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EA hosts Battlefield: Bad Company 2 celebrity benefit tournament


As reported on these very pages yesterday, EA and DICE got a group of semi-celebrities together last night to celebrate the impending arrival of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 with a charity tournament, pitting NFL stars and 90210 actors against each other in a bragging rights team match. The celebs also selected their own team names for an upcoming Major League Gaming tournament, and the winning team in that match (which you can predict right now on GameStop's website) will end up giving $25,000 to the winning celebrity's charity of choice.

The event kicked off with a red carpet event, and Matt Lanter and Tristan Wilds of the new 90210 joined gossip blogger Perez Hilton to talk about crushes on their costars and how awesome Bad Company 2 was. Meanwhile, we wondered, where's the actual game?

Gallery: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Celebrity Tournament | 50 Photos

It was inside! Chad Ochocinco had showed up early and skipped the red carpet completely, instead crouching behind cover and defending objectives in a Bad Company 2 Squad Rush match -- four on four, with various targets to take out or defend. Celebrities, handlers, and eventually press all streamed into the club as the red carpet area cleaned out, and gorgeous women carried around plates of appetizers while the various outlets (from TMZ to KTLA) interviewed the celebs in attendance.

Most of the interviews on the red carpet (which was more a shade of orange) went something like this:

"So, are you a big gamer? Do you like games?"

"Oh for sure, I love them. I play games all the time."

"What's your favorite game right now?"

"I really love [insert old arcade title here, like Galaga or Centipede]. Oh, and Battlefield: Bad Company 2, it's so much better than the first one."

"Great. Can we talk about your other projects now?"

And then they did.

There were a total of eight consoles running, and they were all taken up by celebs, who were attempting to navigate the complicated first person shooter with varying degrees of success. After most of the press had been satisfied with B-roll of the game being played, they got down to business, and the celebs in attendance started on the bragging rights match.

Ochocinco talked a good game, but his team of Hilton, Greg Grunberg, and Donnie Edwards dropped out right away thanks to some clutch play by Wilds. In the end, though, The Bachelor's Charlie O'Connell proved to be the ringer -- his team with Hal Sparks walked away with the victory.

You can see all of the happenings in the gallery above. Was it silly? Yes. Was it for gamers? Not at all. But this is what mainstream game marketing looks like these days. Someday maybe we'll have press junkets with game directors and premieres with lead producers (we did talk to one of the game's senior producers -- stay tuned for that interview), but for now, we've got NFL players and reality stars.

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