AGL 6 brings eSports to Pittsburgh

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 02:25 AM Written by 

Competitive gamers were Pittsburgh-bound this weekend to compete in the popular first-person shooter “Halo 4.” The tournament was hosted by the Arena Gaming League (AGL), an organization that holds “Halo 4” tournaments across the country.

This was their first tournament in Pittsburgh, which was picked as the host city after a tournament in California suffered a last minute cancellation. AGL teamed up with GameOn Party Planners, a local video game LAN center, to organize the event in one month. Dustin Cumer, CEO of GameOn, spoke of the difficulty of putting an event like this together on such short notice.

“AGL brought the teams and they have a great following,” Cumer said. “I wanted to see how I could make this event amazing since this is the first time an eSports event of this magnitude has been in Pittsburgh. The goal was to give it an E3 Booth look, and I’m very happy with the way it turned out.”

The tournament, billed as AGL 6, was held at Legion Hobbies & Games on Perry Highway in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. Matches were held in what resembled a large warehouse reserved for storage purposes. The area was transformed into a gaming auditorium. Chairs and a big screen projector were set up for the audience, along with a production booth that housed the commentators. The competing teams were placed on the main stage across from one another. Each player was glued to his controller and monitor, shouting real-time instructions to his three teammates.

AGL 6 hosted 24 teams of four players who competed for the grand prize of $3000. Entry was $200 per team, and team tickets sold out in three hours after going on sale in April. Spectators were charged $5 for admission. According to AGL, 32 team tickets were sold, and the event brought between 30 and 40 spectators. Fans of eSports filled the venue to watch these professional gamers work in their element.

The atmosphere was lively as the two-day event approached the finals. Spectators filled the chairs on Sunday to watch the final showdown. The undefeated Team Misfits went up against Team Believe The Hype, who were trying to pull off an upset victory. Team Misfits, made up of Tyler Blevins, 21 from IL, Eric Wrona, 22 from Indianapolis, Dylen Roberts, 21 from TN, and Brad Laws, 18 from FL, took home the prize with an impressive sweep in the final series. This was the first time the four players had competed as a team, making the victory even more impressive.

“We’ve known each other for a very long time, but we’ve only been teaming together for about a week,” Blevins said. “We were confident going into this tournament, which showed since we didn’t lose a game.”

Brad Weir, founder and owner of AGL, was pleased with the success of the Pittsburgh-based event. Weir says it’s rewarding to organize these tournaments.

“The most rewarding part of these events is the feedback from the community,” Weir said. “It’s good to hear that we’re keeping ‘Halo’ alive and giving the people a place to compete.”

When asked about returning to Pittsburgh in the future, Weir said they would want to organize an event with more teams, but finding a suitable venue is always a challenge.  

 

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