties reached more than 70 million unique users worldwide in February 2011, according to Internet audience measurement firm comScore. IGN’s network of video game-related properties (IGN.com, 1UP.com, GameSpy, FilePlanet, TeamXbox and others) is the Web’s #1 video game information destination. IGN also owns the world’s largest men’s lifestyle website, AskMen.com, and men’s entertainment site UGO.com. It also provides technology for online game play in video games. IGN is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices across North America, Europe and Australia.
About Caesars Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 73 years ago, Caesars has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and now operates casinos on four continents. The company’s properties operate primarily under the Harrah’sÃ‚®, CaesarsÃ‚® and HorseshoeÃ‚® brand names. Caesars also owns the World Series of PokerÃ‚® and the London Clubs International family of casinos. Caesars Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. For more information, please visit www.caesars.com.
Playhem is a video game social network that connects gamers in competition, enabling friends to challenge one another for points, cash and prizes at their favorite games, making them more exciting and engaging. Playhem works across brands, devices, and genres through support of mass-market pc, console, casual and mobile games.
SOURCE IGN Entertainment