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5v5 Arena team gets a sponsor, goes professional

Mike Schramm

One of the top 5v5 teams has become one of the first groups of WoW players to become professional gamers-- Curse reports that CheckSix Gaming, an e-sports agency (or should that be promoter? sponsor?), has picked up ZERG IT DOWN as the first professional 5v5 arena team (one of the first actually, see Update below). CheckSix also sponsors Counterstrike, Call of Duty, and BF1942 teams, and while they say they were skeptical Blizzard would be able to make WoW a part of "eSports," the arena system is what put it over the top-- it provides a quantifiable way to determine which team has the better players.

ZERG IT DOWN is made up of players in Insurrection, a guild on the Horde side of Tichondrius (the team is currently second place in the Bloodlust battlegroup). As part of the deal, CheckSix is sponsoring the whole guild-- they've put up a new website and are running a Vent server for them. In return, ZERG IT DOWN will serve as CheckSix's official team at future Arena tournaments. If there are any, that is-- the only real competition is currently the ongoing ingame season, but it's not a stretch to think that in the future, gaming tournaments will set up shop in Azeroth and pit certain arena teams against each other. In fact, Blizzard could probably benefit from helping them do that-- one of the team's leaders speculates that some Arena matches would benefit from seeing a normalized gear system, which currently only Blizzard could implement, if they even wanted to.

But it's awesome that these guys were able to pick up a sponsor, and even more awesome that a company like CheckSix was willing to take a chance and bring WoW into the growing realm of professional gaming. Congrats and good luck to both of them.

Update: Almost simultaneously, Boubouille sent a tip (thanks!) that Team Pandemic, another gaming sponsor, has also picked up another Arena team-- it's Power Trip, currently the first place team in Bloodlust. Looks like we've got our first professional rivalry.

Update2: Curse has an interview with Power Trip.

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