Video Game Championships Come to China in 2009

There’s a world championship for everything that’s even a little competitive – chess, eating a ton of hot dogs, and even video games. First-person shooters, fantasy strategy, and car racing are on the menu year after year, as players vie for top spot in tests of finger dexterity called “eSports.”


The World Cyber Games, perhaps the best-known video game championship, will be held in Cologne, Germany, this year. In 2009, though, it moves into Chengdu, China, for the first time. It’s the first city in China to set a ratings system for video game players, referees and coaches. Chengdu also established standards for computers and consoles as well as venues for eSports.


In addition, the Championship Gaming Series, a professional league for video gamers, recently announced it’s opening a “training facility” for serious video gamers in the city of Wuhan. No word if there’s a sports therapist on staff for cases of “Nintendo Thumb.”


The 2007 World Cyber Games, which took place in Seattle, drew more than 700 players from 70 countries. That number is expected to grow for this year’s competition in Germany and again when it happens in Chengdu.


The exact dates for the 2009 World Cyber Games are not set, though the previous competitions took place in October or November. There has also not been word on the specific games in the competition, though most past World Cyber Games included “Counter-Strike 1.6,” “Command & Conquer 3” and “Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne” for the PC, “Project Gotham Racing” for Xbox 360, among others.