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Last Updated: Monday, 8 December, 2003, 11:34 GMT
Brits scoop gaming shoot-out
By Mark Ward
BBC News Online technology correspondent

British pro-gaming team Four-Kings comprehensively beat French rivals Armateam in the first leg of two-stage exhibition match that took place at the weekend.

Team 4K in play, with Marc Mangiacapra in the orange hat
Team 4K prepared well for the tournament
The final score in the Counter-Strike face-off was 3-0 to the Four-Kings clan.

But the one-sided scoreline did not do justice to a closely-fought contest in which Four-Kings' teamwork and experience showed through.

The exhibition match could be the first of many hosted at UK gaming parties by Intel, which sponsors the Four-Kings and Armateam clan.

The chip-maker is keen to give gaming a more mainstream appeal.

Playing the terrorist

The exhibition match took place at Landed Lan 5, a gaming get-together held at Oxford Brookes University from 5 to 7 December. Spaces at the 100-person Lan party sold out in just four hours.

Four-Kings and Armateam fought in three bouts, each one played out in a different virtual environment or map. The maps used were nuke, dust2 and train.

Marc Mangiacapra (aka mangiacapra)
Harvey Migotti (aka Migotti)
Stuart Harriman (aka Harriman)
Mattias Andersen (Andersen)
Johan Hartman (Hartman)
Dimitri Larue (Dim2k)
Emmanuel Marquez (Moman)
Marc Naoum (Bisou)
Frank Tailhades (Rodhan)
Frederic N'Gore (Oligan)
Tournament rules dictate that each map is fought over 24 times. Each team must play either the role of terrorists or counter-terrorists 12 times.

The first team to rack up 13 wins by killing all the opposing forces or, in the terrorists case, planting and exploding a bomb, wins the match.

Professional game commentator Brian "Coldshot" Kennedy said the match had all the makings of a classic contest.

"Four-Kings have been playing Counter-Strike competitively for a while and are really confident on the game," he said, "Armateam are coming back to it, they have the talent and it will be a good test for them."

Mr Kennedy and two of his colleagues from the Team Shoutcast Network flew over from the US to provide commentary on the match and help spectators follow the fast-moving action.

Map prep

The first 12 games on the nuke map ended in a direct tie at six games each to Four-Kings and Armateam.

The games action on the screen
Terrorist action played out on the big screen
But from that point on, Four-Kings' experience told and, although the French Team worked hard, they ended up comprehensively beaten.

Marc Mangiacapra, Four-Kings Counter-Strike captain, said, "We were confident of beating them from the start because we've put in a lot of preparation on the maps."

Mr Mangiacapra said Four-Kings had met Armateam online a few times but this was the first time they had taken them on face-to-face.

A return exhibition match is due to be held at a Paris Lan party next year.

Also Intel is preparing a movie of the event for all those who could not make it to the event.

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