BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Technology  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 6 November, 2002, 11:03 GMT
UK gamers paid to play
Quake III screenshot, Sega
Quake III tournaments are hotly contested
British gaming clan Four-Kings has become the first in the UK to receive sponsorship from chip giant Intel.

Under the deal the top members of the well-known gaming clan get new hardware, custom built computer cases and cash to help them travel to tournaments and pay general gaming expenses.

In return for the money the team has to maintain its rank among the top gaming groups and win places at national and international competitions.

Team members must also wear Intel-branded clothing when competing in public tournaments.

Speed demons

The sponsorship deal follows a plea for cash issued by the Four-Kings clan in June this year.

Toby Aldridge, Four-Kings captain and spokesman, said the Intel deal was the first step towards making a living out of gaming.

"We keep everything that we win," he said, "the only catch is that we have to wear Intel clothing at tournaments."

"The contract says that we have to go to a certain amount of events per year," he said.

Four-Kings launched its appeal for funds to help some members travel to, and compete in, the prestigious QuakeCon tournament.

Soldier of Fortune screenshot, Activision
Soldier of Fortune encourages team play
The thirty members of Four-Kings compete in online games such as Quake, QuakeWorld, Quake III, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Soldier of Fortune II.

Mr Aldridge said the average clan member is 20 years old and practices for a couple of hours per day to keep themselves sharp.

"Most of that is practice as a team," he said, "then if they want to practice individually they can do that whenever they want."

Despite the cash injection there are still some technical problems that stunt the chances UK players have in online tournaments.

"The broadband in the UK is nothing compared to Sweden," said Mr Aldridge.

High-speed net connections mean less delay between action and reaction in a game world.

This bestows a small but often significant advantage on the team with the fastest net connection.

This advantage carries over to the public tournaments usually held to decide who gets the prize money.

"They are better because they have spent more time used to low latency," he said.

Sponsorship is common among top teams in many other European nations and the US and clans from these countries regularly dominate international tournaments.

But in the UK the numbers of sponsored teams or individual players is still small and many struggle to keep up their habit using winnings from tournaments.

Net service provider Blueyonder recently sponsored UK gamer Alex Nikitin to help him attend the World Cybergames in Korea.

See also:

31 May 02 | Science/Nature
09 Sep 02 | Business
13 Jun 02 | Science/Nature
24 Jul 02 | Technology
20 Oct 02 | Technology
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Technology stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Technology stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes