In 2006, about 800 of the best gamers from around the world will compete for top honors on a field known for fierce competition, and not just of the gaming variety. Famous for hosting the Formula One Italian Grand Prix, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Monza, Italy, will also be the venue for the 2006 World Cyber Games Grand Final.
"Our City Administration is deeply interested in any event related to the younger generation and in which youth are involved with sport and cultural activities. That's why we are thrilled and greatly honored that Monza has been chosen as the host city for the world's largest e-Sports event next year," Monza mayor Michele Faglia said in a statement. "Being the first European City to host the World Cyber Games Grand Final will help us strengthen the relationship between the young generation and these new electronic activities."
Monza beat out Sydney, Australia, Cancun, Mexico, and Shanghai, China, to win the bid for what is billed as "the world's largest computer and video game festival."
Started as the World Cyber Challenge in 2000, the World Cyber Games is expecting more than 800 gamers from over 70 countries to participate in November's 2005 Grand Final in Singapore. Up to a million gamers worldwide will participate in online, local, regional, and national competitions in hopes of qualifying for the finals. Last year's Grand Final, the first outside of Korea, was held in San Francisco.
The games in this year's competition are PC titles StarCraft: Brood War, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Counter-Strike: Source, FIFA 2005, Need for Speed: Underground 2, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, and Xbox titles Halo 2 and Dead or Alive Ultimate. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and Dead or Alive Ultimate replace Unreal Tournament 2004 for the PC and Project Gotham Racing 2 for the Xbox this year. For more information on this year's competition, visit the World Cyber Games Web site.