Championship Gaming Series

Last updated
Championship Gaming Series
Championship Gaming Series Logo.jpg
CGS Logo
Sport Electronic sports
Commissioner Andy Reif (2007)
Dale Hopkins (2008)
No. of teams18
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Birmingham Salvo (World Champion) [1] Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Birmingham Salvo (European Champion) [2]
Flag of the United States.svg Carolina Core (US Champion) [3]
TV partner(s) DirecTV, British Sky Broadcasting, STAR TV (Asia)

The Championship Gaming Series was an international esports league based in the United States, with teams from several other countries. The CGS was preceded by the 2006 Championship Gaming Invitational, a television pilot featuring several future CGS players. The league was founded in 2007 and was owned and operated by DirecTV in association with British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) and STAR TV. [4] It folded in 2008 after two seasons.

Esports form of competition that is facilitated by electronic systems, particularly video games

Esports is a form of competition sports using video games. Esports often takes the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players, individually or as teams. Although organized online and offline competitions have long been a part of video game culture, these were largely between amateurs until the late 2000s, when participation by professional gamers and spectatorship in these events through live streaming saw a large surge in popularity. By the 2010s, esports was a significant factor in the video game industry, with many game developers actively designing toward a professional esports subculture.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or simply America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

DirecTV American direct broadcast satellite and streaming TV company

DirecTV is an American direct broadcast satellite service provider based in El Segundo, California and is a subsidiary of AT&T. Its satellite service, launched on June 17, 1994, transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States, Latin America, Americas and the Caribbean. Its primary competitors are Dish Network and cable television providers. On July 24, 2015, after receiving approval from the United States Federal Communications Commission and United States Department of Justice, AT&T acquired DirecTV in a transaction valued at $67.1 billion.


League history


Although professional video game contests had been going on for several years, organizers recognized the need for it to gain greater exposure, preferably through regular telecasts. The World Series of Gaming was shown on MTV in a 30-minute special in 2005, but there were complaints about the quality of the production. [5]

MTV American pay television channel

MTV is an American pay television channel launched on August 1, 1981 based in New York City that serves as the flagship property of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom headquartered in New York City.

Meanwhile, the World Series of Poker had become a popular program on ESPN and had turned no-limit Texas hold 'em poker into a spectator sport. Influenced by its success, David Hill, an executive at Fox Sports and DirecTV (and himself an avid video gamer) pitched the idea of a TV program based on video gaming. Craig "Torbull" Levine, manager of Team 3D played a key role in negotiations. [6]

World Series of Poker A series of poker tournaments, held annually

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is a series of poker tournaments held annually in Las Vegas and, since 2004, sponsored by Caesars Entertainment Corporation. It dates its origins to 1970, when Benny Binion invited seven of the best-known poker players to the Horseshoe Casino for a single tournament, with a set start and stop time, and a winner determined by a secret ballot of the seven players.

ESPN is an American basic cable sports channel owned by ESPN Inc., owned jointly by The Walt Disney Company (80%) and Hearst Communications (20%). The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Rasmussen and Ed Egan.

Texas hold em Variation of the card game of poker

Texas hold 'em is a variation of the card game of poker. Two cards, known as hole cards, are dealt face down to each player, and then five community cards are dealt face up in three stages. The stages consist of a series of three cards, later an additional single card, and a final card. Each player seeks the best five card poker hand from any combination of the seven cards of the five community cards and their two hole cards. Players have betting options to check, call, raise, or fold. Rounds of betting take place before the flop is dealt and after each subsequent deal. The player who has the best hand and has not folded by the end of all betting rounds wins all of the money bet for the hand, known as the pot.

In the summer of 2006, a pilot episode revolving around the Championship Gaming Invitational was taped at Treasure Island in San Francisco, California. It featured a Counter-Strike 1.6 match in which Team CompLexity beat Team3D. It also introduced the Dead Or Alive pro players such as Emmanuel "Master" Rodriguez who later went on to star for the league as pro gamers. This was also the only time that Battlefield 2 was featured in the CGS franchise, as the world champions Code7 took on three American teams. The first Invitational was said to produce a 400% plus increase in ratings for DirecTV's 101 channel at the time.[ citation needed ] The first pilot was then followed up by 2nd CGI2 Invitational event in Los Angeles which also introduced first female Dead or Alive player Vanessa Arteaga. After the ratings showed some more promise, a full season with a league structure greenlit for 2007. [7]

Treasure Island, San Francisco Landform and neighborhood in San Francisco, California, United States

Treasure Island is an artificial island in the San Francisco Bay and a neighborhood in the City and County of San Francisco. Built in 1936–37 for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, the island's World’s Fair site is a California Historical Landmark. Buildings there have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the historical Naval Station Treasure Island, an auxiliary air facility, are designated in the Geographic Names Information System.

San Francisco Consolidated city-county in California, US

San Francisco, officially City and County of San Francisco and colloquially known as SF, San Fran, or "The City", is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th most populous city in the United States, and the fourth most populous in California, with 883,305 residents as of 2018. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second most densely populated large U.S. city, and the fifth most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is the 12th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States, with 4,729,484 people in 2018. With San Jose, it forms the fifth most populous combined statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.

California State in the United States

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

CGS Pro-Am

The CGS Pro-Am Division was a players opportunity to play against the Pros and compete for more than $40,000 in cash prizes. The first season included Counter-Strike 1.6, Counter-Strike: Source, and Team Fortress 2 tournaments. Shortly after the first season was completed The CGS franchise was cut by DirecTV which ultimately ended this opportunity for another competitive league for the everyday gamer.[ citation needed ]

2007 season

The first CGS season consisted of six franchises from six different major cities throughout Region 1 (the U.S. and Canada) plus a total of ten more franchises from the other Global Regions around the world. Each franchise consisted of a total of ten players: five Counter-Strike: Source players, two Dead or Alive 4 players (one male and one female), one FIFA 07 player, and two Project Gotham Racing 3 players. CGS held their first ever draft at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles with Vanessa Arteaga being selected as the first overall pick. [8]

<i>Counter-Strike: Source</i> 2004 first-person shooter and a remake of Counter-Strike using the Source game engine

Counter-Strike: Source is a first-person shooter video game developed by Valve and Turtle Rock Studios. Released in November 2004 for Microsoft Windows, it is a remake of Counter-Strike (2000) using the Source game engine. As in the original, Counter-Strike: Source pits a team of counter-terrorists against a team of terrorists in a series of rounds. Each round is won either by completing an objective or by eliminating all members of the enemy team. The game was initially bundled with all retail and digital copies of Half-Life 2 before being released standalone.

<i>Dead or Alive 4</i> 2005 video game

Dead or Alive 4 is a fighting game in the Dead or Alive series, developed by Team Ninja and published by Tecmo for the Xbox 360 in 2005. The game's story mode introduces the player to new characters and opponents via combat which can then be played in the game's other modes. DOA4 was generally well received, with an average score of 85/100 on Metacritic.

<i>FIFA 07</i> 2006 video game

FIFA 07 is the 2006 edition of EA Sports' series of football simulator video games. Developed by EA Canada, it is published by Electronic Arts.

The first televised match was shown on DirecTV-exclusive channel, The 101, on July 9, 2007. The Region 1 Grand Finals were held on July 30, 2007 in Los Angeles. The Chicago Chimera defeated the Carolina Core by 22 points to 21, to become the first CGS Regional Champions. In the World Finals in December, the Chimera defeated the Core again to become World Champions and win the $500,000 top prize.

The above-mentioned Team 3D and Team CompLexity of the pilot were later expanded to two of the league's other teams, the New York 3D and the Los Angeles Complexity respectively.

2008 season

In 2008, two new franchises were added: the Kuala Lumpur Taufan and the Dubai Mirage. The franchise player setup remained the same, with the FIFA 07 player switching to FIFA 2008, and the Project Gotham Racing 3 players switching to Forza Motorsport 2. On June 16, 2008, The 101 showed the first televised match of the second CGS season. Andy Reif was replaced as commissioner with Dale Hopkins, the former Chief Operating Officer of G4. [9]

The Region 1 finals saw Carolina Core beat the Dallas Venom by a single point to become the North American Regional Champions.

The World Finals immediately followed the North American season, beginning on July 14. On July 28, 2008, the Birmingham Salvo defeated the San Francisco Optx to become the CGS World Champions for 2008, as well as the first international team to not only make the final, but win it as well.

On November 18, 2008, it was announced on esports portal that the Championship Gaming Series would be ceasing operations immediately, news that was confirmed only hours later on the Championship Gaming Series' official website. The reasons for the departure of CGS remain unclear, but Hill had left DirecTV after it was purchased by Liberty Media and therefore was no longer in charge of any programming on The 101.


Season 1 supported the following games:

Season 2 supported the following games:

General structure

Before the start of the season, the CGS holds scouting combines in various cities around the world. Based on the results of the combines, the general managers then meet and draft players to participate in the league. Combines are open to all comers.

In 2008, leagues could protect players in two of the five events; everyone else is put into the draft pool and can go to any team.

Scoring system

Points are awarded for each event as follows:

No bonus points are awarded to any team for winning an event.


All North American matches and the world tournament took place at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. Tickets were free and were distributed by Jam Packed Entertainment. [10]

The announcers on the DirecTV telecasts in 2008 were Paul "ReDeYe" Chaloner, Marcus "djWHEAT" Graham, Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel, and Andrew Siciliano. The original host was Stryker, also a disc jockey on KROQ-FM radio in Los Angeles; Stryker left before the 2007 world final.

The 2008 world tournament was seen on G4 in a Saturday-night highlight package, in addition to the live telecasts on DirecTV.


Region 1 North America United States, Canada
Region 2 Latin America Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America
Region 3 Europe Europe
Region 4 Africa/Middle East Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia
Region 5 Asia China, East Asia
Region 6 Australia Australia, Oceania

Franchises and teams

For the first season of the league there was six franchises from six different major cities throughout Region 1 (the U.S. and Canada) plus a total of ten more franchises from the other Global Regions around the world. Each franchise consists of a total of ten players: five Counter-Strike:Source players, two Dead or Alive 4 players (one male and one female), one FIFA 07 player, and two Project Gotham Racing 3 players.

The Region 1 Grand Finals were held on July 30, 2007 in Los Angeles. The Chicago Chimera defeated the Carolina Core 22-21 to become the first CGS Regional Champions. Both Chicago and Carolina competed in the World Finals on December 14, 2007 and Chicago won the World Championship.

Fighting Game Competition

Dead Or Alive 4
Vanessa "Vanessa" Arteaga1st pick in the draft
Manny "Master" Rodriguez
Ryan "OffbeatNinja" Ward
Adande "sWooZie" Thorne
Katherine "Mystik" Gunn
Marjorie "Kasumi Chan" Bartell
Cynthia "Raspberry Tea" Escamilla
Cardell "Dave Chapelle" Thomas
Jared "cali jared" Singer
Jeremy "Black Mamba" Florence
Gaming Community -

Fighting Community Manager - Morris "Dahlsim" Hunter

Region 1

Team NameFranchise LocationGeneral ManagerFirst season
Carolina Core Flag of the United States.svg Charlotte, North Carolina Flag of the United States.svg Mark Dolven2007
Chicago Chimera Flag of the United States.svg Chicago, Illinois Flag of the United States.svg Brian "DKT" Flander2007
Dallas Venom Flag of the United States.svg Dallas, Texas Flag of the United States.svg Alex "JaX" Conroy2007
Los Angeles Complexity Flag of the United States.svg Los Angeles, California Flag of the United States.svg Jason "1" Lake2007
New York 3D Flag of the United States.svg New York City, New York Flag of the United States.svg Dave Geffon2007
San Francisco Optx Flag of the United States.svg San Francisco, California Flag of the United States.svg Kathleen "katscratch" Hunter2007

Region 2

Team NameFranchise LocationGeneral ManagerFirst season
Mexico City Furia Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico City, Mexico Flag of Peru.svg Augusto "NoobZaibot" Zapata2007
Rio Sinistro Flag of Brazil.svg Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Flag of Brazil.svg Paulo "pvell" Velloso2007

Region 3

Team NameFranchise LocationGeneral ManagerFirst season
Berlin Allianz Flag of Germany.svg Berlin, Germany Flag of Norway.svg Jonas "bESEL" Vikan2007
Birmingham Salvo Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Birmingham, United Kingdom Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Michael "ODEE" O'Dell2007
London Mint Flag of the United Kingdom.svg London, United Kingdom Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Ben Woodward 2007
Stockholm Magnetik Flag of Sweden.svg Stockholm, Sweden Flag of Sweden.svg Emil "HeatoN" Christensen 2007

Region 4

Team NameFranchise LocationGeneral ManagerFirst season
Dubai Mirage Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg Dubai, United Arab Emirates Shariff Ibrahim2007

Region 5

Team NameFranchise LocationGeneral ManagerFirst season
Wuhan Dragon Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Wuhan, China Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Chao Ma2007
Singapore Sword Flag of Singapore.svg Singapore Flag of Singapore.svg Steven Yong (interim)2007
Seoul Jinhwa Flag of South Korea.svg Seoul, South Korea Flag of South Korea.svg Kim "Crystal" Sung Eun2007
Kuala Lumpur Taufan Flag of Malaysia.svg Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Flag of Malaysia.svg Mohd Irman Nawawi2007

Region 6

Team NameFranchise LocationGeneral ManagerFirst season
Sydney Underground Flag of Australia (converted).svg Sydney, Australia Flag of Australia (converted).svg Ben "Racs" Thomas2007

See also

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