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Australia's best gamers to battle this weekend

Australia's top gamers are converging on the Gold Coast this weekend to decide who will represent the nation at the upcoming World Cyber Games (WCG) championships.

Australia's top gamers are converging on the Gold Coast this weekend to decide who will represent the nation at the upcoming World Cyber Games (WCG) championships.

More than 200 gamers are expected at the World Cyber Games Australian finals, which are being held at the Gold Coast Exhibition Centre from September 1-3. Gamers will compete in six different games, with the winners in each receiving an all-expenses paid trip to Monza, Italy in October to represent Australia in the WCG grand final.

The six games being played in competition this weekend are Counter-Strike 1.6, Warcraft 3, FIFA 2006 and Starcraft: Brood War for PC. Dead or Alive 4 and Project Gotham Racing 3 will be played on the Xbox 360. Ten winners will compete in Italy, which will be made up of the winning five-person Counter-Strike team and individual winners from each of the other games.

The WCG Australian qualifiers were organised by specialist computer gaming peripherals distributor ProGamer. Company general manager Karl Brown said he expects a strong crowd to turn out at the event to watch Australia's best square off against each other. Entry to the event is free for spectators.

"There will plenty of room -- we'll have a massive stage for the main games being played at the time," Brown said. "We've got 16x12 foot screens, three of them behind the stage. We have 10 plasma screens on the front of the stage for people to see. We have seating for about 2000 in front of the stage for people to watch."

Brown said Australia has a great chance of improving on its previous WCG finals appearances. He said Australian competitive gaming was improving rapidly, culminating in our strong showing at the recent WCG Asian Championships held in Singapore earlier this month where Australian Philip Miraldo triumphed in Warcraft 3 and Team Style came second in Counter-Strike.

For more details on this weekend's finals, visit the World Cyber Games Australia website or E-Sports Australia.