WGC3: An 'unreal' shoot-em-up

The team behind the Windows Gaming Championship has changed this year’s team title. Find out which title was chosen over the excellent Team Fortress II, and why…

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By  Matthew Wade Published  March 17, 2008

Just last month my team and I outlined the games for this year’s region-wide gaming spectacular (WGC3), which included the brand new Orange Box release, Team Fortress II. Of course, in doing so I raved loudly and proudly about all that this cartoon-style FPS winner has to offer, but now we’ve gone and changed our minds. Why you might ask? It’s a fair question.

Two reasons. And they’re both related to our trying to make WGC3 the very best, most organised and most competitive event this region has enjoyed to date.

Firstly, following our Team Fortress II announcement, our readers came back raving to us about their various FPS preferences. Yes, Counterstrike is always popular with some, but CS Source hasn’t been fully updated and every other team event seems to blindly choose it without even considering the alternatives. That’s just not what we’re into; we’re about originality and raising the bar. Period.

Some also congratulated us on our choice. We’re by no means saying Team Fortress II isn’t a cracking release by changing our choice, not at all. We’re just listening instead to the readers who said… ‘Hang on a minute, haven’t you guys played Unreal Tournament 3? It rocks hard!’. And there were plenty of them.

Of course we’ve played it - for too long our family members and significant others would probably say - and our readers are right; it rocks heavy.

The second factor that swayed us towards adopting UT3 as our blaster of choice was a regional venue-related one, related to the reliability of internet access. We want WGC3 to take place at big venues, the bigger the better, where we can accommodate a ton of competitors and where swathes of bystanders/supporters can enjoy the action. And that means malls.

You see, more and more FPS games are moving away from offline LAN play to internet-based multiplayer action – courtesy of Steam – which is great when connected at home but can be a real bind in terms of getting connected elsewhere. The situation is improving as malls in this region get more tech-savvy, but our research suggested that the connection reliability wouldn’t necessarily be good enough, and really, the last thing WGC gamers want is an event that stops and starts because of technical problems.

Unreal Tournament 3 (see our review here ) came out tops on the connectivity front too however, as no net connection is required to get up and running, meaning we can host as big a contest as we like, in as popular locations as possible, rather than squeezing just 50 gamers into a smoky net café that only a few people know the location of.

Two reasons then, and a simple choice.

All of which means there’s nothing more to discuss, except to tell you to get practicing … and keep it locked to itp.net/wgc for prize and venue info as it’s confirmed.

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