Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 11:32 UK

UK team take top pro-gaming prize

Screengrab of CGS website, Championship Gaming Series
Birmingham Salvo won four of the five rounds in the grand final

British pro-gaming team Birmingham Salvo have been crowned winners of the 2008 Championship Gaming Series (CGS).

The ten-strong team share the top prize of $500,000 (252,000) for coming out top of the eight teams who made it to the grand final.

Birmingham Salvo dominated rival San Francisco Optx in the battle for the title winning four out of five events.

The win marks the first time that the CGS trophy has been awarded to a British team.

"I'm extremely proud of my team right now," said Michael O'Dell, manager of Birmingham Salvo in a statement.

Michael Barrett (Fifa 08)
Sarah Harrison (Dead or Alive)
Mingzhi Deng (Dead or Alive)
Dean Sutton (Forza Motorsport)
David Kelly (Forza Motorsport)
James Wilson (Counter Strike)
Elliot Welsh (Counter Strike)
Sam Gawn (Counter Strike)
Pete Wright (Counter Strike)
Marc Mangiacapra (Counter Strike)

"We faced a lot of tough competition throughout the season," he said, "but when our backs were against the wall, every player demonstrated the skills and the poise to step up when it mattered the most."

The CGS season started in March when players competed for a slot in a CGS team. Each player winning a place on a team got a contract and a monthly wage to support them as they took part in the various CGS competitions.

The 18 teams that emerged from this first stage then went forward to regional competitions to find the eight that competed in the grand final.

The CGS is organised around four games - Counter-Strike: Source, Dead or Alive 4, Forza Motorosport 2, and Fifa 08.

In the final, Birmingham Salvo started strong and only lost the women's Dead or Alive 4 round to San Franciso Optx. The final score across all rounds was 22-15.

For coming in second San Franciso Optx picked up a cheque for $150,000 (75,000).

Two Birmingham players, Dean "Picaso" Sutton and David "Daveyskills" Kelly, were named as the 2008 CGS most valued players.

The CGS was set up in 2007 and is a joint venture by broadcasters BSkyB, DirecTV and Star.

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