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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 08:04 GMT 09:04 UK
UK gamers aim to take Korea
Screenshot from Warcraft III, Vivendi
Elves, humans, orcs and undead mix in Warcraft III
Three top gamers are moving to South Korea to see if they can succeed in the most competitive leagues in the gaming world.

The players are members of the UK's Four Kings clan which plans to base its entire six-strong Warcraft III squad in South Korea, thanks to help from team sponsor Intel.

The three are planning to move to Korea in early September in time for the start of the country's new gaming season.

Gaming is hugely popular in Korea where top players can earn six-figure salaries.

Moving target

Initially the three players, Manuel Schenkhuizen, Sebastian Pesic and Ivica Markovic, will live in Korea for just a few months to see if they can survive.

Although the UK has a growing roster of full-time or professional players, in South Korea gaming is widely accepted and played by millions of people.

"In Korea gaming is taken very seriously," said Philip Wride, spokesman for Four Kings. "There are TV channels and radio shows dedicated to it,"

Concept art from Warcraft III, Vivendi
There are some strange creatures in Warcraft III
"It's well regarded and you can make a career out of it," he said. "If you are a top player you will be recognised in the street."

The three players will link up with the other members of Four Kings international Warcraft III squad and compete in national leagues and some European competitions.

Mr Wride said players must live in South Korea to take part in country's leagues.

Four Kings is one of the UK's pro clans and will pay the team members' wages and living costs while they are trying to establish themselves.

To fund the Korean adventure, Four Kings is also looking for donations from fans to help establish the players overseas.

Those making a donation could get in return signed Four Kings t-shirts, get the chance to take on one of the Korean players or even win a high spec PC.

League table

The Four Kings Warcraft squad will take part in the APM World E-Sports Game (Weg) league, the MBC TV league, the WC3L Series and the WC3 Masters tournaments.

Screenshot from Call of Duty, Activision
The Four-Kings clan play lots of games
Although considered an ageing game in Europe, Warcraft III is still widely played in South Korea.

The real-time strategy game pits humans, orcs, night elves and the undead against each other in a fight for dominance.

The game is played in a familiar fantasy world that mixes magic into a quasi-medieval setting.

Matches are usually played between teams of four over three rounds. The first two rounds are player versus player and the last round pits teams of two against each other.

The games are played on different maps and the winner is the first team to take two rounds.

The Four Kings members will not be the first players to move to South Korea to play competitively.

Several members of the top Swedish team Schroet Kommando were invited to Korea in 2003 for a single season's play.


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