StarCraft 2 Tournament Roster: Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Dropbox, Zynga and Yelp

Sean “Day[9]” Plott, co-founder of Day9.TV, popular internet television host and PC Gamer’s “2010 Gamer of the Year,” has recruited the most prestigious high tech companies in the world to compete in the ultimate gamer showdown: the After Hours Gaming League.

The battlefield? StarCraft 2.

This event, which starts on June 30th and runs for 9 (get it?) consecutive weeks, is predicted to attract hundreds of thousands of viewers globally.

Organized and hosted by Sean “Day[9]” Plott, this event is part of a push to introduce “eSports” or competitive gaming into mainstream culture.

Day[9] said:

We are talking about one of the hardest computer games in the world being played by some of the smartest people in the world. I can’t think of a more exciting combination to watch.

Steven Bartel, a software engineer at Dropbox and its team captain said:

StarCraft 2 requires dedication, critical thinking, and split-second decision making. That is why it has become so popular in the tech community. We can’t wait to see some of the best competition the community has to offer tested in battle.

In our recent interview with veteran eSports commentator Diggity, we discussed what it would take to make eSports in North American reach the level it has attained in Asia.

Day[9] said:

ESports is in its infancy in North America, compared to Asia, where eSports has had a fanatical following for years. In South Korea, StarCraft is a national obsession like baseball or football. Gamers are celebrities and professional matches are shown on prime time television.

According to Day[9], eSports hasn’t taken off as quickly in the West, partly because there has been a stigma that video games are bad for your brain. He points out that there are games, like StarCraft, that are highly strategic and complex and that are played by the most educated, intellectual people.

In our interview, Diggity stated that members of the community need to take an active role in helping establish the eSports scene in North America. With a community member as influential as Day[9] spearheading this tournament, the movement can take a significant step forward this summer.

Day[9] said:

We believe the After Hours Gaming League, featuring top tech talent, will showcase some of the country’s best and brightest gamers, illustrate the potential of gaming, and ultimately build respect for eSports.

You can watch the tournament live at www.day9.tv or www.afterhoursgaming.tv every Thursday starting June 30. Previously aired shows will be available on demand at day9tv.blip.tv.

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