LOS ANGELES, Feb. 13, 2004 — In one of the most grueling and competitive online sports tournaments in the history of video games, David Muellerweiss, of Chapel Hill, N.C., defeated the top sports video gamers in the country to win the $25,000 XSN Sports World Championship.
At the House of Blues in front of a huge crowd including NBA superstars Shaquille O’Neal and Antoine Walker, Muellerweiss, 19, put together an all-star performance. The XSN Sports World Championship, hosted by ESPN anchor Kevin Frazier and held the same week as the NBA All-Star Game, saw the top eight sports video gamers battle it out for ultimate video game supremacy. Eight participants in the world championship event were flown to Los Angeles to compete for a $25,000 grand prize and the bragging rights that come with the title of XSN Sports World Champion.
“I’m a big gamer and one of the most competitive players in the league, but the talent playing today is the best that I have ever seen,” said Antoine Walker, three-time NBA All-Star from the Dallas Mavericks. “The atmosphere today had the intensity of an NBA playoff game. The players, especially David, proved that they could compete at the highest level with their reputation and $25,000 on the line.”
It came down to a final showdown between Muellerweiss and Nat Barrick, 20, of Mt. Holly Springs, Pa., and because it was NBA All-Star week, the final game at the XSN Sports World Championship was played on Microsoft Corp.’s exclusive basketball title for the Xbox®
video game system, “NBA Inside Drive 2004.” Muellerweiss playing as the NBA East All Stars defeated Barrick’s West Coast All-Star team 90-84 to take home top honors.
The two-day video game marathon started out with eight competitors. Each player competed in a grueling round-robin tournament, in which they tested their skills in every XSN Sports game to earn points to advance to Thursday’s finals. Although some gamers excel only in football or basketball, the XSN Sports World Championship tested each player’s ability to master every sports game. Similar to a decathlon, the championship required players to be proficient in all XSN Sports titles: “NFL Fever 2004,” “NHL Rivals 2004,” “Amped® 2,” “Top Spin (TM) ,” “NBA Inside Drive 2004,” and “Links®
2004,” as well as a preview build of Microsoft’s upcoming XSN Sports racing game, “RalliSport Challenge 2.”
Six of the finalists qualified by winning an Xbox Live (TM) feeder tournament and a $1,000 cash prize last December. Two competitors earned at-large bids to round out the competition. Tournament results and pictures from the premier sports video game tournament in the country can be found at http://www.xsnsports.com/xswc/ .
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